Life Along the Streetcar with Tom Heath from The Heath Team Nova Home Loans

This week we’re going to speak with Matt Baquet. He’s the owner of Ranch House Media and he’s also a local event organizer, concert organizer, a talent acquisitioner; and we’re going to find out about the upcoming HOCO Fest over Labor Day Weekend and how this diverse musical montage is also paired with the Ten West Impact Festival to create a sustainability summit.

Today is August 28th, my name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to “Life Along the Streetcar”.

Each and every Sunday our focus is on Social, Cultural and Economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban Core and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A Mountain to the U of A and all stops in between. You get the inside track- right here on 99.1 FM, streaming on DowntownRadio.org- we’re also available on your iPhone or Android using our very own Downtown Radio app. Reach us by email contact@lifealongthestreetcar.org — interact with us on Facebook at LifeAlongTheStreetcar and follow us on Twitter @StreetcarLife

Our intro music is by Ryanhood and we exit with music from Calor, “La Leyenda Continua.”

Transcript

Good morning. It’s a beautiful sunny in the old Pueblo. You’re listening to KTDT Tucson. Thank you for spending a part of your brunch hour with us on your downtown Tucson community sponsored or rock and roll radio station.

This week we’re going to speak with Matt Baquet. He’s the owner of Ranch House Media and he’s also a local event organizer, concert organizer, a talent acquisitioner; and we’re going to find out about the upcoming HOCO Fest over Labor Day Weekend and how this diverse musical montage is also paired with the Ten West Impact Festival to create a sustainability summit.

Today is August 28, 2022. My name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to life along the streetcar. Each and every Sunday, our focus on social, cultural, and economic impacts in Tucson’s urban core, and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about, from a mountain to the University of Arizona and all stops in between. You get the inside track right here on 99 One FM streaming on downtown radioio.org.

Also available on your iPhone or Android by getting the Downtown Radio Tucson app. If you have questions for us here on the show, you can email us, contact@lifelongthistreecar.org. We’re on Facebook and Instagram. Our past episodes are on our website and you can hear our podcast just about anywhere you like to listen to those fabulous podcasts. Well, just a reminder, coming up this Wednesday, it’s Soul Food Wednesday at the MSA Annex, the area just west of I Ten. They have been doing this on the last Wednesday of every month. And at the moment, I think this is the last scheduled event for Soul Food Wednesdays. It’s put on by an organization called Blacks Friday. We featured them on a few occasions and had Ashley Larrus on the show. So if you’d like to know more about them, just head over to our website and kind of Google Blacks Friday Bliday to get more about the organization. But Soul Food Wednesdays, it’s a collaboration of locally owned black businesses that have products and goods for

sale, as well as some fabulous food. The definition that they use for Soul Food is food that warms the soul. It’s multicultural and a celebration of life. Soul food. Wednesday is going to be on Wednesday. This one coming up here will be the last one on the schedule, August 31, and then after Wednesday, getting ready for the weekend starting on Thursday at Hotel Congress is HoCo Fest. We’ve featured a few different events in the downtown area that are culturally important to Tucson, and Hoko Fest is another one of those opportunities. Fan out. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of like 90 different musical acts that will be performing from Thursday through the weekend, Labor Day weekend. And it’s also paired with the Ten West Impact Festival to create a sustainability summit. So it’s lots of good music education, all kinds of good stuff. So we caught up with one of the event organizers. His name is Matt Bake. He is an independent business owner. He has his own media company and he also

partners with Hotel Congress for events such as HoCo Fest. We met with him outdoors at the stage there at Club Congress and got this skinny on what’s going to be happening here. Coming up on Thursday with Hockey Fest. May I interview with Matt Bake? My name is Matthew Bake. I’m the owner and the producer at Ranch House Media and I’m a partner at Best Life Presents and I’m a community organizer, a project by project producer and director. Someone who can get you a rattlesnake in 1 hour if you need. Basically you name it, I’ll do it. How do you get into this? How do you end up with this as a business? Do you start in the industry and just realize hey, I can do it better on my own? Yeah, I mean I’ve been doing this in Tucson actually since about 2005. Six, seven, somewhere around there. I started booking my first concerts at these local DIY venues. Scrappies in the living room where Fourth Avenue Yoga is now near to Medical and Sky Bar and then Scrappies on Broadway was right here behind Rialto.

