Innings Festival Day 2 Rocks with the Avett Brothers Headlining

The Avett Brothers perform at Innings Festival in Tempe, AZ (Photo by Greg Cohen)

Here’s a quick recap of Day 2 of the inaugural Inning’s Festival

Initial Impressions

  • Fun Bands = Good Times. The bands were really fun.  Almost goofy at times.  They encouraged crowd engagement, were uplifting and were just plain fun.    Alternative/folk crossover music just has that vibe – wide open, light and upbeat.  Bands like The Head and The Heart, The Decemberists and headliners Avett Brothers were perfect for setting that vibe for Day 2 of the festival.  Even if you were not a fan of those specific artists, it was difficult not to be drawn in by their infectious performance.
  • A cohesive musical experience. A music festival needs to be a curated experience.  A festival producer can’t just throw a bunch of disparate acts on stage and call it a day.  The acts don’t need to be (and shouldn’t be) identical to each other, but there needs to be something similar enough about them to serve as the glue to hold the whole day together.  The organizers of Innings Festival did a great job of doing just that, especially with the last three acts of the day.  The Decemberists flowed smoothly into The Head and the Heart who flowed smoothly into The Avett Brothers.   The bands were by no means identical but there shared a common theme which really contributed to enjoyability (if that’s a word) of the entire evening of music.
  • Lighting was great. Festival stage lighting can sometimes leave a bit to be desired.  I get it – it’s hard to design unique lighting for a dozen different bands on the same day.  The lighting for Day 2 was really, really good.  Good enough to be noticeable and appreciated.
  • Later start time was great. Day 1, quite frankly, left us exhausted.  So much music, so much to do and so much to drink.  A 3:30 start time for Day 2 was perfect.
  • Shade. Unfortunately, Tempe Beach Park doesn’t have a lot of shade.  It doesn’t even really have ramadas or other shade structures.  I mentioned it yesterday, the Malibu Rum Pavilion not only put on a good little party within a party, but it also provided some needed shade after the first couple hours in the sun.

Day 3

Day 3 of Innings Festival kicks off today at 2:00 with Patrick Sweany on the Right Field Stage and Kelley James on the Left Field Stage.  Highlights of Day 2 will be:

  • Headliner Chris Stapleton
  • Dispatch
  • Counting Crows
  • Luke Combs
  • Citizen Cope
  • J Roddy Walson & The Business
  • Tyminski

We are really looking forward to seeing Dispatch today.  We tried to figure out the last time Dispatch performed in the Valley and we, unfortunately, came up empty.  They toured extensively during the late ’90s so it’s likely they came through Phoenix at some point.  But I think it’s safe to say that for most of us, this will be our first opportunity to see the band live here.

A 1 day GA ticket is still available for $95.00 plus fees at


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