Everything You Need to Know About Crush Arizona 2019: Tickets, Schedule, and More

Attendees of last year's Crush Arizona festival.
Attendees of last year's Crush Arizona festival. Benjamin Leatherman
The Valley’s electronic dance scene has had a longtime love affair with the Crush Arizona festival, and it stretches back more than a decade. Back in 2008, the now-annual EDM extravaganza began life as an underground dance party at a local warehouse venue that was attended by more than a 1,000 people.

Needless to say, the festival has grown a bit since then. Now known as Crush Arizona, it’s grown
exponentially over the last decade (both in size and attendance) and has become a yearly experience that takes place at Rawhide Event Center in Chandler after outgrowing its previous venues. This year’s Crush Arizona — its 10th-anniversary edition — will be even bigger, as the festival will expand to two days: Friday, February 15, and Saturday, February 16.

Despite all the changes over the years, Crush Arizona’s focus remains the same. It’s still a Valentine’s-themed event (complete with costumed attendees and massive decorations) that’s focused on high-energy and bass-filled EDM and the DJs and artists that perform those styles. And it’s just as much of a labor of love for its founder, says local EDM events promoter Thomas Turner of Relentless Beats.

“I love doing it,” Turner told Phoenix New Times in 2017. “It’s something that’s become very dear to me because I came up with the concept all on my own without the influence of others. For that reason, there will always be a [piece] of me that feels special about it.”

Local EDM fans also have a special place in their hearts for Crush Arizona, as evidenced by the fact that thousands of them flock to Rawhide each year for the event, including many dressed in love-themed costumes like cupid or pink and red get-ups.

Expect to encounter such characters this weekend at Crush Arizona 2019, which will feature sets from Alesso, Spag Heddy, Seven Lions, 3LAU, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Anna Lunoe, and other DJs and EDM artists.

What else is there to know about Crush Arizona 2019? Check out our comprehensive guide below for full details about this year's event.

When and where does the festival take place?
Crush Arizona 2019 happens on Friday, February 15, and Saturday, February 16, at Rawhide Event Center, 5700 West North Loop Road in Chandler. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the festival runs until 2 a.m. both nights.

How much are tickets? General admission is $69 per day and $109 for the weekend. VIP passes – which include quicker express entry, a keepsake lanyard, access to a private viewing deck, and other exclusive areas — are $109 for either Friday and Saturday or $179 for the weekend.

Is there an age limit? Yes. You have to be at least 18 to attend and at least 21 to purchase alcohol.

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Seven Lions will headline the first night of Crush Arizona 2019.
Courtesy of Primary Talent International
Who's performing this year? The 2019 lineup for crush includes such DJs and EDM artists as Seven Lions, Slander, Joyride, Spag Heddy, Wuki, Kaivon, and Bardz on Friday, February 15; and Alesso, 3LAU, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Anna Lunoe, Wooli, and Blossom on Saturday, February 16.

What's the weather going to be like? Frankly, it's going to be pretty chilly. The high on Friday evening will be 65 degrees and it’ll get down to the 40s by the end of the night. I'ts also going to be cloudy. Expect similar conditions on Saturday night. Consider wearing a hoodie, some furry festival gear, or even a bulky costume to stay warm. Or you could, you know, just dance.

How do I get there? Take the eastbound Interstate 10 to Exit 162 (Wild Horse Pass Road/Sundust Road) and hang a right. From there, take a left on Wild Horse Pass Road and follow the signs and directions to the parking lot and drop-off points.

Will there be shuttle service available? Yes. OCTIV Entertainment will offer party bus service to and from the festival on Saturday. Riders will depart from Zuma Grill in Tempe, which will host a pregame session from 3 to 5 p.m. (Note: you have to be 21 to buy alcohol.) The buses leave for Rawhide at 5 p.m. and will start returning after the festival ends each night. Tickets are $25 for either Friday or Saturday and $40 for both days.

How much is parking? It’s $10 per vehicle to park at Rawhide. Keep in mind, the earlier you arrive at the event, the closer you can get to the entrance.

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Crush Arizona is for EDM lovers.
Benjamin Leatherman
What’s it going to be like getting into the event? If you haven’t already purchased tickets, you can get those at the on-site box office. Those who have purchased admission in advance — either a hard ticket or printed copy — can exchange it for a wristband, which must be worn at all times at the festival. (If you’re attending both days, keep it on even after you’ve left Rawhide.) A valid government-issued ID is also required to enter the festival.

Like at most Relentless Beats-promoted festivals, security will conduct pat-downs and bag checks on everyone. No exceptions. See below for more details about what is and isn’t allowed at Crush Arizona.

Will there be food and drinks available? Yup. A variety of food vendors and trucks will be available at the festival for anyone who’s hungry and/or thirsty.

Can I purchase alcohol? Only if you’re over 21. Multiple bars will be set up around the festival.

Should I drink water? Absolutely. It’s going to be cold, but there’s always a chance you could get dehydrated, especially if you’re dancing. Because when you dance, you sweat. And when you sweat, you’ll need to replenish your fluids in some fashion. Thankfully, vendors will be selling bottled water and security will allow you to bring in either refillable aluminum bottles or Camelbak-style water packs (both of which must be empty when entering the event). A free refill station will be available.

When is each DJ performing? According to the official schedule for Crush Arizona 2019, the music will start immediately after gates open at 6 p.m. and go right up until 2 a.m. both nights. Here’s the complete rundown of who’s playing when.

Friday, February 15

6 p.m. — Bardz
7 p.m. — Kaivon
8:05 p.m. — Wuki
9:10 p.m. — Spag Heddy
10:15 p.m. — Joyryde
11:20 p.m. — Slander
12:45 p.m. — Seven Lions

Saturday, February 16

6 p.m. — Blossom
6:45 p.m. — Um..
7:50 p.m. — Wooli
8:55 p.m. — Anna Lunoe
10:10 p.m. — Black Tiger Sex Machine
11:20 p.m. — 3LAU
12:45 a.m. — Alesso

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A cupid at last year's Crush Arizona festival.
Benjamin Leatherman
What should I bring? Your government-issued ID and a fully-charged cellphone, for starters. Items like bandannas, small bags, and earplugs are also recommended. And most of the hallmarks of any sort of EDM fest are permitted, such as festival totems, glow sticks, LED hula hoops and poi, flags and banners, furry backpacks, fuzzy boots, animal hats, and pretty much every kind of colorful getup you’d see at a rave. You can also bring your awesome totems, but only if they are made from lightweight materials and no bigger than 10 feet in height. Inflatables are also okay, provided they are deflated when you enter Rawhide.

What shouldn’t I bring? Any of the usual items that are forbidden at a music or EDM festival, including illegal substances, drug paraphernalia, lasers, weapons (toy versions or otherwise), eye drops, outside food or drink, posters, large purses, open packs of cigarettes or tampons, or large bags. LED gloves are also verboten, which means no light shows, as are Native American headdresses.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.