It's not a bad thing to go to Hell City.
It's not a bad thing to go to Hell City.
Susumu Kumatsu

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

So much to do, so little time. This weekend you can get inked at Hell City Tattoo Festival, watch the Diamondbacks take on the Mariners, or go see the BlakTina Dance Festival. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' calendar

Hell City Tattoo Festival
Thinking about getting some ink? You’re not alone. According to Statista, a majority of folks either have a tattoo or eagerly want one. If you fall into the latter category, and would like something more grand than just a skull or butterfly, head for the Hell City Tattoo Festival this weekend at the Arizona Biltmore, 2400 East Missouri Avenue.

More than 200 artists from throughout the Valley and around the world will transform blank skin into living masterpieces during the three-day event, which runs from Friday, August 24, to Sunday, August 26.

Organized by Ohio-born tattoo guru Durb Morrison, Hell City events have taken place in the Valley for more than a decade and celebrate the best artists working in the field today. This year’s festival is no exception, and will feature tattoo sessions, as well as competitions, art displays, aerial performances, live music, a freakshow, and more. Hours vary. Advance admission is $22 for one day, $42 for two, and $62 for the whole weekend. Visit the Hell City website for full details. Benjamin Leatherman

See choreography by Ruby Morales at BlakTina Dance Festival.EXPAND
See choreography by Ruby Morales at BlakTina Dance Festival.
Audrey Pekala

BlakTina Dance Festival
Shifting identities, pop culture, and social justice — they’re all part of this year’s BlakTina Dance Festival, happening Friday, August 24, at Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North Third Street. Licia Perea created BlakTina Dance Festival in L.A. in 2013, then worked with Phoenix-based choreographer and dancer Liliana Gomez-Dieckman to launch the Phoenix festival last year. This year’s lineup includes eight dance works by Arizona-based choreographers, plus two by choreographers based in California. They’ll explore a wide range of themes, including immigrants struggling to achieve the American Dream, systemic barriers to health care, the intersection of queer identity with politics and pop culture, female leadership, and more.

Tickets are $20. Fair warning: The festival has mature content and language, and tickets went fast last year. Visit the BlakTina Dance Festival website. Lynn Trimble

From a silly hobby to a world-renowned podcast.EXPAND
From a silly hobby to a world-renowned podcast.
Courtesy of The Fantasy Footballers

The Fantasy Footballers Podcast
Are you looking for an edge in your fantasy league’s upcoming draft? Need the right player to sub in for your star wide receiver’s bye week? Here is your chance to get solid advice on putting together your team roster from Jason Moore, Mike Wright, and Andy Holloway, the hosts of The Fantasy Footballers Podcast. The award-winning program sets itself apart from your typical sports network podcasts with its focus on strategy over stats, the camaraderie between the hosts, their humorous take on the NFL, and, most of all, being right most of the time. Make 2018 the year you ascend from your division’s basement to being the proud recipient of your league’s trophy. It all goes down at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 24, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $15-20. For more information, visit the Crescent Ballroom website. Jason Keil

Arizona Diamondbacks v. Seattle Mariners
The Fourth of July fireworks at Chase Field almost didn’t happen on the Fourth at all. That’s because the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the St. Louis Cardinals went on so long, the real show didn’t get started until well after 11 p.m. The visitors lit up the home team’s bullpen, resulting in a D-backs wipeout that lasted more than four hours. If you wimped out and left early that night, here’s another chance at free fireworks with a game ticket when the D-backs host the Seattle Mariners at Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson Street, on Friday, August 24. First pitch is at 6:40 p.m., and let’s hope the D-backs pitch a little better this time so we don’t have to stay up so late. Tickets start at $19 at the Diamondbacks website. Stuart Warner

Get jazzy.
Get jazzy.
Courtesy of The Nash

Dennis Rowland and Diana Lee
Jazz fans will get a double dose of some of the best Phoenix has to offer as local singers Dennis Rowland and Diana Lee will perform together at The Nash, 110 East Roosevelt Street, on Saturday, August 25. Rowland, a native of Detroit who now lives in Phoenix, sang for the Count Basie Orchestra from 1977 to 1984, performing with legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Joe Williams, and Tony Bennett. More recently, he’s been featured at jazz festivals around the world and at the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Lee grew up in Phoenix, the daughter of music store owners. But she’s also toured the world, sharing the stage with superstars like Reba McEntire, Sister Sledge, and Diana Ross. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, and $10 for students with ID. Visit The Nash website. Stuart Warner

