Summer Ends music festival brings wide variety of talent to Tempe

by Dani Horn

With students all around the valley settling into college life as  Arizona summer comes to a close, the opportunity for fun in the sun is dwindling by the day.

But fear not dear readers, there is one more Arizona event where kids will be able to let loose and soak up some of those last rays of summer sun. Students will be attending Summer Ends festival this weekend at Tempe Beach Park, Thursday the 24th through Sunday the 27th as a last hurrah of summer 2015.

Put on by Lucky Man concerts each year around fall, the festival has expanded to 4 days from an already impressive 3 last year. Hip hop heavy hitters Kanye West and J. Cole are set to perform this year along with plenty of dub rock and reggae acts such as Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution and Pepper. “We grow with each festival we do,” said Tom LaPenna, owner of Lucky Man concerts.  “Having Bastille, Kendrick Lamar, Fall Out Boy and Korn for our March event helped land us J. Cole for this year’s Summer Ends.”

The four day format this year allows for even more musical genres with alt rock favorites, Cold War Kids, Brandon Flowers, Thrice and Jimmy Eat world slated for Thursday and Friday nights.“I begin researching available acts one year in advance to see who might be a possibility,” said LaPenna.“We try to book one hip hop rap show with elements of Cali Reggae bands on the same day. We also try to book one alternative day, one pop day, and one rock day.”

In keeping with previous years of low ticketing prices the festival is offering ticket specials starting at around $129 dollars. “Occasionally, we want to spark interest in a show and will do a 2-for-1 ticket,” said LaPenna. “Another thing we do on days with similar genres is offer a two-day discount ticket, which is what we are doing with the J. Cole and Kanye West events.”

Students will be taking advantage these low prices to see their diehard favorites along with wide array of new acts. “I absolutely think that $60 for like 12 bands is well worth it,” said GCC sophomore Alex Herrera. “But Hozier is gonna be there and I’m excited to sing along to his song “Take Me To Church”. I will be singing my heart out when he plays that song.”

As the show grows larger each year new accommodations are being made to give concert goers the best possible live music experience with added security measures. “Lockers and phone charging stations are a must at festivals. Patrons want a safe and secure place to put the stuff they buy so they do not have to hold on to it for the entire event.” said LaPenna.

Lucky Man will be teaming up once again with local clothing store favorite Buffalo Exchange, Dave & Busters and many other food, entertainment and clothing retailers during the show. “We have a wide variety of vendor booths including Back Fit Health, Dr. Martens, Future X Brand electric boards, Headquarters head shop, Skydive AZ, Too Glow novelties, and Red Bull to name a few,” said LaPenna.

“It’s a great experience being able to come out and support some of your favorite artists and their music,” said Herrera. “You also get to experience meeting new people and making new friends who have the same or almost the same taste in music as you.”

Show times vary with each day of the festival. Ticket and event info can be found at summerendsaz.com    

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