Tucson’s HOCO Fest returns for its 12th year with a five-day lineup of music, art, and assorted entertainment running Wednesday, August 30, through Sunday, September 3. While most of the festivities are centered at the historic Hotel Congress (which the event’s named for), shopping events, yoga, and other programming will spill into the heart of downtown.
There’s a lot to do and plenty to see. So we’ve rounded up some of what we’re looking forward to at this year’s extensive celebration of Tucson culture.
The soul of this event has always centered on music, and this year’s lineup promises a wide variety of genres and artists from all over, as well as local favorites. Headliners include Thundercat, John Maus (with full band), Frankie Cosmos, La Luz, Cherry Glazzer, Gaika, Lee Fields and the Expressions, and more.
Destruction Unit guitarist JS Aurelius is scheduled to play three sets over the weekend between his band and solo projects. Aurelius helped curate the festival with Brooklyn-based media agency Flip Your Wig and Phoenix promoter Josh Rodriguez of Select Shows.
KXCI Satellite Studio Grand Opening
Tucson’s community radio station KXCI will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at its brand-new studio space in Hotel Congress. The studio is located directly across from The Copper Room and adjacent to the main showroom. The station will broadcast live for the first time during the festival on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during The Home Stretch hosted by Hannah Levin.
Vintage Clothing & Vinyl Record Fair
Maynard’s Market and Kitchen, 400 North Toole Avenue, will host two fairs over the weekend. Saturday will feature vintage clothing from local vendors, while Sunday will be a vinyl record fair as local record shops and enthusiasts bring their collections as well as zines and books. Both events run from noon to 5 p.m.
Hotel Congress will be featuring an installation of iconic show posters from the last 30 years at Club Congress all weekend. At 7 p.m. on Friday, local gallery Everybody, 101 West Sixth Street, Studio Q, will host an opening night celebration of Eli Burke’s immersive installation, “The River.” Burke studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and serves as adjunct faculty at Pima Community College.
Tucson Yoga will host classes at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Hotel Congress. Access to each class is by donation. As a bonus, HOCO Fest weekend pass-holders can take a free class at Tucson Yoga if they bring in their pass any time in the two weeks following the festival.
Hotel Congress’ Cup Café and Maynard’s Market, located across the street, will feature special menu items throughout the weekend, and the Ricuras De Venezuela will park outside to sell late-night arepas, empanadas, cachapas, and more.
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Elysia Crampton Lecture
Not only will Elysia Crampton perform live music on Saturday, she’ll host a free lecture that day at The University of Arizona, presented by Casa Libre Tucson and the UA Institute for LGBT Studies and Department of English. She’ll cover a wide range of topics including music history, Native American history, and queer Native culture. The event begins at 4 p.m. in the Richard P. Harvill Building, Room 415, 1103 East Second Street.
Daily Liquor Tastings
The first 300 ticketed fest attendees will enjoy free happy hour tastings from Wednesday through Sunday. Wednesday night spotlights Tucson’s Whiskey Del Bac, Thursday features Kimo Sabe Mezcal, Friday brings Don Julio Tequila, Saturday hosts Sonoran Sangria, and Four Peaks Brewing Co. closes things out on Sunday.
HOCO Fest 2017 takes place in Tucson from August 30 to September 3. General admission daily tickets are $15, daily VIP tickets (including dinner and wine) range from $100 to $125. Festival packages range from $45 to $75, with special passes for those younger than 21. All packages are available through Ticketfly. See hotelcongress.com/hoco for details.