Innings Festival wrapped up the weekend with a day dominated by country music with a little jam band thrown in for good measure. Festival organizers report 33,000 attendees over 3 days, which is pretty respectable for a freshman effort during a crowded festival season.
Bringing the Country. Tyminski, Luke Combs and headliner Chris Stapleton brought the country and the country fans showed up in full support. Just by observation, it was the most crowded day of the festival with boots and buckles dominating the crowd. The crowd was clearly there for Chris Stapleton, who is one of the hottest artists in country right now, and he did not disappoint.
- Dispatch Rocks. Leading up to the festival we were really excited to see Dispatch. In fact, they may have been the band we were most excited to see this Festival. For those not familiar with Dispatch, they had a bit of a cult following when they were first active in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The band came back together for reunion concerts in New York in 2007 and Washington, DC in 2009. The concert in New York was originally one show as a benefit for charities that are fighting disease, famine and social injustice primarily in Zimbabwe but also here in the United States. The first announced show at Madison Square Garden sold out in thirty minutes. They announced a second show, which sold out in a day. They announced a third show that also sold out in a day. The band finally came back together in 2011 and resumed recording and touring. The wonderful folks of Innings Festival brought Dispatch to the Valley for the first time since they reunited. While they may not be a household name, Dispatch is a tremendous jam band with a strong message and it was a treat to get to see them.
- Baseball Was a Cute Tie-In. The festival featured a batting c
age, a Wiffle Ball (style) home run derby, and a speed pitch radar gun. Sunday featured MLB pitcher Jake Peavy throwing some home run derby. It was a nice tie-in to MLB Spring Training, which is going on across the Valley right now.
- The Food Was Great. We mentioned this on Day 1 – we really enjoyed the food. And when we say food, we really mean the Pizza Kones from the Kono Pizza truck. Where have you been all our lives. These were amazing!!! And the cone made for perfect festival hand food.