Nerd Culture

Best Things to Do This Weekend: Hell City Tattoo Festival, Get Weird, Beth Cato

Setting off down the Grand Canyon's Bright Angel Trail toward Phantom Ranch Canteen.
Setting off down the Grand Canyon's Bright Angel Trail toward Phantom Ranch Canteen. Scott Temme/Xanterra Parks & Resorts
Say hell no to FOMO. This weekend you can gawk at great ink at the Hell City Tattoo Festival, Get Weird with ASU Art Museum's mystery event, and travel to Arizona's national parks. You can't go wrong. For more things to do, visit New Times' curated calendar.

National Park Service Birthday
Arizona’s national parks and monuments offer sights you can’t see anywhere else, including the majestic Grand Canyon and stunning Petrified Forest. Besides taking in the scenery, visitors can go exploring, hiking, boating, or fishing, and learn about the state’s history, plants, and wildlife.

On Friday, August 25, you can visit the state’s national parks and monuments for free as part of the National Park Service Birthday. Developed to conserve and protect such spaces, the park service started in 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson signed an act forming the organization. Other key figures, including President Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Stephen Mather played roles in the establishment and growth of the national organization.

In honor of the annual day of celebration, national parks in Arizona will waive entrance and vehicle fees for the day. Camping, reservation, and tour fees aren’t included. For more information about Arizona’s national parks, visit the NPS website. Laura Latzko

click to enlarge It's probably going to get weird. - LAMP LEFT MEDIA/COURTESY OF ASU ART MUSEUM
It's probably going to get weird.
Lamp Left Media/Courtesy of ASU Art Museum
Get Weird
Remember the “mystery flavor” Dum Dums sucker? The wrapper was all purple and enticing, with little question marks all over it. Well, that’s exactly the vibe ASU Art Museum is going for with Get Weird.

You know about its Escape the Museum events? This is supposed to be bigger, badder, and, as you might’ve guessed, weirder. No one is giving away any details beyond that. Though we can tell you there’s free admission, free food, games, and photo ops galore.

Get Weird from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, August 25, at 51 East 10th Street in Tempe. Attendees are asked to register at For more information (good luck with that), call 480-965-2787 or see the ASU Art Museum website. Lauren Cusimano

click to enlarge The bar for admission to The Cemetery Club is relatively high. - MARK GLUCKMAN
The bar for admission to The Cemetery Club is relatively high.
Mark Gluckman
The Cemetery Club
The three old friends who constitute The Cemetery Club are widows who meet for tea each month before visiting their husbands’ graves. This sounds, frankly, like a rockin’ social event: Tea is good, friends are good, and we probably wouldn’t have cemeteries if people didn’t want to visit them. (Not nice cemeteries, anyway.)

But every person compares themself to others to some degree, so our Queens-dwelling heroines, Ida, Doris, and Lucille, are a tad competitive about who’s grieving/moving on better. Throw in an eligible man (a butcher, yet!), and insecurities rage, to often comic effect.

In 1993, Ivan Menchell’s play became a niche film featuring Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello, Diane Lane, and Ellen Burstyn. The stage version continues at Theatre Artists Studio through Sunday, September 17. On opening night, Friday, August 25, showtime is 7:30 p.m. at 4848 East Cactus Road. Admission is $15 to $25. Visit the Studio website or call 602-765-0120. Julie Peterson

Read on for more of the best things to do in metro Phoenix this weekend, including Hell City Tattoo Festival, Beth Cato, and a fight viewing party.
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil
Rob is a Phoenix native, husband, dad, and an active member in the local music scene. He's written original songs for feature films.
Contact: Rob Kroehler
Laura Latzko
Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson
Michael runs the Sci-Fridays Book Club at the Poisoned Pen, and volunteers at local pop-culture conventions. He can be found at the occasional prog-rock concert.
Contact: Michael Senft