Eagles of Death Metal are scheduled to perform on Friday, March 23, at the Innings Festival.EXPAND
Eagles of Death Metal are scheduled to perform on Friday, March 23, at the Innings Festival.
Courtesy of the Innings Festival

Everything You Need to Know About the Innings Festival

There’s a curious connection between baseball and indie and alternative rock.

They’ve intersected at various points over the years, like when Ben Gibbard and Belle & Sebastian penned odes to major league stars, and when indie supergroup The Baseball Project released three albums inspired by stats and slang.

Then there’s the inaugural Innings Festival this weekend at Tempe Beach Park. The three-day concert event is a co-production of Major League Baseball and C3 Presents (the folks who run Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits festivals) and is tied to spring training.

The baseball-themed music festival features a crackerjack lineup that leans toward indie and alternative rock bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Young the Giant, Eagles of Death Metal, Cold War Kids, Sylvan Esso, The Head and The Heart, The Decemberists, and Counting Crows.

There's even be a baseball-inspired act on the roster: The Martin Johnson-fronted indie pop band The Night Game is scheduled to perform at the festival.

If you’re interested in swinging through Tempe Beach Park, we’ve got all the details you’ll need to know. Game on.

Bishop BriggsEXPAND
Bishop Briggs
Jabari Jacobs

When and Where: The Innings Festival will run from Friday, March 23, to Sunday, March 25, at Tempe Beach Park, 80 West Rio Salado Parkway. Hours are from 3 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 1:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Sunday.

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Prices: General admission is $89 on Friday and Saturday, $95 for Sunday, and $169 for all three days. VIP tickets are $225 each day — or $499 for the whole festival — and include access to viewing platforms and other exclusive areas, free beverages, complimentary lockers, and other amenities and perks.

Big ballers who desire a big-league experience can spring for the Platinum package, which offers onstage viewing spots, an on-site concierge, golf cart rides between stages, and more. It’s $599 per day or $1,200 for the weekend.

No matter what option you go with, each patron will be issued an wristband with an RFID tag that must be worn at all times.

Age Limits: The festival is an all-ages event. Children 7 and younger get in free with a paid adult admission.
Weather: It’s going to be great baseball (and festival) weather, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the 80s throughout the weekend. You’ll want to have sun protection and consider taking a break underneath a tree or in the shade now and again.

The Decemberists are headed for the inaugural Innings Festival.EXPAND
The Decemberists are headed for the inaugural Innings Festival.
Andres Rockin

Getting There: A light rail station is located two blocks from the park, and it’s the most inexpensive and hassle-free way of getting to the festival. Fares are $2 per ride or $4 for the day. Lyft will also have a pick-up and drop-off area at Ash Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway.

Parking: Forget about street parking, since it’s limited to three hours max, and hit up one of the nearby parking structures instead. The Hayden Ferry Lakeside Garage is $3 per hour or $10 to $15 for the entire day. The garage at 201 South Ash Avenue is $1.50 an hour and $12 to $20 for the day.

Cyclists can park their bikes near the festival entrance for free.

Getting Inside: The main entrance is on the northwest corner of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway while the box office is located one block west at Ash and Rio Salado. Security will conduct bag searches and full-body pat-downs. Festivalgoers can leave and return as needed, provided their wristbands are scanned upon exit and re-entry.

Lord HuronEXPAND
Lord Huron
Ian Holliday

Daily Lineups and Schedule: As we mentioned, the roster of bands at Innings Festival largely will be of the indie bent, along with a smattering of Americana and alternative rock acts. Three stages will be located throughout Tempe Beach Park, all of which will be baseball-themed (“Left Field,” “Right Field,” and “Home Plate”). Here’s who’s playing each day:

Friday, March 23
Gates open at 3 p.m.)

Right Field Stage
3:45 to 4:30 p.m.: Mikky Ekko
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Phosphorescent
7:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Eagles of Death Metal
9:30 to 10:30 p.m.: Cold War Kids

Left Field Stage
4 to 4:30 p.m.: Swagar and Company
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Mondo Cozmo
7:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Burger Battle Chef Demo with Beau MacMillan
9:30 to 10:30 p.m.: Craig Finn and the Uptown Controllers

Home Plate Stage
4:30 to 5:30 p.m.: Bishop Briggs
6:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Sylvan Esso
8:30 to 9:30 p.m.: Young the Giant
10:30 to midnight: Queens of the Stone Age

Saturday, March 24
(Gates open at 3 p.m.)

