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The crowd at last year's Innings Festival.
The crowd at last year's Innings Festival.
Kelsee Becker

Everything You Need to Know About Innings Festival 2020

Music festivals and baseball are staples of springtime in the Valley. The annual Innings Festival combines these pleasures.

The weekend-long outdoor concert event at Tempe Beach Park is a co-production of Major League Baseball and C3 Presents (the company behind Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits). It mixes rock and jocks for two days: performances by bands and appearances by baseball legends.

After making its debut in 2018, Innings Festival is returning for its third year on Saturday, February 29, and Sunday, March 1. This year offers sets by Death Cab for Cutie, Weezer, Dave Matthews Band, Portugal. The man, ZZ Ward, Dr. Fog, Jason Isbell and the 400 unit, and Pedro the Lion.

If you’d like the inside scoop on the event, we’ve put together a guide to Innings Festival 2020 covering absolutely everything you’ll need to know.

Play ball!

When and where is the festival?
Innings Festival 2020 takes place Saturday, February 29, and Sunday, March 1, at Tempe Beach Park, 80 West Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. Gates open at 1 p.m. each day, and the festival goes until 11 p.m. both nights.

How much are tickets?
Basic general admission is $99 per person per day or $159 for both days. There’s also “general admission plus” tickets, which include access to a private bar, air-conditioned restrooms, and other perks. It’s $168 each day or $266 for the weekend. As with any of the other higher-end admission options at Innings Festival, you also get to hang out in an exclusive lounge area with various amenities.

Are there VIP packages?
Of course! They’re $295 per day, $585 for both, and offer unlimited access to private VIP areas and viewing platforms at the Home Plate and Right Field stages. You also get free beer and water, an exclusive entrance to the festival, and more. Click here for more info.

If you’d really like to splurge, Platinum VIP packages are $675 for single-day admission or $1,200 for the entire festival. Perks include on-stage viewing at the Home Plate Stage, a dedicated viewing area in front of the Right Field and Home Plate stages, and access to “platinum clubhouse” lounges. Plus, there are open bar privileges, complimentary meals, shuttles between stages, an on-site concierge, and more. (Full details can be found here.)

Will there be wristbands?
Yes. 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. They can be activated online via the Innings Festival website.

Where can I purchase tickets and pick up wristbands at the festival?
The on-site box office will be located on the southeast corner of Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. on Friday, February 28; noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, February 29; and noon to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 1. A valid photo ID is required for any transactions.

Are there age limits?
Nope. Innings 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. Organizers will also offer a free "Tag-a-Kid" service where children can get a specialty wristband that will help locate them if they're separated from their parents. (Visit the Guest Services Tents for more info.)

What’s the best way to get to the festival?
Take the light rail. A station is two blocks from Tempe Beach Park. It's $2 per ride, or $4 for an all-day pass.

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 $20 for the entire day. There’s also a surface 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.

If you're coming by bike, you can stash your ride at a corral near the main entrance.

Get up close to your favorite rock stars at Innings Fest.
Get up close to your favorite rock stars at Innings Fest.
Kelsee Becker

What will the weather be like?
It will be sunny on Saturday, February 29, and partly cloudy on Sunday, March 1. Temperatures will be in the mid-70s during the day and will get colder throughout the evening. Consider bringing a hoodie or light jacket.

Where’s the main entrance to the festival?
It's located at the entrance to Tempe Beach Park on the northwest corner of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway.

What’s security going to be like?
They will conduct bag searches and full-body pat-downs of every single attendee upon entry to the festival. No exceptions.

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

Will lockers be available?
Yes. Banks of lockers containing charger cords for iPhone and Android will be located near the main entrance (for those with general admission tickets) and in the VIP and Platinum VIP areas. Each locker measures are 11 inches wide, 13.5 inches high, and 18 inches deep and can be rented for one day or the entire festival. General admission prices are $20 per day, $35 for the weekend; VIP rates are $18 per day, $30 for the weekend; Platinum VIP lockers are free.

How do you pay for stuff at the festival?
Vendors will accept cash or cards. Innings Festival will also have 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.

You can pose for photos with a giant baseball card at Innings Festival.
You can pose for photos with a giant baseball card at Innings Festival.
C3 Presents

What’s there to do at the festival?
A slew of baseball-related activities will take place near the Left Field stage in the southwest corner of Tempe Beach Park. 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 try a virtual reality version of a home run derby. Various retired MLB stars have appearances planned around these activities. (See below for a schedule of appearances or click here for more info about each activity.)

