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Hotel Congress celebrates its 100th with 100 bands for Hoco Fest

Hotel Congress celebrates its 100th with 100 bands for Hoco Fest

Hoco Fest, hosted by Hotel Congress, is Tucson’s end-of-the-summer bash. It’s three days of live music on downtown Tucson stages.

Hotel Congress’ annual end-of-summer, multiday street party Hoco Fest takes on a bigger-than-life feel this weekend.

Hoco Fest is taking over downtown on Friday, Aug. 30, through Sunday, Sept. 1, to celebrate Hotel Congress’ 100th birthday.

Such a milestone anniversary deserves a milestone celebration — say 105 bands performing on 15 stages over three days.

That’s a big party.

“Toward the end of 2018, we joked that we’re going to book 100 Hoco acts for Hotel Congress’ 100-year anniversary in 2019, thinking there was no way we would actually do it,” said Hoco Fest Director Matt Baquet. “I just counted our most up-to-date poster and it looks like we hit the mark and some with over 100 acts in downtown Tucson this Labor Day weekend, spread over mostly three days.”

The festival opens with a bonus kickoff party Thursday, Aug. 29, featuring the 22-year-old rising Mexican-American pop/R&B singer Omar Apollo with Ojalá Systems, a collective of young Tucson musicians, poets and visual artists. The ensemble’s goal is to “bring hip-hop and Latinx art and culture to the wider creative world” through performances, lectures and other efforts, according to Hotel Congress officials.

Thursday’s kickoff event begins at 8 p.m. at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Admission is $20 in advance through or $25 day of show.

In addition to concerts being held at Hotel Congress, 191 Toole, Hotel McCoy, the Rialto Theatre and other downtown venues, Hoco Fest includes panel discussions on DJ’ing, border issues, the health benefits of CBD and efforts in Arizona to legalize marijuana.

Hoco Fest itself is marking something of a milestone. This year’s event is its 15th.

Tucson bands shared the spotlight with national and regional acts including Milwaukee rapper Juiceboxxx at the 2018 Hoco Fest.

Omar Apollo

XIXA is on the 2019 Hoco Fest lineup

Orkestra Mendoza at 2018 HocoFest

Rapper Lil B takes selfies with fans at the 2018 Hoco Fest

Spirit Adrift was on the 2018 lineup

Party time at Hoco Fest in Tucson

Tucson’s beloved artist Salvador Duran was on the lineup at the 2018 Hoco Fest

Mexican Institute of Sound performed at the 2018 Hoco Fest.

Mhysa performed at the 2018 Hoco Fest. The 2019 event is this weekend.


Billy Sedlmayr


Metal band Gatecreeper

Gabriela Pintado

Kid Congo Powers

Tomasa del Real

Vox Urbana

The Green Shirt Guy

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

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