Everything You Need to Know About Wet Electric 2018

Get your bathing suits and pool toys ready, y'all. Wet Electric returns this weekend.
Get your bathing suits and pool toys ready, y'all. Wet Electric returns this weekend. Benjamin Leatherman
Pool parties have become a major hallmark of the warmer months here in the Valley — so much so that it seems like every weekend during the spring and summer features a stylish poolside bacchanal of drinks, dancing, and DJs happening in either Phoenix or Scottsdale.

And then there's Wet Electric, the daylong electronic dance music festival that amps up the pool party concept to unbelievable levels by taking over an entire water park — specifically Big Surf in Tempe — and bringing in a stellar array of DJs and dance music artists, and attracting a rowdy crowd of thousands of revelers clad in bikinis, board shorts, and bathing suits who are eager to dance, drink, and rage.

Such will be the case at this year’s edition of Wet Electric 2018, which will take place on Saturday, April 28, and transform the Tempe waterpark into an ultra-colorful dance fiesta with EDM superstars performing on an enormous stage perched in the middle of Big Surf’s 2.5-million-gallon wave pool with thousands watching (and dancing along) from the water.

Here's everything you need to know about the event.

The main stage at Wet Electric will be located in Big Surf's wave pool. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
The main stage at Wet Electric will be located in Big Surf's wave pool.
Benjamin Leatherman
When and Where: Wet Electric 2018 goes down on Saturday, April 28, at Big Surf, 1500 North McClintock Drive in Tempe. Gates open at noon, music starts shortly thereafter, and the festival runs until 9 p.m.

Prices: General admission is $59 and includes access to Big Surf's waterslides. VIP tickets are $125 and feature such perks as a commemorative lanyard and badge, express entry into the park, and access to exclusive and shaded areas.

If you'd like to live large, daybeds are $1,280 and cabanas are $1,980 and include bottle service, admission for parties of six or eight (respectively), and other amenities.

Age Limits: Wet Electric is open to anyone 18 or older. You have to be 21 or older to drink.

Who's Performing: This year's lineup will feature sets by Adventure Club, Bro Safari, Crizzly, Dr Fresch, Loud Luxury, Sevenn, JPhlip, SNBRN, Codes, Lavelle Dupree, and Shift K3y. Worthy and Option 4 will also perform a back-to-back set. Performances will happen on the main stage in the Waikiki Beach wave pool and over at the side stage near the picnic area.

click to enlarge BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Benjamin Leatherman
Weather: The forecast calls for plenty of sun and temperatures in the 90s. In other words, perfect pool party weather.

Getting There: Big Surf is located along McClintock Drive just north of the Loop 202 in Tempe. Since the closest light rail station is almost two miles away, you can either drive or take a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft.

OCTIV Entertainment will also offer one-way shuttle bus service to the waterpark from downtown Tempe. A pre-party will take place starting at noon at Zuma, which is also the pickup location. Buses will depart at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $15.

Parking: It’s $10 per vehicle to park at Big Surf.

Getting Inside: Security will conduct bag searches and pat-downs of everyone entering the event. Make sure you’ve got everything you need before getting in line, since re-entry is not permitted.

Lockers: Lockers, each outfitted with charging cords for both Android and iPhone, will be available to rent for $15 each.

Food and Drinks: Big Surf’s concession stand will be open for business during Wet Electric with pizza, sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, soft drinks, and similar options. A full-service bar stocked with libations will also be available.

Vendors: An array of vendors stocked will be set up at the park, each offering a variety of festival-friendly items like sunglasses, swimwear, T-shirts, and other apparel for sale.

click to enlarge Inflatable pool toys are welcome at Wet Electric. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Inflatable pool toys are welcome at Wet Electric.
Benjamin Leatherman
Bring: A government-issued ID and fully charged phone are both recommended, as are sunglasses, sun protection, earplugs, and (of course) a towel and a change of clothes. Inflatable pool toys will be allowed, as are banners or handmade signs, and fanny packs or small bags.

Don't Bring: Any illegal substances or drug paraphernalia, weapons, outside food or drink, Camelbak-style water bladder systems, fireworks, oversized bags, coolers, eyedrops, and anything else potentially dangerous or distracting. It also goes without saying that any swimwear worn at the festival has to cover all of your naughty bits.

After-Party: The Monarch Theatre in downtown Phoenix will host the official Wet Electric after-party, which will kick off right after the festival ends. Dr. Fresch, SNBRN, and other DJs will perform. Doors are at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $25 for VIP access.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.