Right Field Stage
3:30 to 4:15 p.m.: Caamp
5 to 6 p.m.: The Night Game
7 to 8 p.m.: Food Fight with Beau MacMillan
9 to 10 p.m.: The White Buffalo

Left Field Stage
3:30 to 4:15 p.m.: The Main Squeeze
5 to 6 p.m.: Gin Blossoms
7 to 8 p.m.: Local Natives
9 to 10 p.m.: The Head and the Heart

Home Plate Stage
4 to 5 p.m.: White Reaper
6 to 7 p.m.: Lord Huron
8 to 9 p.m.: The Decemberists
10 p.m. to midnight: The Avett Brothers

J. Roddy Walston and the BusinessEXPAND
J. Roddy Walston and the Business
Eric Ryan Anderson

Sunday, March 25
(Gates open at 1:30 p.m.)

Right Field Stage
2 to 2:45 p.m.: Patrick Sweany
3:30 to 4:30 p.m.: J. Roddy Walston and the Business
5:45 to 6:45 p.m.: Luke Combs
8 to 9 p.m.: Dispatch

Left Field Stage
2 to 2:30 p.m.: Kelley James
3:30 to 4:30 p.m.: Mt. Joy
5:45 to 6:45 p.m.: Bar Brawl with Beau MacMillan
8 to 9 p.m.: Jake Bugg

Home Plate Field
2:45 to 3:30 p.m.: Tyminski
4:45 to 5:45 p.m.: Citizen Cope
6:45 to 8 p.m.: Counting Crows
9 to 10:30 p.m.: Chris Stapleton

Food: Yes, they’ll have hot dogs at the festival, courtesy of Hoss Doggies. A variety of other food trucks will have options for vegetarians, meat-eaters, and vegans. The vendor lineup includes El Jefe Tacos, Island Noodles, White Mountain Food Co., Kono Pizza, Pokitrition, Romega Taqueria, Hot Bamboo, and Nomad Street Cuisine.

Chef Beau MacMillan will emcee food-related events, including chef demos and competitions, on the Left Field stage each day. On Friday, there’s an “Ultimate Burger Battle” from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. featuring chefs Jacob Ellis, Russell LaCasce, and Aaron May duking it out. Some mystery celebrity guests might also make appearances.

Celebs and musicians will also participate in the “Food Fight” relay eating and drinking contest from 7 to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Local craft cocktailers will take the stage for the “Bar Brawl” mixology competition from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. on Sunday.

Drinks: There will be more than just Gatorade to whet your whistle, as vendors will have a variety of soft drinks available. If you’d like something harder, Miller Lite will have a “party bar.” Tito’s Vodka, Stella Rosa Wines, Hubert’s Lemonade, and Malibu Rum will have booths in the area between the Home Plate and Right Field stages.

Water: It’s necessary to stay hydrated this time of year, whether you’re a pro player or festival patron. You can bring two sealed one-liter bottles of water into the event. Same goes for refillable and disposable bottles or Camelbaks, provided each is empty upon entry. Free refill stations will be set up on the west side of the park near the batting cage and on the east side near the vendors.

Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn of Sylvan Esso.EXPAND
Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn of Sylvan Esso.
DL Anderson

Vendors: The Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Lottery will both have booths. Zia Record Exchange will operate a pop-up shop selling vinyl and CDs. It will also host meet-and-greets with bands and artists throughout the weekend.

Games and Distractions: Fittingly, there will be baseball-related activities around the festival, like a batting cage and home run derby challenge. There will also be a speed pitch game, which will include a clinic by MLB pitcher Jake Peavy from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. on Sunday.

Bring: Cash, sun protection, hats, a fully charged phone, and comfortable shoes are all a must for any festival. Blankets, binoculars, GoPros, basic cameras, and strollers will also be allowed. You can stow everything in a drawstring bag, small purse, or backpack, provided they don’t have multiple pockets or exceed 14 inches by 11 inches by 5 inches.

Don’t Bring:Any sort of tobacco product, as it’s banned at the park. (Sorry, smokers.) And you can forget about e-cigs or vaping devices, too. What else is out? Drugs or paraphernalia of any kind, weapons (including baseball bats), fireworks, coolers, flags, festival totems, pine tar, chairs, and inflatables.

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