Here's Everything You Need to Know About Wet Electric 2017

Everybody in the wave pool.
Everybody in the wave pool. Benjamin Leatherman
Pool parties are a quintesstial springtime activity in the Valley. Ditto for outdoor music festivals where big-name artists and hitmakers perform in the great outdoors for thousands of fans.

And then there’s the event that combines the two: the annual Wet Electric at Big Surf in Tempe.

Every April, the electronic dance music extravaganza, which features all the hallmarks of both a DJ-powered pool party and festival rager, takes over the iconic waterpark and transforms it into a one-day haven of beats and bass.

As such, the mainstage at Wet Electric is set up in the middle of Big Surf’s Waikiki Beach wave pool, which becomes an enormous dance floor as EDM fans move to the music and splash about as numerous world-renowned DJs and producers perform.

The lineups each year feature close to a dozen heavy hitters from the dance music world, including those of both nationally known and local variety.

It makes for one of Arizona’s most unique pool parties and music festivals, and helps turn Big Surf into an epicenter for electronic dance music in the Valley for the day, particularly for anyone into epic sets, big beats, and plenty of bass.

Several thousands of EDM fans will be getting down and going hard all day long at this year’s Wet Electric, which boasts a potent lineup that includes sounds and sets from Diplo, Borgore, Audien, Kill_Frenzy, Anna Lunoe, AC Slater, and many others.

Here’s a rundown of everything you’ll need to know before heading out to the event.

click to enlarge The Wet Electric main stage in 2015. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
The Wet Electric main stage in 2015.
Benjamin Leatherman
When and Where: Wet Electric 2017 takes place on Saturday, April 29, at Big Surf Waterpark, 1500 North McClintock Drive in Tempe. Gates open at 11 a.m., and the event goes until 9 p.m.

Prices: General admission is $65. If you'd rather attend in both style and comfort, VIP tickets are $125 and include a souvenir lanyard, express entry, free zip-line rides, and access to an exclusive area featuring a private bar and posh seating like daybeds and giant bean bags.

Age Limits: If you're 18 or older, you can attend. Only those 21 and over can drink, however, and security will be checking IDs upon entry.

Who’s Performing: This year’s lineup is plenty potent and loaded up with heavy hitters and high-energy artists of the nationally known and local variety, including Diplo, Borgore, Audien, AC Slater, Kill_Frenzy, Anna Lunoe, Yookie, Jimmy Edgar, and Justin Jay. Performances will happen on both the main stage in the Waikiki Beach.wave pool and over at the RB Deep Takeover area near the picnic area.

click to enlarge Getting rowdy in the Big Surf wave pool during Wet Electric. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Getting rowdy in the Big Surf wave pool during Wet Electric.
Benjamin Leatherman
Getting There: Big Surf is on McClintock Drive just north of the Loop 202 freeway in Tempe. The closest light rail station is almost two miles away, which means you’ll have to take an Uber, Lyft, or old-fashioned taxi the rest of the way. Essentially, it's easiest to drive or carpool to the event. Parking is available for $10 per vehicle.

Weather: It'll be sunny and warm during the daytime, but you probably won't be melting. As a matter of fact, temperatures will be in the high 70s and low 80s in the afternoon and a bit chilly after dark. Plan on bringing a hoodie and/or a dry pair of clothes to change into later.

Food and Drinks: If you’re hungry for pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, or snacks both salty and sweet, Big Surf has a concession stand smack-dab in the middle of the park. They also serve soft drinks and have vending machines dotting the premises. If you want something a bit harder to imbibe, a full-service bar will be available at the event.

click to enlarge Rock out with your croc out. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Rock out with your croc out.
Benjamin Leatherman
Bring: A good attitude and a love for EDM. Your ID is also important, since you’ll need it at will call or any of the bars. And since Wet Electric is essentially a pool party writ large, all the usual accessories are allowed (sunblock, towels, sunglasses, hats, earplugs, etc.). You can even bring inflatables, provided there isn’t any air in ‘em when you enter the festival. Small bags, purses, and single-compartment backpacks are cool, as are cellphones, lighters, sealed packs of cigarettes, flags, banners, and signs.

Don’t Bring: Be sure to deep-six any illegal substances (read: drugs) or items (read: weapons) you might consider bringing. The same goes for laser pointers, e-cigs, eyedrops, camping gear, oversize bags, liquid makeup, outside food or drinks, chains, or something that could be considered disruptive or dangerous.

Oh, and you’ll also have to leave any LED gloves, microlight devices, pacifiers, and masks at home. Sorry, ravers.

Lockers: Big Surf has tons of 'em at the front of the park. You can pre-purchase lockers for $15 online, which covers the entire day. And since there's absolutely no re-entry to the event, you'll want to stuff all your, um, stuff in there.

Schedule and Set Times: the beats will begin bumping an hour after gates open at 11 a.m. Here's the complete schedule of performers for both stages at Wet Electric 2017.

Main Stage

Noon: Blossom
1 p.m.: Bijou
2:10 p.m.: Yookie
3:30 p.m.: Anna Lunoe
4:50 p.m.: Audien
6:10 p.m.: Borgore
7:30 p.m.: Diplo

RB Deep Takeover Stage

Noon: Sean Watson
1:30 p.m.: Gerry Gonza
2:45 p.m.: Jimmy Edgar
4 p.m.: Wax Motif
5:15 p.m.: Kill Frenzy
6:30 p.m.: AC Slater
7:45 p.m.: Justin Jay

After-Party: If you want to keep things going once Wet Electric wraps up for the evening, Justin Jay’s Fantastic Voyage dance party at Shady Park in Tempe is being promoted as the official after-party. The house music DJ will headline the event, which kicks off at 9 p.m. and will also feature performances by Josh Taylor, Sam Von Horn, and Benny Bridges. Tickets are $20 to $30.

Editor's note: This post has been updated since it's original publication with schedule info.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.