Mad Decent Block Party 2016: A Field Guide to This Weekend's EDM Festival

Diplo on stage at the Mad Decent Block Party in 2014.
Diplo on stage at the Mad Decent Block Party in 2014.
Benjamin Leatherman

Rawhide’s going to be a major hotspot for electronic dance music fans this fall – and some of the biggest DJs in the biz will be spinning there.

No, the kitschy theme park and events venue hasn’t become the home of some newly built ultra-lounge or danceteria recently. Instead, it will be hosting a series of blockbuster EDM events every month until the end of the year, including BOO! Arizona, Global Dance Festival Arizona, and Decadence.

First up is one of the biggest of ‘em all, the Mad Decent Block Party, which will take over Rawhide this weekend for two straight nights or raging and rowdy dance music. As we discussed in our rundown of the things we're eager to see, a lot will be happening at the two-night event, including tons of performances by Mad Decent founder Diplo and more than a dozen other artists.

As such, here’s everything you might possibly want to know about the event, which kicks off tonight.

When & Where: Mad Decent Block Party goes down on Friday, September 16, and Saturday, September 17, at Rawhide Western Town and Event Center in Chandler. The event runs from 6 p.m. until 2 p.m. both nights.

Prices: Admission prices vary depending on which day you’d like to go. Tickets for Friday are $78 for general admission and $124 for the VIP experience while general admission on Saturday is $53 and VIP is $99. Two-day “weekend passes” are available for $124 and $194, respectively.

Two things to keep in mind: An ID is absolutely required to pick up your ticket or enter the event (no exceptions) and anyone attending both days will receive an wristband on Friday that can’t be removed if you want to get in on Saturday.

Age Limits: Its 18-and-over to attend, 21-and-over to drink.

The Lineup: As you might’ve guessed from the ticket prices, Friday boasts some of the more higher profile DJs and artists, including Diplo, Brillz, FKI 1ST, Illenium, Jackal, RL Grime, Tchami, and What So Not. That’s not to say the Saturday doesn’t have any heavy hitters in its lineup, because it most certainly does, such as Baauer, Dada Life, Flosstradamus, Grandtheft, Justin Martin, Le Youth and Lil Dicky.

The crowd at last year's Mad Decent Block Party.EXPAND
The crowd at last year's Mad Decent Block Party.
Benjamin Leatherman

Weather: Bring a hoodie along, yo. It’ll be 90ish degrees when the party kicks off on both Friday and Saturday before plunging to the low 70s by the time things wrap up at 2 a.m.

Getting There: If you’re driving, take Interstate 10 West to Exit 162 (Wild Horse Pass Boulevard/Sundust Road), hang a right at the light, and follow the posted signs directing you to the parking lot.

If you’d rather catch a ride, a bus service (via Plus One Transporation) will transport Block Party attendees from the El Hefe on Mill Avenue in Tempe on Friday and Saturday nights. Busses depart at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and will make return trips at 1 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. Prices and more details can be found here.

Upcoming Events

Parking: It will run you $10 per vehicle to stash your ride.

Food and Drink: You can get both at the Block Party. Multiple bars (including those in the VIP area) will dispense libations of the beer, wine, and spirituous variety. Meanwhile, Tee’s Concessions will dishing out eats of the fast-casual variety, including burgers, fries, sammies, pizza, and other options.

Attendees of last year's Block Party.EXPAND
Attendees of last year's Block Party.
Benjamin Leatherman

Water: You’ll need to drink a lot of it, even if it’s after dark. You’re likely to be doing tons of dancing and walking either day and thus will need to replenish your fluids. Seriously. Don’t turn what should be a joyous night into an emergency trip to either the first aid tent or the hospital.

An on-site refill station or two will available for attendees. Empty water bottles, particularly those of reusable and disposable nature, are allowed. Camelbaks or similar bladder systems are also kosher, but must be empty on entry and be capable of being disassembled for inspection by security.
Bring

Bring: A good attitude, for starters, as well as your ID, some cash, sunglasses and hats, small bottles of sunscreen, and a small fanny pack or bag to hold it all. Lighters are okay, as are sealed packs of cigarettes. Ditto for sealed tampons, gum, and ChapStick.

Don't Bring: Remember those rules forbidding raver toys the last two times Mad Decent came to Phoenix? Yup, still in effect. So leave any furry backpacks, stuffed animals, pacifiers, LED gloves, masks, and kandi at home. (Don’t worry, there’s probably a rave next weekend.) And, as always, forget about bringing weapons, wallet chains, fireworks, pets, JNCO jeans, large bags, chairs, hand grenades, or anything else that’s disruptive, destructive, or dangerous as well. Ditching your shitty or creeper attitude will also help, too, bro.

Pace Yourself: Try not to go too hard or over-exert yourself, especially during the daylight hours. If you need a place to chill, the Block Party’s local promoter Relentless Beats will offer a “Ranger Outpost” that’s outfitted with recharging stations for both you and your phone. That is to say you can chill out, cool off, and rest up in case you’re feeling wiped out.

Keep it Cool: Event security and organizers reserve the right to eject anyone who’s combative, hostile, or disruptive. In other words, chill the fuck out. (EDM’s supposed be all about PLUR, right?) Also, anyone who’s visibly intoxicated, flying high, or rolling balls upon entry will be denied admission. Consider yourself warned.


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