Beyond that, retired MLB pitcher Ryan Dempster will host an on-site talk show called Off the Mound on the Left Field stage throughout the weekend. It'll feature live interviews with various baseball pros.

There will also be giant displays (like a huge baseball card) around the park where you can pose for selfies. Zia Record Exchange will also have a pop-up store inside a tent on the east side of the park.

What sort of food and drinks will be available?
First off, there will be hot dogs (befitting the baseball theme of the festival), courtesy of Hoss Doggies. Other local food trucks and vendors will serve up a range of eats, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. The lineup includes Dilla Libre Gourmet Quesadillas, Farmboy American Fare, El Jefe Tacos, Pork On A Fork, Hot Bamboo, Island Noodles, Romega Taqueria, The Fresh Shave, White Mountain Food Co., and The Spot.

When it comes to liquid refreshment, vendors will sell soft drinks and water, and bars will sell a mix of beer, wine, and spirits. Liquor companies will set up elaborate branded booths and bars, like the Corona Beach House, Milagro Cantina, Tito's Handmade Vodka Stadust Lounge, and Sierra Nevada's Hazy Little Lounge. Each will serve its respective libations.

Will there be water available?
Yes. You can bring refillable and disposable bottles or CamelBak-style water bladder systems up to 36 ounces. Each must be 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. Vendors will also have bottled water for purchase.

Death Cab for Cutie is scheduled to perform on Sunday, March 1, at Innings Festival.EXPAND
Death Cab for Cutie is scheduled to perform on Sunday, March 1, at Innings Festival.
Eliot Lee Hazel

What's the performance schedule like?
Pretty busy. The music starts anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour after gates open each day, and performances will alternate between stages. Here’s a rundown of who’s playing during both days at Innings Festival.

Saturday, February 29
Gates open at 1 p.m.

Home Plate Stage:

2:15 to 3 p.m. – Strand of Oaks
4:10 to 5:10 p.m. – Whiskey Myers
6:20 to 7:20 p.m. – Portugal. The Man
8:30 to 11 p.m. – Dave Matthews Band

Right Field Stage:

1:30 to 2:15 p.m. – Boy Named Banjo
3:05 to 4:05 p.m. – ZZ Ward
5:15 to 6:15 p.m. – Dr. Dog
7:25 to 8:25 p.m. – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

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

Home Plate Stage:

1:45 to 2:30 p.m. – Wilderado
3:15 to 4 p.m. – Pedro the Lion
5:10 to 6:10 p.m. – The Struts
7:20 to 8:20 p.m. – Rainbow Kitten Surpise
9:30 to 11 p.m. – Weezer

Right Field Stage
2:30 to 3:15 p.m. – Nikki Lane
4:05 to 5:05 p.m. – Big Head Todd and the Monsters
6:15 to 7:15 p.m. – O.A.R.
8:25 to 9:25 p.m. – Death Cab for Cutie

Test your arm at Innings Festival's speed pitch.
Test your arm at Innings Festival's speed pitch.
C3 Presents

Where will the baseball players be at the festival?
As we mentioned, MLB stars and legends like Bret Saberhagen, Kenny Lofton, and Shawn Dunston will appear at the speed pitch area, batting cage, and elsewhere throughout the weekend. Here’s the schedule:

Saturday, February 29

Speed Pitch Area:

4:30 to 5:30 p.m. – Jake Peavy
6:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Trevor Hoffman

Batting Cage Area:

2:30 to 3:30 p.m. – Kenny Lofton
4:30 to 5:30 p.m. – Eric Davis
6:15 to 7:15 p.m. – Ian Happ
6:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Aaron Rowland

Left Field Stage:

3:30 to 4 p.m. – Off the Mound with Ryan Dempster
5:45 to 6:15 p.m. – Off the Mound with Ryan Dempster

Sunday, March 1

Speed Pitch Area:

4:30 to 5:30 p.m. – Bret Saberhagen

Batting Cage Area:

2:30 to 3:30 p.m. – Wally Joyner
3 to 4 p.m. – Shawn Dunston
4:30 to 5:30 p.m. – Miguel Montero

Left Field Stage:

4 to 4:30 p.m. – Off the Mound with Ryan Dempster
6:30 to 7 p.m. – Off the Mound with Ryan Dempster

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.) Vaping devices and e-cigs are also verboten. What else is forbidden? Drugs or paraphernalia of any kind, weapons (including baseball bats), fireworks, coolers, flags, banners, festival totems, pine tar, chairs, inflatables, banging on trash cans, large backpacks or bags, hammocks, tents, and umbrellas.

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