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The scene at last year's Innings Festival at Tempe Beach Park.
The scene at last year's Innings Festival at Tempe Beach Park.
Kelsee Becker

Your Guide to Innings Festival 2019 in Tempe: Tickets, Schedule, Lineups, and More

‘Tis the season for both baseball and music festivals in the Valley. Thanks to the enjoyable weather this time of year, both have become a staple springtime in the Phoenix area — and there’s no greater evidence than the Innings Festival.

The weekendlong outdoor concert event at Tempe Beach Park is a co-production of Major League Baseball and C3 Presents (the folks behind Lollapalooza) and mixes rock and jocks with multiple days of performances by bands and appearances by baseball legends.

After making its debut last spring, Innings Festival is returning this weekend for another go. This year’s edition takes place on Saturday, March 2, and Sunday, March 3, and will feature sets by such names as Eddie Vedder, Incubus, Sheryl Crow, Blues Traveler, Jimmy Eat World, and (fittingly) The Baseball Project.

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If you’re interested in attending and would like the inside scoop, check out the following guide to Innings Festival with everything you’ll need to know.

Game on!

When and where is the festival? Innings Festival 2019 takes place on Saturday, March 2, and Sunday, March 3, at Tempe Beach Park, 80 West Rio Salado Parkway. Gates open at 1 p.m. each day and the festival goes until 11 p.m. both nights.

How much are tickets? General admission is $130 per person each day or $165 for both days. If you’d like to have the VIP experience (which includes access to a special viewing platform and a “VIP Oasis featuring lounge seating, a full-service bar, and other posh amenities), it’s $340 for each day and $510 for both.

Big ballers can also spring for the “Platinum VIP” package, which includes the chance to watch performances onstage, access to an upscale lounge with catered meals and an open bar, shuttle transportation between stages, an on-site concierge service, and an exclusive bag. It's $680 per person each day or $900 for the weekend.

Are there age limits? No. The festival is an all-ages event open to everyone. Children 7 and younger will be able to get in free with a paid adult admission.

What's the weather going to be like? It will be mostly cloudy on Saturday and mostly sunny on Saturday. Temperatures will be in the mid-70s during the day, however, before getting colder as the evening progresses.

Having a blast at last year's Innings Festival.
Having a blast at last year's Innings Festival.
Kelsee Becker

What’s the best way to get there? Light rail. Hands down. There’s a station situated two or three blocks from the park, and it’s both inexpensive and hassle-free. It will cost you $2 per ride or $4 for the entire day.

Where can I park? Your best bet is to go with one of the nearby parking structures or lots instead of wasting time trying to find street parking. 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. There’s also a lot at Fifth Street and Farmer Avenue.

Additionally, you might want to consider using a Valley Metro park-and-ride lot and taking the light rail into downtown Tempe.

What’s getting in going to be like? The main entrance to the festival 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. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Every attendee will be issued a wristband with an RFID tag that must be registered at the festival near the entrance and worn at all times. Meanwhile, security will conduct bag searches and full-body pat-downs of every attendee upon entry. No exceptions.

Will there be re-entry? Yes. Attendees can leave and return as needed, provided their wristbands are scanned upon exit and re-entry.

How can I pay for stuff? Vendors will accept cash or cards. Additionally, Innings Festival has a cashless option where you can link a credit card, debit card, or Paypal account to your wristband. This can be done beforehand on the Innings Festival website or at the wristband registration booth at the park.

The batting cage at last year's Innings Festival.
The batting cage at last year's Innings Festival.
Kelsee Becker

What’s there to do at the festival? In addition to all the performances, Innings Festival will feature a variety of baseball-related activities. You can test your hitting skills at the batting cage, attempt to make a game-saving catch, see how good your throwing arm is at a speed pitch booth, try to steal a base, or hit a virtual home run. (Complete details about each activity can be found here.)

Beyond that, there are various displays around the park (including one that looks like an oversized baseball card) where you can stage a fun photo op, and Zia Record Exchange will have a pop-up store. Former MLB star Ryan Dempster will also conduct live interviews of various players on the Left Field stage throughout the weekend.

