Tempe’s Innings Festival makes its pitch with a strong second-year lineup

 
 

The lineup for Arizona’s second-annual Innings Festival has been announced, the two-day baseball-themed fest that unifies live music with Spring Training festivities. Innings’ 2019 edition goes down March 2 and 3 at Tempe Beach Park and Arts Park, and the starting lineup is hearty.

Headlining the fest are Incubus (March 2) and Eddie Vedder (March 3), with other scheduled appearances by standout performers like Sheryl Crow, Jimmy Eat World, Grouplove, Band of Horses, Liz Phair, Guster, Shakey Graves, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Dorothy, Mat Kearney, and others.

Innings Festival comes from C3, the producers of legendary events like Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and New Orleans’s Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. Integrating baseball’s spring training with local cuisine, live music, and Tempe’s beautiful March weather, the festival brings out some of Arizona’s best features.

While the first year for Innings went impressively well, this year has started off rocky. The festival has come under fire on social media for their scheduling, most notably bringing the fest to the same weekend as long-running and beloved McDowell Mountain Music Festival. It has not been a popular decision.

Dubbed M3F, McDowell Mountain Music Festival has been a long-time favorite in the valley, bringing huge headliners like Odezsa and Empire of the Sun together with local music and cheap tickets, and is generally considered a positive force in the community with all proceeds going toward local nonprofits. Innings Festival, still a newer player in the Phoenix scene, has been criticized in the past for not integrating local music, so the schedule conflict brings even more raised eyebrows to the situation.

Innings Festival also experienced a week-long delay last month in announcing its lineup. Organization was noted strongest as one of the points of last year’s Innings Festival, with strict adherence to set times and well-trained staff.

Its success is not guaranteed in the Phoenix-area festival circuit. Phoenix’s Lost Lake Festival, which enjoyed a successful launch in 2017, cancelled this year’s October edition back in June after its lineup was announced. Superfly, the creators of Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, and more, announced the cancellation with no plans to attempt in the future.

Only time and ticket sales will tell if Innings will fare better than Lost Lake. Check out the full lineup below.

Featured Eddie Vedder image by Jason Greenough for Vanyaland, from Pearl Jam’s September shows at Fenway Park.