Attending the Vans Warped Tour in Phoenix is something of an endurance test.
The annual traveling circus of rock, punk, and indie music has typically hit the Valley during the hottest part of the year. And it's almost always been held at an outdoor venue, which means festivalgoers have had to tough it out in triple-digit temperatures while rocking out.
Such was the case when the tour first stopped in the Valley in 1996, back when Ak-Chin Pavilion was called Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion and the headliners were Fishbone, Dance Hall Crashers, and Pennywise.
It should be just as beastly hot when Warped Tour makes its latest visit to Phoenix on Thursday, June 28, which will ultimately be its last. (As you may have heard by now, 2018 will be the final full cross-country jaunt for Vans Warped Tour.)
And we’ve got a rundown of everything you’ll need to know in order to survive the Warped Tour’s Phoenix stop, including what to wear and how to stay cool in the heat.
When and Where: Vans Warped Tour 2018 will take over Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue, on Thursday, June 28. Gates open at 11 a.m., and the festival goes until 9 p.m.
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Prices: General admission tickets are $36 (plus service fees) and are available via Ticketmaster or at the venue’s box office.
Age Limits: Warped Tour is open to all ages. That said, promoters recommend that children under 8 shouldn’t attend due to the stifling heat and overwhelming noise levels.
Parents can get in free to the festival ("How do you do, fellow kids!") in order to accompany their child, albeit with some restrictions. Kids must have a paid ticket and be under the age of 16, while their parental units must be at least 28 or older. You also can’t switch out parents halfway through the day or pass off an older sibling as either your mom or dad.
There's also a "Reverse Daycare Tent" for parents that will offer cold drinks and a variety of distractions. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Weather: It’s going to be really friggin’ hot on Thursday. Like absolutely molten hot. Temperatures will peak at 109 degrees and there will be nary a single cloud in the sky. In other words, you should have sun protection, drink a ton of water, and seek out shade whenever possible.
Getting There: Ak-Chin Pavilion is located near 83rd Avenue and Palm Lane. Since there isn’t public transportation to the venue beyond Valley Metro buses, you’re most likely going to be driving. If so, take Interstate 10 west and exit at either 79th or 83rd avenues and head north. There are entrances off either street.
Parking: It’s free to park at the venue (since the cost is included in the ticket price) and the lot opens at 9:30 a.m. If you’d like to purchase VIP parking (which is closer to the entrances) it's $20 per regular vehicle and $40 for buses, limos, RVs, and other larger rides.
Getting Inside: Security will perform bag searches and pat-downs on every patron. If you’d like to skip the lines, express entry is available for those who donate three canned goods, a used cellphone, or $5 at the Feed Our Children NOW! Tent near the main entrance.
No re-entry will be allowed, so make sure you’ve got everything you need before heading into the festival.
Stage Lineups: A total of six different stages will host sets at Warped Tour’s Phoenix stop. And while the schedule won’t be released until just after gates open (look for a large inflatable sign near the Journeys Left Foot Stage) we’ve got a rundown of where specific bands will be performing.
Journeys Left Foot Stage
Reel Big Fish
Black Veil Brides
Journeys Right Foot Stage
Falling In Reverse
Four Year Strong
This Wild Life
We The Kings
Mutant Red Dawn Stage
The Amity Affliction
Ice Nine Kills
Mutant White Lightning Stage
Crown The Empire
Every Time I Die
Hail The Sun
In Hearts Wake
Motionless In White
Assuming We Survive
Dead Girls Academy
Full Sail Stage
Vendors: Vendors are as much a part of Warped Tour as black T-shirts. Booths for both festival and band merch will be there, of course, as well as a number of music-related vendors. Several meet-and-greets and autograph sessions with bands and artists will also take place throughout the day.
Food and Drink: All of Ak-Chin Pavilion’s food and drink stands will be open and operating during the festival. A number of food trucks and vendors will be on-site and
Water: Staying hydrated is an absolute must at every music festival. That goes triple for the Warped Tour stop in Phoenix, considering you’ll be spending a day in the summertime heat, surrounded by concrete and black asphalt, and probably sweating like mad.
You’ll want to eat breakfast and drink water before you head to the venue, drink some more after you arrive, and keep drinking throughout the day.
Patrons can each bring
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Staying Cool: A variety of tents and other shaded areas will be available if you’d like to chill out for a bit. The pavilion part of Ak-Chin Pavilion also features a large roofed area where you can hide from the sun. The festival will also have a Slip ’n’ Slide-like attraction where folks can cool off by getting wet.
Bring: You’ll want to have a fully charged cellphone, comfortable shoes and clothing, some cash, and any kind of sun protection (read: hats, sunblock, sunglasses). Beyond that, low-profile lawn chairs, blankets, towels, personal misting fans, vape pens, e-cigs, and actual cigarettes are all allowed.
When it comes to bags, security will only allow clear ones that measure no bigger than 12 inches by 6 inches. (Clear totes can be purchased at the venue for $10 each.) Small clutch wallets will also be permitted, but only those that measure around 4 inches by 6 inches.
Don't Bring: For starters, anything that’s considered dangerous (like weapons and fireworks) or disruptive (noisemakers, air horns). Drugs and drug-related paraphernalia are also banned, as are large bags, outside food and drinks, coolers, cans and bottles, selfie sticks, laser pointers, and glow sticks (save those for the next rave).