And so I did my first shows there just so my bands could play them and I could see the bands I liked touring and then from there I just never really was able to get away from it. And over time it’s just become a little more and more intentional and meaningful and geared towards the community rather than just geared towards my band getting on a show with the band I like. The big thing we want to talk about today is Hokofest coming up Labor Day weekend. But can you tell some of the other projects that you’ve been involved with or working on? Yeah, recently coming out of COVID, out of the Hibernation, my company Ranchoff Media was able to help out with the Gabe Heritage Festival and we also produced and directed the Pueblo del Maise, the first edition by the Tucson City Gastronomy. And then we’ll be doing after HoCo Fest which this will be our fourth edition directing. After that we’ll be doing our first with Ten West Impact Festival November 1 through fifth. And aside from that with Best

Life Presents, which I like to say Best Life Presents in Ranchoffs Media kind of like brother sister companies but Best Life Presents more focused on touring concerts and activating space in this community rather than media and marketing and all that. And so with that we have shows all year round. Any given week we might have five to ten shows and that’s at different clubs. That’s at Club Congress one by one tool Rialto Theater, the all ages nonprofit venue Groundworks. We just try to place touring musicians in the room that make the most sense for them and the most sense for their audience here in Tucson and coming out of the hibernation, as you said, are you starting to see that activity ramp up or is it still pretty slow? What’s your thought on that? Yeah, you know, it’s been up and down. Coming out of the pandemic. There was an excitement and a surge and shows that I hadn’t maybe ever seen ever. And then we had a couple of snags in the line with just omicron and a couple of surges with

COVID that maybe slowed down the shows in that immediate surge, but also then made people a little more hesitant to come out, like maybe a month after each time there’s a surge. So it’s been peaks and valleys. But when it comes to the civic events, I feel like there’s a different kind of excitement that really stems from community engagement and community gathering points. I really see that as something I’d like to focus on myself moving forward as like someone who is from this community and loves it. I’d like to really put back into it with free events and really accessible stuff. Well, the ones that you’ve been talking about, the Ten West Festival, Negove, the Pueblo Dena, Maize, these are really cultural events too. They’re not just concerts and let’s go party. There’s a significant amount of education and history that gets woven through all of those groups. It seems like there’s a theme there. Yeah, I mean, we try to offer a lot of depth to anything we do, a lot of intention, and being,

in my opinion, maybe the most beautiful and culturally rich city in the whole United States or area, I should say. I think if we weren’t doing that, we would be doing this city in this community and injustice. Yeah, we’re certainly seeing that change, at least since I’ve been here. I moved here in the it seems in the last 15 years we’ve really started to emphasize and focus the history and culture as part of who we are and where we’re going. And then to that end, there’s a big festival coming up, Labor Day weekend. And you said it’s your fourth year with them. Hockey fest. But this has been going on for a while, hasn’t it? That’s right, yeah. This will be the 16th edition. David Sluts, my mentor and colleague here at Congress. Entertainment director, Little Train. Actually, I’d say it’s life along the streetcar, right? That’s right. I do most of my interviews by radio, so it’s nice or by phone, so it’s nice to be out. Literally. I could see the streetcar tracks right there. There you go.

But yeah, sorry, David. He founded HoCo Fest on a historically slow Labor Day weekend in 2005, and since then it’s become a staple in the downtown calendar and the Congress calendar. He left a long and rich legacy for us to jump aboard and build upon. It’s really been great. And this year we’re bringing back some other components of the old hoko, which is a sustainability program and Dave actually was the first ever solar powered festival in 2007.

