The Philadelphia Phillies tap the DJs for baseball’s first EDM show.
From the National Anthem to the seventh-inning Stretch to occasional post-game rock concerts, music and baseball have a long-lasting relationship. But on July 5, the Philadelphia Phillies will embrace America’s EDM fanatics by hosting Dutch DJ duo W&W for a set after their holiday weekend game against division rivals, the Atlanta Braves.
“We know it’s a little unusual, but two of the most passionate fan bases out there are dance music and sports,” Phillies Director of Marketing and Special Projects Michael Harris told Billboard. “So [we thought], ‘let’s try to blend them together for a unique event.’”
W&W have built up a steady following which has exploded in the last year as they've released a series of original tracks and remixes imbued with their trademark Dutch house sound, designed for peak-hour play. This kind of festival crowd appeal caught the attention of the Phillies. The team was looking for an “A” act that would stand out from typical Major League fare. W&W's management company, Red Light, reportedly “jumped at the opportunity and recognized immediately the value in trying something new and unique.”
At the end of the July 5 home game, all ticket holders will be invited to Citizens Bank Park’s Ashburn Alley entertainment area where they can listen to a 90-minute set from W&W. The Phillies will also offer fans a $5 discount on all available tickets on its website, making the cost of admission to the game and show as low as $12.
“We're always looking for ways to make [the park] more festive and more fun, so we thought 'let's try something new,’” Harris said. “The macro point of this is to create something for our fans to do after the game is over. The ballpark really is a destination spot and a fun place to hang out.”
The Phillies have enlisted local nightclub Soundgarden Hall to aid with the production and promotion of the event. The team anticipates W&W’s own popularity to attract a larger-than-usual crowd, especially for a post-game event. While the space can accommodate a few thousand attendees, Harris says the team would be satisfied with an intimate showing of 1,000-1,500. (The stadium’s capacity, by comparison, is just shy of 44,000.)
“What kind of crowd we’re expecting is kind of hard to predict,” Harris said. “It is a holiday weekend which presents some challenges, but at the same time there’s a lot going on in Philadelphia on July 4, it’s a very popular game, and we can’t be overwhelmed.”
As every baseball fan knows, one factor beyond the Phillies’ control is the weather, which has the potential to disrupt plans entirely. Still, organizers are hopeful that the uniqueness of the event and the possibility of a balmy Philadelphia summer night will be enough to get people to stick around after the last inning.
“This is not going to be a typical EDM event,” Harris adds. “We realize it’s a little out of the box — but hopefully that’s part of the appeal.”