It’s finally here: the inaugural Zona Music Festival at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix. Beach house, Portugal. The Man, Japanese Breakfast, Bleachers and several dozen other acts will be spread across four stages and two days from December 3rd to 4th.
Gates open at 12pm both days, with music from 1pm or later. The festival ends at 11pm every night.
It is the first major music festival by Stephen Chilton, whose psyko Steve Presents has sponsored concerts in Metro Phoenix for 22 years.
And he’s gotten off to an amazing start with this line-up, despite the last-minute withdrawal of a fifth headliner, Tegan and Sara having to cancel due to medical reasons, according to a tweet on their official Twitter page.
Check back often on Saturdays and Sundays: we’ll be at Hance Park all weekend updating this blog with photos and highlights from the 2022 Zona Music Festival.
Zona Music Festival 2022 Guide:Everything you need to know about the brand new Phoenix event
14:45 Dancing in a sea of umbrellas to Bartees Strange
Rain started to fall around 2 p.m. during Bartees Strange’s performance at the Zona Music Festival. A sea of umbrellas filled the Nicks stage viewing area as festival-goers tried to stay dry. Strange commanded the audience to dance during his third song, “Wretched,” and umbrellas waved back and forth as people nodded their heads and danced to the music.
Tempe’s Chris Schwartz was among the fans who danced while holding his umbrella. He said the umbrella didn’t block his view of the stage. “Best $15 I’ve spent,” he said. “They should have gotten rain ponchos or umbrellas (to sell them).”
— Michael Salerno
1:45pm Sydney Sprague gets this wet party started strong
“How are you, you wet little babies?”
Sydney Sprague had just got the Zona Music Festival off to an electrifying start with a powerful reminder of how she became one of Phoenix’s fastest rising rock acts when she took a moment to address the elephant in the park .
The weather had decided it wasn’t in the mood to play nicely.
The crowd was split fairly evenly between fans wearing ponchos or holding umbrellas and people just soaking it up and it rained.
That actually suited the vibe of Sprague’s music, reminiscent of the best alternative rock explosion of the ’90s in songs that worked that classic whisper-to-scream dynamic for all it was worth while embracing the highlights of the excellent “Maybe I Will” made up for last year’s “See You At The End Of The World” with new material.
This was a second major festival win for Sprague in 2022. The second day of the Innings Festival got off to an equally promising start in February in more ideal weather conditions.
– Ed Masley
Innings Festival 2022:Everything that happened at Tempe Beach Park
11:15 am Another COVID cancellation and a late start
Another of the weekend’s most anticipated sets – Waxahatchee and Kevin Morby performing together – was canceled on the day of the show due to COVID-19.
This follows Thursday’s announcement that because “Sara was bitten by the COVID bug,” Tegan and Sara tweeted.
The Zona Music Festival shared the news of Waxahatchee/Kevin Morby on Instagram and wished them a speedy recovery.
The IG post added that “unforeseen circumstances have resulted in the Pom Pom Squad’s scheduled performance being postponed to Sunday at 12:55pm”.
These recent changes have resulted in further revisions to the set times and the festival now begins at 12:55pm with a main stage set by Sydney Sprague.
The reaction on Insta was quick (and harsh).
Robertledz wrote: “This is a #$!@ (expletive) show! Rain all day with no cover. TEGAN AND SARA CANCELED along with Waxahachee and Morby. And you move pom pom to a day when I can’t see her. Worst party ever.”
Msdaggermouth wrote: “Three of the biggest acts have canceled since I bought tickets… do we get any money back??
And Bungalow9 chimed in with “time to issue refunds”.
– Ed Masley
Bow:Tegan and Sara cancel Zona Music Festival concert due to COVID-19. Here’s what we know
10:30 a.m. Looks like rain?
As the Grateful Dead so memorably observed, “Looks like rain.”
At least according to the National Weather Service, which puts a 65% chance of rain in Phoenix on Saturday as showers continue to push northeast and approach Margaret T. Hance Park, with the chance of rain increasing as the afternoon progresses. Expect a high of 61 degrees today and a low of 56 degrees tonight.
– Ed Masley