Yeah, yeah, P.T. Barnum may have been the greatest showman on earth, but surely he would have tipped his top hat to Hot Luck founders Aaron Franklin, Mike Thelin, and James Moody after seeing this year's killer lineup.
The annual food and music festival returns for a second year May 24-27 with a star-studded array of local and international culinary talent, new parties, and musical acts ranging from indie upstarts to one of the founders of post-punk. As with the inaugural year, events occur in different locations across town, and tickets are offered in an array of price points.
Chef and restaurant lineup
The chefs this year come from some of the most lauded restaurants in the world, including marquee names David Chang (Momofuku, New York City); Ashley Christensen (Poole’s, Raleigh); and Ivan Orkin (Ivan Ramen, New York City). Also catching the flight to Austin are chefs Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo (Fat Rice, Chicago); Alex Stupak (Empellón, New York City); Andy Ricker (Pok Pok, Portland); Billy Durney (Hometown Barbecue, New York City); David McMillan and Frédéric Morin (Joe Beef, Montreal); Elias Cairo (Olympia Provisions, Portland); Joshua McFadden (Ava Gene’s, Portland); Peter Cho (Han Oak, Portland); Renee Erickson (Sea Creatures, Seattle); Riad Nasr (Frenchette, New York City); and Sam Jones (Sam Jones BBQ Restaurant, North Carolina).
Hometown heroes include Franklin, Andrew Wiseheart (Contigo/Chicon); Bryce Gilmore (Odd Duck); Callie Speer (Holy Roller); Casey Wilcox (Central Standard); Chad Dolezal (Hightower); David Norman (Easy Tiger); Erind Halilaj (Il Brutto); Fermin Núñez (Suerte); Fiore Tedesco (L’Oca d’Oro); Jason Stude (Boiler Nine Bar + Grill); Jesse Griffiths (Dai Due); Kevin Fink (Emmer & Rye); Laura Sawicki (Launderette); Michael Fojtasek (Olamaie); Miguel Vidal (Valentina’s Tex Mex); Philip Speer (Bonhomie); Sarah McIntosh (Epicerie); Takuya Matsumoto and Tatsu Aikawa (Kemuri Tatsu-Ya); Todd Duplechan (Lenoir); Tyson Cole (Hai Hospitality/Loro); Yoshi Okai (Otoko); Zach Hunter (The Brewer’s Table); and two of the chefs recently revealed to be leading restaurants at upcoming hotel Line ATX, Damien Brockway (P6) and Kristen Kish (Arlo Grey).
From elsewhere in Texas, the festival is bringing in San Antonio’s Diego Galicia and Rico Torres (Mixtli) and Steve McHugh (Cured); Dallas’ John Tesar (Knife); and Houston’s Chris Shepherd (Underbelly), Justin Yu (Theodore Rex), and Rebecca Masson (Fluff Bake Bar).
Take a deep breath. There’s more. In addition to the celebrity chefs, musical artists from across genres will be performing at venues across town. More acts will be announced at a later date, but the initial lineup includes New Orleans funksters Galactic; post-hardcore band Hot Snakes; New Order’s Peter Hook with his band, The Light; folk rockers Okkervil River; indie quintet Twin Peaks; Danish punks Iceage; soul act Con Brio; rising country singer Paul Cauthen; Americana artist Joshua Hedley; Dallas musical collective The Texas Gentleman; and hip-hop DJ Peanut Butter Wolf.
Parties and events
Hot Luck is bringing back two of the favorite parties from 2017 and switching things up with a few new treats. Kicking things off from 6-9 pm on Thursday, May 24 is Hi, How Are You?, a casual sip and stroll held at Franklin Barbecue.
May 25 offers two blowouts: Night Court and a taco takeover at Cisco's. Held at Fair Market, Night Court takes its inspiration from mall food courts offering throwback bites and the opportunity to wear your best JNCOs from 6-9 pm. Afterwards, head over to Cisco’s starting at 10 pm for a taco takeover from top chefs.
On May 26 from 6-9 pm, Al Fuego returns to Wild Onion Ranch for an evening of live fire cooking showcasing international barbecue styles. Industry after-party, The Giddy Up at Weather Up, follows at 9 pm. The weekend ends with Coupe de Grille at Austin Speed Shop from 12-3 pm for brunch “ZZ Tapas” style.
Ticket and pricing information
Tickets for Hot Luck go on sale on February 21 at 4 pm and are available here. Individual tickets range in price but can be bought for Cisco’s and the individual shows, as well as Hi, How Are You? and The Giddy Up, though organizers warn the last two are only available in very limited amounts.
For those willing to really make a weekend out of it, the $550 Whole Enchilada package gives you access to all food and music events with the exception of the Cisco’s takeover and Peter Hook’s May 23 set.
A portion of the proceeds benefits SAFE Alliance and its mission to serve survivors of child abuse, sexual assault and exploitation, and domestic violence.