Everything You Need to Know About the Coors Light Birds Nest 2018 Concerts

The crowd at the Coors Light Birds Nest in 2016.
The crowd at the Coors Light Birds Nest in 2016. Alexandra Gaspar
The Waste Management Phoenix Open is renowned for its party-hearty atmosphere. And with good reason, considering the annual tournament in Scottsdale features boisterous crowds, a convivial atmosphere, and thousands of attendees carousing inside party tents, luxury skyboxes, or the tournament’s infamous 16th Hole.

But an even bigger party will happening next door at the Coors Light Birds Nest.

The four-night concert series and nightlife destination, which has coincided with the Phoenix Open for more than a decade, takes place inside a 50,000-square-foot tent located across the street from the event.

It’s served as an after-party for the Open, as well as a music festival of sorts that features acts from a variety of genres – including rock, country, and hip-hop – performing for more than 6,000 people.

“It's a phenomenal party,” says Birds Nest spokesperson Michael Golding. “Every night, it has this massive energy. Over the last 10 years or so, it's grown as a festival and an event, and we've had some of the biggest names in country music, rock, EDM, and hip-hop every year.”

You can expect much of the same at this year’s Birds Nest, which will have concerts going each night from Wednesday, January 31, to Saturday, February 3.

And the 2018 lineup will feature such names as Flo Rida, OneRepublic, Zedd, Florida Georgia Line, and Nelly.

If you’re game to perch in the Birds Nest for a night, we’ve got a rundown of everything you’ll need to know before you go.

click to enlarge The scene inside the Birds Nest in 2016. - LEAVITT WELLS
The scene inside the Birds Nest in 2016.
Leavitt Wells
Location: The Coors Light Birds Nest is situated at 82nd Street and Bell Road in Scottsdale across from the main entrance to the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Dates and Times: Concerts takes place nightly from Wednesday, January 31, to Saturday, February 3. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. each day and the headlining act performs at around 8:30 p.m.

Tickets: General admission is $25 to $35 per person. VIP packages will run you $100 to $150 per person, and the "VIP Pit" tickets are $250 each.

VIP: If you’d like to live large, the aforementioned basic VIP package includes a hosted bar and buffet catered by Rojo Hospitality. The "VIP Pit" option includes the aforementioned perks, as well as the chance to watch the concerts from an exclusive area in front of the stage.

Age Limits: Birds Nest concerts are strictly for the 21-and-over crowd only.

Getting There: If you’re coming by car, take the Loop 101 to the Hayden Road exit and then head south toward Bell Road. Follow the signs to the parking lots.

Party buses are also available to both the Phoenix Open and the Birds Nest from various Valley bars (including Bottled Blonde, El Hefe, The Porch Arcadia, Sandbar at Desert Ridge, and Whiskey Row in Gilbert) via local company Plus One Transportation. Tickets are $35 to $70.

Parking: Several lots are located near the Birds Nest and Phoenix Open with free parking available on a first come, first served basis. (A map featuring the location every lot can be found here.) Shuttles will run you from your car to both spots and back again from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day.

click to enlarge Raising a toast at the Birds Nest. - LEAVITT WELLS
Raising a toast at the Birds Nest.
Leavitt Wells
Food and Drink: You can get your drink on via 40 different alcohol vendors and bars that will be available inside the general admission areas of the tent, including a Coors Light beer truck or booths from liquor companies like Patrón and Jameson.

El Hefe will will also have a huge booth and bar set up at the main entrance of the Birds Nest that will serve both food and libations. Meanwhile, both of the VIP areas will have catered buffets and a variety of bars.

Bring: An ID, fully charged cellphone, comfortable shoes, and a party-hearty attitude are all recommended.

Don't Bring: Anything dangerous, disruptive, or disorderly, including drugs, weapons, or similar contraband. (Leave your bad attitude at home, too.) Outside food and drinks are also verboten.

Daily Lineups: The performers that will take the stage inside the Birds Nest run the gamut from electronic dance music and pop to country and hip-hop. And each night will offer both an opening act and headliner. Here’s a look at who will be there, what they’ll be playing, and when they’ll perform.

Flo Rida and Kelley James
Wednesday, January 31

Rap star Flo Rida knows plenty about getting a party going. After all, he’s got several tracks that are known to get people going, including "Wild Ones," "Good Feeling," and “Right Round.” His entire discography – which boasts four albums, four EPs, and dozens of hit singles – is filled with high-energy material, including last year’s “Cake,” his most recent chartbuster.

Singer-songwriter Kelley James, who will open the evening and warm up the Birds Nest crowd, regularly performs at pro golfing events like the Phoenix Open. His array of songs feature upbeat vibes and pop sensibilities, including such jams as “Brother,” “That’s My Girl,” and “Wonderful Place.”

Florida Georgia Line and Chris Lane
Thursday, February 1

Cowboys and cowgirls, urban or otherwise, will likely turn out in for this one-two punch of country music provided by Florida Georgia Line and solo artist Chris Lane. FGL is best known for their polished country pop style and a slew of blockbuster hits like “Get Your Shine On," Cruise" “This is How We Roll,” and "H.O.L.Y." They’ve earned multiple American Music Awards, several platinum records, and more than a few haters. But when you’re as popular as Florida Georgia Line, it’s almost expected.

Chris Lane, on the other hand, hasn’t been around as long as FGL, having debuted in 2012. He’s had a taste of success with his brand of country pop, however, particularly after the release of his 2016 album, Girl Problems, which hit No. 8 on the charts. Two singles, “Fix” and “For Her,” also both went gold.

OneRepublic and Natty Rico
Friday, February 2

Whether you like ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t deny OneRepublic’s success as a band. A large majority of the singles that the radio-friendly fivesome has released over the past decade have gone gold or platinum, including such standouts as "Apologize," "Counting Stars," "Love Runs Out," "Good Life," "Stop and Stare," and "Secrets.” And, admittedly, most of their stuff is plenty catchy, owing to lead singer Ryan Tedder’s skills as a songwriter (he’s written tracks for a number of pop stars, too).

Their opener, Natty Rico, also knows a thing or two about creating intoxicating audio. The multitalented artist, who wields a saxophone and works as a remixer and producer, specializes in crafting dance music tracks of a high-energy nature that feature both big beats and his signature instrument.

Zedd and Nelly
Saturday, February 3

The Birds Nest concert series always feature a high-profile electronic dance music artist in its mix of performers. This year, it’s Zedd, the Russian-born DJ and producer who’s performed at clubs and festivals worldwide and created electro-house tracks that have racked up countless listens, millions of downloads, and even a Grammy awards for the track “Clarity.”

Rapper Nelly also has a few Grammys of his own for “Hot in Herre” and "Shake Ya Tailfeather.” Both songs are among the wealth of hits he’s put out over the last 18 years, ranging from "Country Grammar (Hot Shit)" and “E.I.” back in the early 2000s to more modern-day singles like “Millionaire” and “I Don’t Want to Go to Bed.” Odds are you’ll hear most of these during his set on the final night of this year's Birds Nest.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.