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Tucson's Dusk festival adds a third discovery stage and country singer to EDM heavy lineup

Tucson's Dusk festival adds a third discovery stage and country singer to EDM heavy lineup

The fourth annual Dusk Music Festival returns to Armory Park downtown this weekend — two days of alternative rock and electronica/DJ music glory.

And one country dude.

Tucson country singer-songwriter Drew Cooper might look a little out of place when he takes the main stage with his acoustic guitar.

But once he and his band start performing, Dusk founder Page Repp is pretty sure the crowd that could top 7,000 on Saturday, Nov. 9, will dig it.

“I know he doesn’t fit exactly with everything else we’re doing musically with Dusk, but the fact of the matter is he’s a great performer and he puts on a high-energy show,” Repp said.

“I’m excited about it,” Cooper added, after months of juggling schedules and working with the Dusk promoters to make the date work. “I’m really excited about it. This is my first time doing Dusk. This is my first time doing an EDM show. I love the challenge of it.”

Cooper joins a lineup that Repp said is arguably the strongest yet with multi-Grammy winner Kaskade making his first Tucson appearance in more than a decade, and the Tucson debuts of young EDM DJ Rezz and alternative rockers Two Door Cinema Club.

Also new this festival:

  • Dusk held a battle of the bands competition two weeks ago and the winner will be on the festival main stage. It’s the second competition tied to the festival. Last year they launched a DJ competition, which continued this year. The winning DJ also has a shot at a main-stage set.
  • The festival added a smaller third stage called the Dusk Discover Stage where the runners-up for both those competitions, as well as local DJs and EDM producers, will be featured. “I think it’s going to be a fun, interesting cool thing,” Repp said.
  • Dusk is increasing its visual arts presence to expand the scope of the festival.

“We’re just trying to build something that becomes a bigger and bigger event and a bigger part of Tucson,” Repp said.

Cooper, who over the past decade has made himself a fixture in Tucson’s country music scene, said his 35-minute set on Saturday will focus mostly on his original rocking country. He’s hoping some in the audience will dig it enough to look up his music on Spotify or SoundCloud, and come out to see him at some of the stages he regularly plays throughout Tucson.

“This is an opportunity to go in front of people who don’t know the kind of music I make. When they see a country guy walk out with an acoustic guitar they won’t know what to think, and then we rock their socks off,” he said.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch

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