Comicon Heads To Innings Festival Tempe 2022

by Brendan M. Allen

Following a cancellation in 2021 due to COVID related issues, Innings Festival returns to Tempe Beach Park on February 26th and 27th, 2022. The festival coincides with the start of Major League Baseball’s Cactus League, and features a wide variety of musical acts, centered around a baseball theme. 

Foo Fighters are headlining this year’s festival, joined by Billy Strings, St. Vincent, Dashboard Confessional, Tame Impala, The War on Drugs, Black Pumas, Nothing But Thieves, White Reaper, Fitz and the Tantrums, and more. 

On the baseball side of Innings Festival’s entertainment docket are MLB legends Ryan Dempster, Roger Clemens, Jake Peavy, Dave Stewart, Rick Sutcliffe, Tim Raines, Kenny Lofton, Eric Gagne, Jonny Gomes, Jim Abott, Sean Casey, Keith Foulke, Tim Salmon, Russ Ortiz, and more to be announced soon. 

You might be wondering what any of this has to do with our site, and I don’t blame you for wondering, but hear me out. We cover a lot of things comic book, film, gaming, pop culture, anime, and collectibles related, with a large focus on conventions. Innings Festival is essentially a baseball and music convention. 

Innings Festival 2020, Aerial Image by Roger Ho

Innings Festival has many of the hallmarks of any other entertainment convention. There are celebrity signings/meet and greet opportunities, food vendors, merch vendors, collectibles… Hell, there are even attendees who will be cosplaying as their favorite baseball players. A lot of those, actually. Go ahead. Ask me how many San Francisco Giants jerseys are in my closet. (Hint: It’s a lot.)

This will be my first time attending an Innings Festival as a journalist. I’ve attended a couple times previously as a fan, and it struck me every time how similar this environment is to every comics convention I’ve been to. The most important thing is that there is a huge fan base, coming together to celebrate a shared fandom, and that’s what Comicon is  all about.

As the convention/concert/festival/sports scene picks back up following the COVID shutdowns and we collectively learn to host and attend events safely again, the camaraderie within individual fandoms is recovering. Fans are leaning on each other and drawing strength from shared experiences that transcend politics, race, religion, and creed. These events, safely presented, are vitally important to our recovery as a nation. 

Go Giants. Beat L.A.

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