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This fest combines award-winning chefs with a music festival
This fest combines award-winning chefs with a music festival | Courtesy of Hot Luck Fest
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Everything You Need to Know About Austin's Hot Luck Fest

Picture of Jessica Devenyns
Updated: 30 March 2018
You know that lull that happens between the SXSW and ACL festivals, when the weather heats up in Austin and it seems like a good time to stay inside? Well, Aaron Franklin of Franklin’s BBQ didn’t think that was the way to enjoy an Austin summer, so last year, he introduced the city to the Hot Luck Fest.

The latest addition to the Austin festival circuit, this fest combines James Beard award-winning chefs with a music festival and produces an event that is part tailgate, part potluck, and all celebration.

From May 24–27, 2018, the festival will return to honor the soul, sweat, and DIY diversity of the food and music world in an offbeat and yet 100% Austin way.

Hot Luck Fest
The event is part tailgate, part potluck, and all celebration | Courtesy of Hot Luck Fest

What Is Hot Luck?

Inspired by tailgates, family reunions, and potluck-style feasts, Hot Luck Fest is an eat-with-your-fingers celebration of food, music, and camaraderie. It pays homage to the inspirations found in Texas. From places to people, Hot Luck is about commemorating the perfection that comes out of creative mishaps.

Perhaps most importantly, the festival will also donate a portion of their proceeds to the SAFE Alliance, a human service agency in Austin that serves the survivors of child abuse, sexual assault and exploitation, and domestic violence.

You can buy tickets a la carte, or you can sample it all with The Whole Enchilada Package. Depending on if you’re more into the music or the food, you can plan your schedule accordingly. Just make sure that you look at the event locations because they spread out far and wide across town.

Which Events Should I Not Miss?

Enjoy delicious food | Courtesy of Hot Luck Fest

Two of the major events that are coming back this year are the Hi Lo and Al Fuego.

Hi Lo is an event celebrating the inspirational childhood meals of the now-great chefs; there are dozens. This interactive celebration of home cooking is best shared among friends with good music and cold beverages.

Al Fuego, on the other hand, is a celebration of flame-fueled ideas from the furthest corners of the world. Naturally, this event is the brainchild of Aaron Franklin whose obsession with flames won him a James Beard Award and a continual line outside the doors of his restaurant.

Of course, at all Hot Luck events, boots are encouraged, but koozies are required.

What You Need to Know to Get There

Listen to great music | Courtesy of Hot Luck Fest

The South Congress Hotel, Hotel Van Zandt, Hotel San Jose, Fairmont, and the Austin Motel are the official partners of the fest and are all great places to stay. However, you can always book an Airbnb or ask any of your friends in town if they have a spare room.

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.

Even if you can’t make it to the festival, make sure to stop at certain local eateries that are participating in the Kebabathon. Sponsored by the American Lamb Board, restaurants around town will be showcasing Indian, Texan, Turkish, and German takes on the beloved kebab. So grab your passport and stay hungry!