Phoenix/ Fun & Entertainment
AI Assisted Icon
Published on February 20, 2024
Innings Festival Returns to Tempe with Street Closures and Star-Studded Music LineupSource: Innings Festival

Tempe's pitch to music and baseball fans, the Innings Festival, swings back into full force next weekend, and the city's prepping for a traffic curveball. Set to take place over two weekends, street closures are coming into effect from Feb. 23 to Feb. 24 and from Mar. 1 to Mar. 2. Music aficionados making their way to the shindig will have to reroute as east and westbound Rio Salado Parkway and southbound Mill Avenue get benched. Festival-goers are being pointed towards the light rail's nine stops in Tempe to dodge the downtown deadlock, according to 12news.

Not to be sidelined, last year's Innings Festival threw a few curveballs with the weather throwing fans a chill as temperatures dived performances. In the late inning of the event, spectator comfort turned frostier than a snow cone at the ballpark, with temps reportedly dropping to shorts-and-a-hoodie-unfriendly 50 degrees, per AZ Central.

Amidst the sensory overload of cracking bats and soaring guitars, the festival hitched a memorable moment when Vedder went to bat with humor, quipping about baseball and stature. "No, Randy Johnson is huge,” Vedder joked during a live talk show at the festival. The jocular jest went into extra innings when Johnson himself joined Vedder on stage, heightening the contrast to comedic effect. Details of a legendary bar fight story, a 6-10 Joe Pesci-like Johnson with a payphone in hand, had the crowd picturing a scene straight out of "Goodfellas," as reported by AZ Central

Those planning to join this year's festivities are being thrown a signal to plan accordingly as Tempe parks like Beach, Arts and Neil G. Giuliano will be turning away visitors through March 7 due to the activities at the bases, noted by12news