Hot Luck Fest: Everything You Need to Know About Austin’s Newest Festival

You know that gap that happens right after SXSW before summer when ACL seems an eternity away and the summer festivals haven’t begun? Well, while some people would call that a lull, others chose to view it as a wide open opportunity. And those who bravely chose to capitalize on this opportunity were the creators of Hot Luck Festival.

Brand new on the Austin festival circuit, Hot Luck Fest is promising to break festival conventions in the most admirable fashion. When you combine James Beard award-winning chefs with a music festival, you have a main event that is part tailgate, part part potluck, and all celebration.

For four days, the 18th – 21st of May, star chefs from around the country will team up and cook to the beat of some well-known musical talent.

Inspired by tailgates, family reunions, and pot luck style feasts, Hot Luck Fest is a eat-with-your-fingers celebration of food, music, and camaraderie. A homage to the land, places, and folks that inspire the chefs, musicians, and attendees, Hot Luck is about honoring the perfect imperfection that happens creatively all around us.

Also, the festival will also donate a portion of their proceeds to the SAFE Alliance.

A Summertime SXSW

In true SXSW style, the musical cooking events will be hosted between 7 different live music venues where you will need a badge to gain entrance.

However, there will also be other music performances around Austin throughout the weekend. Places like the White Horse, the Mohawk, Fair Market, and Barracuda will participate.

Unfortunately, we will have to wait until early April for the full lineup and schedule of the food festival to be announced.

The Food

Despite the fact that the musical program is still under wraps, we do know who will be cooking dinner are as well as what’s on the menu.

Well known culinary veterans like Aaron Franklin and Adam Perry Lang will be making appearances and cooking for you. (Can you imagine eating Franklins and not waiting in line?!)

Other folks like Bryce Gilmore from the Odd Duck, David Normal of Easy Tiger, Jesse Griffiths from Dai Due, and Joshua Pinsky & Matthew Rudofker of NYC’s Momofuku will also be given a licensee to create on the spot.

We can only imagine how delicious a pile of top-notch ingredients will become in the capable hands of these chefs who know their way around some live-fire cooking.

The full chef lineup is:

  • Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue
  • Adam Perry of Adam Perry Lang Restaurants
  • Adam Sappington of The Country Cat
  • Alex Stupak of Empéllon
  • Andrew Wiseheart of Contigo
  • Andy Ricker of Pok Pok
  • Bryce Gilmore of Odd Duck
  • Callie Speer of Bombshell
  • Chad Dolezal of The Hightower
  • Chris Shepherd of Underbelly
  • David Bull of Second Bar + Kitchen
  • David Norman of Easy Tiger
  • Fiore Tedesco of L’Oca d’Oro
  • Jason Dady of Jason Dady Restaurants
  • Jason Stude of Boiler Nine Bar + Grill
  • Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due
  • John Tesar of Knife at the Highland Dallas
  • Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene’s
  • Joshua Pinsky of Momofuku
  • Kevin Fink of Emmer & Rye
  • Laura Sawicki of Launderette
  • Matthew Rudofker of Momofuku
  • Michael Fojtasek of Olamaie
  • Michael Paley of Central Standard
  • Miguel Vidal of Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
  • Nong Poonsukwattana of Nong’s Khao Man Gai
  • Philip Speer of Bonhomie
  • Rebecca Mason of Fluff Bake Bar
  • Rene Ortiz of Launderette
  • Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ Truck
  • Sarah McIntosh of Épicerie
  • Steve McHugh of Cured
  • Tatsu Aikawa of Kemuri Tatsu-ya
  • Todd & Jess Duplechan of Lenoir
  • Tyson Cole of Hai Hospitality
  • Yoshi Okai of Otoko

The Hi Lo & Al Fuego

Truthfully, the real reason that you want to go to this festival though are the culinary creation events.

While those who purchase a weekend pass are entitled to attend two more culinary events – Hi, how are you? & Hawaii, Texas – those who buy single event passes can only attend the Hi Lo and Al Fuego.

Hi Lo

Just as a song can be reduced to a harmony, a melody, and a voice, so too can a great meal. After all, it is the simplistic elements that work in harmony that create the best fusion of flavors.

Hi Lo is an event celebrating the inspirational childhood meals of the now-great chefs.

“From slow-cooked ribs to crispy cast-iron chicken, The Hi Lo is an inspirational and interactive celebration of home cooking, sharing and eating set to the tune of good wines, Texas-style cocktails and cold beer.”

Al Fuego

Al Fuego, on the other hand, is a celebration of flame-fueled ideas from the furthest corners of the world.

Curated by that Texas barbecue guy named Aaron Franklin, this event will be obsessed with showcasing the inspiration that fire ignites within the soul of a chef.

At this event boots are optional, but koozies are required.

Tickets & Accommodation

ATX! Keep a look out for these bad boys around town during #sxsw. #HotLuck music shows to be announced in April! ? #repost: @guerillasuit

A post shared by Hot Luck: Live Food & Music ? (@hotluckfest) on

The South Congress Hotel and the Austin Motel are the official partners of the fest. However, there are plenty of other accommodation opportunities throughout the city that a quick google can find for you.

Tickets to the festival are available by event or in the “Whole Enchilada Package.” Buying the package entitles you to all the Hot Luck music shows.

Regardless of when you arrive, make sure you come hungry, thirsty, and bring your dancin’ boots.

Read More: The Wrath of Texas: What Happened When ‘Eater’ Called NYC a Barbecue Capital