Sounds like enough reason to celebrate to us. And if you dig live music, there’s an event that’s geared towards marking the occasion – this weekend’s annual Summer Ends Music Festival. The four-day outdoor concert festival, one of the biggest of its kind in the Valley, takes place from Thursday, September 24, to Sunday, September 27 at Tempe Beach Park and features some pretty recognizable names, not the least of which is hip-hop icon Kanye West.
And considering the diversity of talent and star power contained within the festival’s lineup, its fairly safe to say that if you can't find something to geek out about during its four-day, you probably don't like music. A slew of genres and artists make up the Summer Ends' slate this year, ranging from indie rock, synthpop, and blue-eyed soul to hip-hop, funk, reggae, and good ol' alternative.
In order to help attendees get the most out of the experience, here’s our handy field guide to the festival, which features everything you need to know before you go.
Times/Dates: Summer Ends Music Festival will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, September 24; 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday, September 25; 1 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, September 25; and from 2:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Sunday, September. Performances will start approximately 15 minutes to an hour after the gates open each day.
Location: All four days of the festival will be at Tempe Beach Park, 80 West Rio Salado Parkway.
Price: Ticket prices vary depending on the day. Admission on Thursday, September 24, through Saturday, September 25, is $54.50, while entry on Sunday, September 27, is $100. A special two-day ticket is available for $129.50 that covers Saturday and Sunday.
The Lineup: The rundown of artists and acts scheduled to perform at this year’s festival includes Hozier, Brandon Flowers, and Cold War Kids (on September 24); Brand New, Jimmy Eat World, Spoon, Thrice, Manchester Orchestra, and Kevin Devine (on September 25); J. Cole, Big Sean, Slightly Stoopid, G-Eazy, Rebelution, Pepper, Iration, The Green, Jez Dior, and Kari Faux (on September 26), and Kanye West, Chance the Rapper, Travis Scott, Vic Mensa, Kaytranada, and Pusha T. closing things out (on September 27)
Age Limits: While Summer Ends is ostensibly an all-ages event, promoters recommend adult supervision for anyone children 12. (You might want to also consider ear protection for your young ones as well.) Individual tickets are required for each person, no matter what age they are.
Weather: No need to worry about any potential rainstorms ransacking the festival this year as the forecast calls for warm temperatures and sunny skies during all four days of the event. Daytime temperatures will be around 100 degrees throughout the weekend, so be sure to dress accordingly (including outfitting yourself with sunglasses and sunscreen).
Getting There: We wholeheartedly recommend taking the light rail, especially since there's a station mere blocks away from Tempe Beach Park. That way, you needn't worry about parking fees or a potential DUI. Fares are $2 for a single ride, $4 for an all-day pass. Park and ride lots are available along the light rail route in Tempe, Mesa, and Phoenix.
If you'd rather drive to and from the festival, you're going to want to make use of any of the parking structures situated around downtown Tempe, such as the Hayden Ferry Lakeside Garage, 68 East Rio Salado Parkway. Rates vary throughout the weekend, but generally are about $10-$20 per day.
Food and Drink: Multiple bars offering beer, wine, and spirits will be setup inside the festival, as will food vendors of a vegetarian and non-vegetarian variety.
Water: As with any outdoor event or festival in the Valley during the warmer months, its important to stay hydrated. You can bring one sealed bottle of water (up to 34 ounces) into the event and refill stations and drinking fountains will be available around the park.
Bring: Besides the aforementioned sun protection, festival attendees will be allowed to bring cigarettes, lighters, cell phones, personal cameras, fanny packs, small bags and purses, ChapStick and e-cigs into the park.
Don't Bring: Anything that’s potentially dangerous or disruptive, including weapons, fireworks, spikes or chains, laser pointers, or even selfie sticks. Other forbidden items at the festival include flags, outside foor or drink, coolers, camping gear, Camelbaks or similar hydration items, squirt guns, blankets, bicycles, or skateboards. Pets are also a no-no, so leave your furry friends at home (unless they’re of the human variety). It also goes without saying that drugs are not allowed.
Lineup and Schedules: It’s literally going to be wall-to-wall performances at the festival, with the music starting approximately 15 minutes to an hour after gates are opened each day and running right until curfew. Here’s the rundown of who’s playing when at Summer Ends...
Thursday, September 24:
4:30 p.m.: Gates open
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.: Cold War Kids (indie rock, blue-eyed soul)
6:55 p.m. - 7:55 p.m.: Brandon Flowers (synthpop, alt-rock, New Wave)
8:25 p.m. - 9:55 p.m.: Hozier (indie rock, soul, blues)
Friday, September 25:
5:00 p.m.: Gates open
5:15 p.m.-6:00 p.m.: Kevin Devine (folk rock, alt-rock, indie)
6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.: Manchester Orchestra (indie rock, alt-rock)
7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.: Spoon (indie rock, art rock, experimental)
8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.: Thrice (post-hardcore)
9:00 p.m.-10:15 p.m.: Jimmy Eat World (emo, power pop)
10:15 p.m.-11:45 p.m.: Brand New (indie rock, post-hardcore, pop punk)
Saturday, September 26:
1:00 p.m.: Gates open
1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.: The Green (roots reggae)
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.: Jez Dior (grunge rap)
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Iration (reggae, dub)
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Kari Faux (hip-hop, R&B)
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.: Pepper (reggae rock, alt-rock, dub)
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.: G-Eazy (hip-hop)
7:00 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.: Rebelution (reggae)
8:15 p.m. - 9:15 p.m.: Big Sean (hip-hop)
9:15 p.m. - 10:15 p.m.: Slightly Stoopid (psychedelic rock, reggae, punk)
10:30 p.m. - 11:45 p.m.: J. Cole (hip-hop)
Sunday, September 27:
2:30 p.m.: Gates open
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Kaytranda (hip-hop)
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Vic Mensa (hip-hop)
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.: Pusha T (rap)
6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.: Chance the Rapper (hip-hop, rap)
7:15 p.m. - 8:10 p.m.: Travis Scott (hip-hop, rap)
8:20 p.m. - 9:50 p.m.: Kanye West (hip-hop)