Nerd Culture

Best Things to Do This Weekend: Poefest, Phoenix Suns, Harry Potter

Don’t tell this guy you’re out of Reese’s.
Courtesy of Poefest
Don’t tell this guy you’re out of Reese’s.
Time to get a little festive this weekend. Whether that be at Poefest, the all things Edgar Allan Poe festival or the LGBTQ friendly Rainbows Festival, the choice is yours. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times' curated calendar.

Edgar Allan Poe created his own franchise in the 1840s: gross, terrifying, and tailored to a mass audience. It was the Romantic era, but that doesn’t mean people were charming. Poe was pathetic, annoying, and, for most of his life, a snot-nosed loser.

Nevertheless, the annual Poefest inspires quickened breathing and a sinking tummy. These stories delivered by professional actors are about as creepy as anything gets. Each program’s a little different, so you can mix and match.

On Friday, October 20, at 8 p.m., The Oval Portrait and The Cask of Amontillado will haunt the Hotel San Carlos, 202 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $22 and $27; visit or call 888-343-4228 for details. Poefest continues through Tuesday, October 31, including a performance at Don Bluth Front Row Theatre on Monday, October 30 (Don Bluth Front Row Theatre website), and the traditional Halloween marathon of The Raven at Rosson House (timed tickets are $10). Julie Peterson

Maybe they won't lose to this L.A. team. - BARRY GOSSAGE/PHOENIX SUNS
Maybe they won't lose to this L.A. team.
Barry Gossage/Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns v. Los Angeles Lakers
Recently, the Los Angeles Dodgers made quick work of the Diamondbacks — Arizona’s 2017 darlings — sweeping the team’s postseason aspirations to an unceremonious end.

With the bitter taste of defeat still lingering on the tongues of Valley sports fans, the Lakers — the lone Los Angeles sports franchise that’s more irksome than the Dodgers — will bring the purple and gold to Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, to battle the Phoenix Suns.

Although it’s a somewhat inconsequential regular-season game between two fledgling teams, you can bet that Suns fans in attendance will be hoping for an extra dose of retribution. It won’t fully ameliorate the pain that the Dodgers inflicted, but a victory over the Lakers is a good start.

Tip-off is at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 20, and tickets are $28 and up. Visit the Suns website or call 602-379-2000 for details. Rob Kroehler

Amanda Mollindo, Good ‘N Plenty Artist Award winner 2016. - COURTESY OF SMOCA
Amanda Mollindo, Good ‘N Plenty Artist Award winner 2016.
Courtesy of SMoCA
Good ‘N Plenty Artist Award
On Friday, October 20, six Valley creatives will present innovative art project pitches for the chance to win the Good ‘N Plenty Artist Award, which entails a cash prize of $500 to $1,000 to make their ideas into realities.

Audience votes determine the winner. Past awards have helped fund community-focused projects such as the Blushing Soup Press zine and lathe-cut record printing press, and the aftrART professional artist resource organization. During the presentations, audience members can snack on pastries and sip coffee.

The event starts at 7 p.m. at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street. Admission is $10 for the general public and $8 for members. For more information, call 480-874-4666 or go to the SMoCA website. Laura Latzko

The band Mastadon will be at the Big Red Night of the Dead. - TRAVIS SHINN
The band Mastadon will be at the Big Red Night of the Dead.
Travis Shinn
98KUPD’s Big Red Night of the Dead
If holidays were assigned official music genres to represent them, it makes sense that metal would be partnered with Halloween. Don’t agree? 98KUPD’s Big Red Night of the Dead might convince you.

This annual concert is held at the already spooky site of the Fear Farm. This year, it’s a shred-fest, featuring a day-into-night roster of metal bands from the U.S. and Sweden whose heavy riffs run from thick and chunky to speedy and blistering. The lineup includes Of Mice & Men, Avatar, In This Moment, and local Tempe band DED, who perform leading up to a set from headliners Mastodon. Food, drink, and a variety of goods can be purchased from on-site vendors.

The headbanging Halloween fun starts at 3 p.m. on Friday, October 20, at Fear Farm Haunted House, 2209 North 99th Avenue. All ages are welcome. General admission is $45. A $125 VIP ticket includes complimentary food and drinks, a private bar area, and front-of-stage access. Visit the 98KUPD website for details. Amy Young

click to enlarge It will be fab. - LEAKED GLASS
It will be fab.
Leaked Glass
Rainbows Festival
Phoenix Pride has been producing the Rainbows Festival for 15 years. The two-day celebration of diversity invites attendees to be their true selves. All members and allies of the LGBTQ community of any background are welcome to participate.

This year’s festival will feature more than 150 exhibitors and two entertainment stages at Heritage Square Park. Expect talent and variety shows, dance parties, and a “doggy drag show.” Performers include DJs, local musicians, and drag performers, including Aja from the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

The festivities are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22, at 113 North Sixth Street. Admission is free. For more information, visit the Phoenix Pride website. Jason Keil