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New Tucson festival borrows border cultures from food and cocktails to music
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New Tucson festival borrows border cultures from food and cocktails to music

Tucson kicks off music festival season with a newcomer, the Over the Border Festival, on Saturday, Sept. 25.

The event, which features a stage for DJs and a mainstage for rock and country acts, has been four years in the planning, said Ramiro Bojorquez, whose Tucson-based Allure Event Company is presenting the festival.

Bojorquez said the event has been a work in progress after running into hiccups largely because of date or venue conflicts that pushed off plans to launch in 2019; and then the pandemic quashed plans for a 2020 launch.

Over the Border will feature five DJs performing in the so-called “Disco Barn,” not far from the tequila expo, where they will be pouring samples from more than 100 tequilas from Jalisco.

Patrons can get flights of margaritas in the Margarita Village to go with tacos from Taco Row, another feature of the festival that also includes lucha libre wrestling, a mechanical bull and games and fun for kids.

Bojorquez said the goal of the multicultural festival is to “bring (together) the best food — we have Mexican, American and Venezuelan food — and basically anything you can find on this side of the border and over the border.”

Over the Border is one of two festivals Bojorquez’s company will host in Tucson this fall. The company, which puts on events statewide and manages festivals for others including 10 of the 19 Martha Stewart Food and Wine Festivals held in 2019, will bring back its popular West Coast Music Festival for a fifth year. The hip-hop festival on Oct. 23 at the Rillito Racetrack features national hip-hop artists and local acts.

Sunday’s Over the Border lineup for the mainstage features Led Zeppelin cover band Get the Led Out headlining with popular country singer/songwriter Billy Shaw Jr. Band opening. Drew Cooper, another popular Tucson country singer, and “American Idol” contestant Brook Sample round out the lineup with mariachis.

The Disco Barn stage lineup includes DJ Soo, DJ Dibs, Big Brother Beats and Rare.

Bojorquez, who has been organizing concerts and events for 15 years after earning an agriculture business degree from the University of Arizona, said he anticipates the inaugural Over the Border Festival will attract about 3,000 people.

“That’s our goal. If 4,000 come, I would be thrilled,” he said.

Youniverse Selfie Museum has nearly 50 sets and backdrops customers of all ages can use for do-it-yourself photoshoots.

The new entertainment space is the latest venture by local brothers Connor and Ian Franulovich, who also own and operate The Breaking Point next door to the selfie museum.

Admission costs $25 and children under the age of 5 get in for free at Youniverse, located at 5750. E. Broadway Blvd. 

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at On Twitter @Starburch

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