Top Rank Boxing
When local boxer Ray Beltrán steps into the ring in Glendale this weekend, it’ll arguably be the biggest fight of his 19-year career. The 37-year-old Valley resident and WBO lightweight champion will defend his title against challenger Jose Pedraza on Saturday, August 25, during the co-main event of Top Rank Boxing at Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue in Glendale. If Beltrán triumphs, the Mexican-born boxer will earn his 38th win overall, as well as a possible unification match against fellow lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko later this year. The other headlining bout of the event, which will be broadcast live on ESPN, will see undefeated WBO super bantamweight champ Isaac Dogboe taking on challenger Hidenori Otake in an action-packed contest. Bell time is 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $25-$125. See the Gila River Arena website. Benjamin Leatherman

Get retro with Tempest DuJour.
Get retro with Tempest DuJour.
Courtesy of Tempest DuJour and Retro Game Night

Retro Game Show Night: Wheel of Misfortune
Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race are no stranger to Tempest DuJour. One of 14 queens competing on the show’s seventh season, she gained new fans by showing off her comedy chops and acting skills before getting eliminated. The Tucson performer — a.k.a. The Delicate Flower of the Desert — is live and in person this time, when she brings the long-running Retro Game Show Night: Wheel of Misfortune to town. Armed with her wicked wit, DuJour guides “celebrity” guests and contestants from the audience through her version of the classic Wheel of Fortune TV game show. Put your name in the host’s furry pink box for a chance to participate at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 25, at Valley Bar, 130 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $12 for 21 and older. Visit the Valley Bar website. Amy Young

Laura Spalding Best wielding a tiny paintbrush.EXPAND
Laura Spalding Best wielding a tiny paintbrush.
Courtesy of Practical Art

Laura Spalding Best
You might not get famous, but you’ll learn some great skills when Phoenix-based artist Laura Spalding Best, whose work is currently exhibited at Phoenix Art Museum and Tucson Museum of Art, teaches a painting class at Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue. It’s happening from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 25. While you’re there, check out Best’s “Vanity” exhibit with more than 200 oil paintings on found objects, including ironing boards and tea cups.

Best will teach participants of all skill levels how to paint with oils on metal, and everyone who signs up will go home with three landscapes they’ve painted on miniature brass medallions, plus their own painting created with a vintage found object. The $30 cost includes materials. Visit the Practical Art website. Lynn Trimble

Play Date: Big Mess
Adults of a certain age watched Nickelodeon shows like Double Dare with the hopes of one day getting slimed themselves. Now comes your chance to have that childhood fantasy play out. Children’s Museum of Phoenix wants you to put on a poncho and get sloppy at Play Date: Big Mess. In addition to running around in all the foam, paint, and slime you can handle, this event will also feature DJ Miss Mixx spinning the soundtrack of your sticky evening. There will also be games, food trucks, and giant and retro games. This wild rumpus is for those of legal drinking age. The goop flows from 7 to 11 p.m. at 215 North Seventh Street. Tickets are $15 per person with a $50 VIP option. For more information, visit the Children’s Museum of Phoenix website. Jason Keil

The Hot Chicken Throw Down
High & Rye, the new modern Southern restaurant at 5310 East High Street in Desert Ridge, will be hosting a serious event from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, August 26. The Hot Chicken Throw Down will exalt one of the most beloved meal to come west out of Dixie: Nashville-style hot chicken, a fried bird with a tongue-searing chile jolt. This event’s roster boasts some primo names: The Larder + the Delta, Starlite BBQ, and host High & Rye. Nine chefs will be sizzling and spicing birds. Tickets cost $25, and each scores you five chicken samples and a drink, maybe a brew from sponsor Helton Brewing Company. Chris Malloy

Walk by the light of the moon.
Walk by the light of the moon.
Courtesy of Museum of Walking

Sky Music Full Moon Walk
Angela Ellsworth, a Tempe-based artist who co-founded the Museum of Walking, is leading a 2.7-mile contemplative walk called the Sky Music Full Moon Walk. Ellsworth serves as the museum’s director, and credits Fluxus artist Geoffrey Hendricks with being both mentor and museum inspiration. Hence, the walk pays homage to his 1985 composition called Sky Music. Participants will walk silently together around the Elliot Ramada Loop at Papago Park, 625 West Galvin Parkway. They’ll also perform Sky Music together. The walk takes place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 26. It’s free, but RSVPs are required. Visit the Museum of Walking website. Lynn Trimble

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