Phoenix Lights 2017 moves out of Phoenix in last-minute venue change

During a 2015 Phoenix Lights production, the production crew for the Phoenix Lights Festival work the lights and sound as thousands watch Zeds Dead perform in Civic Space Park. (Nikiana Medansky/DD)

Just two days before the festival, organizers announced that Phoenix Lights will be moving from downtown Phoenix to Chandler.

The Marquee Relentless Beats EDM festival Phoenix Lights, which is still planned for April 8-9, will be moving locations from Margaret T. Hance Park to Rawhide Town & Event Center in Chandler.

A press release announcing the new location said the last minute change is because of circumstances out of the festival’s control, and that there were “logistical hurdles, making a build out at the location unfeasible.”

“The promoter made the decision to move the event and notified our department this morning,” Gregg Bach, a representative of the Phoenix Parks and Recreation department, said in an email. “The venue was ready to host the event and we look forward to working with them for future events.”

Last weekend, the park hosted the March Madness Music Festival which attracted large crowds and Final Four fans to watch concerts and other activities.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, the timetable to execute a safe event was not there. We want to assure all our fans that we will still have an amazing event and we are excited to welcome them to Rawhide,” Relentless Beats founder Thomas Turner said in an email. “We look forward to working with the city of Phoenix to bring Phoenix Lights back to downtown next year and thank them for their support.”

The festival gets its name from an alleged UFO sighting that occurred in Phoenix in 1997, colloquially known as Phoenix Lights. For the past two years, the popular festival took place downtown and has attracted many EDM fans. The event started as a one-day concert in Civic Space Park and, after its success, expanded and grew in numbers to a two-day festival in Hance Park.

Phoenix Lights listed downtown hotels on their website that would be near the original location for the festival, which may force some concert goers to travel further in order to reach the festival. To account for this issue, the Marquee Relentless Beats set up shuttles that will be available to take people from downtown hotels to Chandler. The pickup location has been set for the corner of First and Moreland streets.

“While we had to move locations in the 11th hour, we are looking forward to being back in downtown Phoenix in 2018,” Chad David Shearer, a representative of the organizers, said in an email.

Even after the location changes, the line-up, artists and set lists remain the same.

General admission tickets are still available at $159 for two-day passes, and single-day passes are available at $89 and $79 on Saturday and Sunday. The event will be 18 years and up. Tickets can be purchased on the festival’s website.

Artists such as 21 Savage, Alesso, Above & Beyond and more will be performing on Saturday and Sunday. The event will also have VIP reserved tables for ages 21 and up.

“Relentless Beats throws over 300 events a year, each with their own vibe,” Shearer said. “But with Phoenix Lights … we want them to have such a good time that they cannot miss it next year.”

Contact the reporter at bayne.froney@asu.edu.