Open up a cupboard in Austin and a festival falls out. It’s a cliché for a reason, because we continue to find great new ways to gather and celebrate just about anything. The latest gathering taking up squares on the calendar is a biggie: the Hot Luck Festival (May 18-21) combines great music and food curated by Austin barbecue master Aaron Franklin, club owner and promoter James Moody and Portland’s Mike Thelin, who co-founded Portland’s Feast Portland festival. We broke down what they’ve got in planned to make your ears and stomachs happy.

Calling Hot Luck a food festival doesn’t really capture what its creators have envisioned, since the term “food fest” brings to mind crowds of people lining up cafeteria style from a battery of pop-up vendor kitchens serving limited menus. Instead, the four days will feature robust lineups at a variety of restaurants and other special locations, offering memorable experiences that visitors can buy a la carte or try to go whole hog for a total stomach-busting long weekend.

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Get hot and lucky in Texas. #HotLuck tickets are on sale at hotluckfest.com.

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Franklin’s imprimatur means chefs from all over the world will take his calls and sign up for an event he’s associated with. Proof of that comes from the culinary talent in store for Al Fuego, the central attraction of the weekend that is focused on live-fire cooking… and beer. Big names from all over Texas, hot spots in New York and Portland will be on hand in the wilds of Wild Onion Ranch just beyond Austin’s southern city limits.

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