What sort of eats and drinks will be available? Well, befitting the festival’s baseball theme, Hoss Doggies will have hot dogs for sale at the event. Other food trucks and vendors will have options for vegetarians, meat-eaters, and vegans alike. The vendor lineup includes El Jefe Tacos, Farmboy American Fare, Hot Bamboo, Island Noodles, Pokitrition, Chipotle, Ballpark Burger Co., Romega Taqueria, Dilla Libre Gourmet Quesadillas, Killer Burgers, White Mountain Food Co., The Spot, Floridino's Pizza Muffin Truck, and Tom's BBQ.

When it comes to liquid refreshment, vendors will sell soft drinks and water while liquor companies like Corona, Jack Daniels, Maui Jim, Milagro Tequila, Malibu, Stella Rosa, and Tito's Handmade Vodka will have tents, booths, and bars around the park.

Will there be water available? Yes. 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.

Sherly Crow is scheduled to perform on Saturday at Innings Festival.EXPAND
Sherly Crow is scheduled to perform on Saturday at Innings Festival.
Mark Seliger

What's the performance schedule like? Busy, to say the least. The music start anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour after gates open each day and performances will alternate between stages. Here’s a rundown of set times for both days at Innings Festival 2019.

Saturday, March 2
Gates open at 1 p.m.

Home Plate Stage:
2 to 2:45 p.m. – The Baseball Project
3:25 to 4:25 p.m. – Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers
5:25 to 6:25 p.m. – Blues Traveler
7:25 to 8:25 p.m. – Cake
9:30 to 11 p.m. – Incubus

Right Field Stage:
1:30 to 2:15 p.m. – Dorothy
2:45 to 3:30 p.m. – Black Pistol Fire
4:25 to 5:25 p.m. – Guster
6:25 to 7:25 p.m. – Grouplove
8:25 to 9:25 p.m. – Sheryl Crow

Sunday, March 3
Gates open at 1 p.m.

Home Plate Stage:
1:45 to 2:45 p.m. – The Record Company
3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Mat Kearney
5:15 to 6:15 p.m. – Saint Paul and the Broken Bones
7:15 to 8:15 p.m. – Band of Horses
9:30 to 11 p.m. – Eddie Vedder

Right Field Stage:
2:30 to 3:30 p.m. – G. Love and Special Sauce
4:15 to 5:15 p.m. – Liz Phair
6:15 to 7:15 p.m. – Shakey Graves
8:20 to 9:25 p.m. – Jimmy Eat World

Will there be any meet-and-greets with musicians? Yes. Zia Record Exchange will have a tent and pop-up store on the east side of Tempe Beach Park that will host meet-and-greets with a variety of Innings Festival bands. Here’s the appearance schedule for both days:

Saturday, March 2

3 p.m. – Dorothy
4 p.m. – The Baseball Project
5 p.m. – Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers

Sunday, March 3

3 p.m. – St. Paul and the Broken Bones
4 p.m. – The Record Company
4:30 p.m. – G. Love and Special Sauce
5:30 p.m. – Band of Horses

Arizona Diamondbacks legend Matt Williams.EXPAND
Arizona Diamondbacks legend Matt Williams.

Where will the baseball players be at the festival? You can catch MLB superstars and legends like Roger Clemens, Matt Williams, and Bret Saberhagen hanging out at the speed pitch area, batting cage, and elsewhere throughout the weekend. What follows is a rundown of where each will be either day.

Saturday, March 2

Speed Pitch Area:
2:30 to 3:30 p.m. – Shawn Estes
3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Bret Saberhagen
4:30 to 5:30 p.m. – Huston Street
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. – Jake Peavy
7:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Roger Clemens

Batting Cage:
4:30 to 5:30 p.m. – Eric Byrnes
5:45 to 6:45 p.m. – Matt Willams

Left Field:
6:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Off the Mound with Ryan Dempster

Sunday, March 3

Speed Pitch Area:
4:15 to 5:15 p.m. – Roger Clemens
5:15 to 6:15 p.m. – Jake Peavy

Batting Cage:
4:45 to 5:45 p.m. – Sean Casey
7:15 to 8:15 p.m. – Jim Thome

Left Field:
6:15 to 7:15 p.m. – Off the Mound with Ryan Dempster

Signing Tent:
3 to 5 p.m. – Rollie Fingers

What should I 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.

What shouldn’t I 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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