Hot time in the city

Austin’s hottest food and music festival carves out dates for smokin’ return

Austin’s hottest food + music fest carves out dates for smokin’ return

Hot Luck Festival
Get ready to eat the heat with the return of Hot Luck Fest. Photo by Alison Narro

Austin meat master Aaron Franklin’s famed annual food and music experience is firing back up — in all its lip-smacking, finger-picking, delicious glory.

Hot Luck Festival is making its saucy return to Austin with an in-person event for the first time since 2019 (thanks, pandemic!) on Memorial Day weekend next spring.

All-in Whole Enchilada passes are now on sale for the event, which takes place May 26-29, 2022 at various venues across Austin.

Individual event tickets will go on sale in early 2022. And that’s when participating chefs and music acts will also be announced, though if some of the sponsors are any indication (Whole Foods Market, Karbach Brewing Co., Knob Creek, Hornitos, Creekstone Farms, Tillamook, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Vital Farms, Rambler Sparkling Water, American Lamb Board, Desert Door, Montinore Estate Wine, Minamoto Foods, Genji Sake, Rock Sound Rum, Spiritless, Alaska Seafood), it promises to be a spectacularly mouthwatering event.

Founded by the James Beard Award-winning Franklin, along with Mohawk owner James Moody and Mike Thelin, co-founder of Feast Portland, Hot Luck brings together some of Franklin’s favorite chefs and musicians from all over North America and beyond for a backyard-barbecue event that feels more like a rockin’ culinary summer camp adventure.

At its core, Hot Luck, dubbed “a DIY casserole of the culinary and music world,” is a charitable event, with next year’s fest benefiting the Houston-based Southern Smoke organization, which supports the food and beverage industry nationwide through a variety of programs and by distributing funds to workers in crisis.

It’s a charity close to Franklin’s heart. In fact, earlier this year, Hot Luck crafted Southern Smoke’s official beer in collaboration with Karbach Brewing. Horseshoe Pilsner is now available across Texas, with a portion of proceeds going to Southern Smoke.

“Southern Smoke has been working hard for our industry in these times, and we’re excited to announce the return of Hot Luck to bring the culinary world together again for a good cause,” Franklin tells CultureMap. “We can’t wait to sit around the campfire and catch up with old friends and make some new ones.”

Fest fiends opting for Whole Enchilada passes can get discounted tickets (a $700 value for $450) for a limited time. Whole Enchilada passes score ticket holders early access to the main food events, entry into every music show, and exclusive entry into Hot Luck’s industry kickoff event — where chefs and bartenders mingle with attendees during an intimate experience — on Thursday night of the fest.

Whole Enchilada ticket holders with two adult tickets can also have their 12 and younger kids tag along to the festival for free. And Hot Luck says it will offer special pricing for young’uns 13 to 20 and for kids 12 and younger when tickets are purchased a la carte.  

For more information and updates about Hot Luck, visit the festival website and follow Hot Luck on Instagram.