Free Concert Fun at Tempe Marketplace

Kate Allen, Columnist

November is finally here, which means Arizona finally won’t be sitting in 100 degree weather all day. This opens up a wide range of outdoor activities for families and friends all around the state. Most activities these days are not too budget-friendly, for they often take a large chunk out of your wallet with the expenses of entry, food, drink, and entertainment.

Tempe Marketplace, which is located on McClintock and Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe, Arizona, hosts many outdoor concerts that are completely free to the public. The range of genres for bands performing on the stages are wide set, so everyone can find a band they enjoy to jam out to. On the homepage of the Tempe Marketplace website, all of the upcoming live bands playing are displayed with dates flowing all the way through December.

Many local bands come to play at this venue but larger bands, such as Børns, have come to play at the Marketplace as well. The sets of the artists are shorter due to the multiple opening bands and the venue closing at 10 p.m. after the concert is finished. Most of the concerts start around 7 p.m., with two opening bands playing for 30 minutes each. After, the main group comes on and plays for about an hour, making the concert a full three hours long, including the band changes and sound checks made between the alternating bands.

Most people dance and sing to the music, which can make them thirsty and tired. Free water is often provided by the sponsors of Tempe Marketplace concerts, such as 7-Up and Bud Light. Restaurants are unfortunately not free on these nights, but can still help to fill hungry stomachs after dancing the night away. Security is provided at the entry to check all bags and persons entering the venue before the concert. Two lines are formed when entering, “bags” and “no bags.” The bag-free line usually moves through a lot quicker, giving concert-goers a better chance to get closer to the stage.

Many of the upcoming concerts are family-friendly for older kids (so, not for your toddler who hates loud noises, but your 8-year-old who can handle a crowd) and will make a fun outing time to enjoy the nice Arizona fall weather. Through December, there are free concerts every single Friday and Saturday evening from 7-10 p.m. with groups ranging from hard rock, big band swing, and traditional Latin bands.