There’s a lot of things we do our own way, but in the spirit of what they built over the last twelve years before I took over. And that’s an element we’re excited to bring back this year in full effect. We’ll be back to our interview with Mr. Bucket of Ranch House Media in just a moment. But first I want to remind you that you’re listening to Life Along the Streetcar on Downtown Radio 99.1 FM and available for streaming on Downtownradio.org. Greetings and salutations, downtown radio listeners. Haley O’Dave, your unfrozen caveman DJ here to spread the good word about the Scrambled Sunrise rock mix happening every weekday morning from seven to 09:00 A.m. Right here on Downtown radio from the earliest days of CYC punk and new wave to 80s college rock, 90s alternative and the ongoing wave of 21st century indie rock. It’s all right here on the Scrambled Sunrise. So tune in via 99.1 FM if you’re in the greater downtown area or streaming worldwide via Downtownradio.org. All right, let’s finish

up here with Matthew Bake who is independent business owner here in Tucson. Also works on a lot of different really cool cultural events. When we’re focused on right now is Hoko Fest. He’s going to tell us a lot about the amazing musical talent and the diversity of artists that will be appearing starting on Thursday this week. So Hockey Festival went on for 16 years. A lot of history and tradition. We’ve got this marriage with you. Talk about the sustainability summit that is also a partner with Ten West. But hockeyfest is in its essence, it’s a series of concerts and a series of eclectic bands, right? Yeah. It’s equal parts a showcase of some of the most exciting international talent and equal parts showcase of the borderland Sunaran desert talent. So we have about half the lineup is from this region and half is from everywhere else africa, New York, all over the place. And when you say half, that’s a large number of performers. I was looking at your list and I’m on my phone and just scrolling

down page after it was like 40 axe. I think actually this year I counted the other day and I think we might have like 90 axes. Oh my gosh. Yes. So how does this work then? It’s spread over the weekend, spread over four days, labor Day weekend each day this year coming out of Covet, I should say we brought it back to be just at Hotel Congress for the most part. We do have the daytime event, the summit at Arizona Forge at Roy Plate as well as like pool parties at McCoy. But for the most part, all the music is here at Congress. And so every day at 05:00 P.m., doors will open and music kicks off almost immediately and it goes all the way until 02:00 A.m.. And even on Friday. Saturday there’s an RSVP only after hours event that will go until 05:00. A.m. Wow. In the history of hoko. And is it all done on the outdoor stage or do you use all the different stages? All three stages here at Hotel Congress. Okay. And all will offer a very unique, dynamic and almost different genre every night on each

stage. And that’s including Century Room as well. Yeah. So that’s kind of a new venue. In the past, we’ve had the two stages. We’ve had, obviously, the club and the outdoor. Now we like, I’m a part of this, but Tucson, we have the Century Room as well, which is much more of an intimate place, I think, to hear a concert. So it’ll be interesting. So the music styles, they’re varying. They’re not going to be just one specific genre. Like, I know some of our festivals are focused on this type of music, but that’s not yeah, I mean, with HoCo Fest, I feel, and I felt Dave did this as well in his tenure. But we want to celebrate what Hotel Congress does year round just on steroids for one weekend. This place is so special because it welcomes all walks of life, all different styles of art and performance. And for that one weekend, we welcome it all into one place. We mix it very in my opinion, in a very fun way where you have a band like Los Angeles Borderland Rock and Espanol Band mixed with a

North African Torrig Pyke band. But it’s somehow we make it work at HoCo. Right. We bridge the gap with a band, soul band of young Latinos from La. Who kind of fit with either of those acts and we just have fun with the line up like that. Every piece is intentional and it fits together in a crazy intricate puzzle, but it works. That’s very interesting because as I was looking at that list, I was thinking of a very diverse set of audiences that might be interested in one versus the other, but you’re actually curating this to sort of weave it into a single tapestry. That’s really amazing. And I think Tucson is a town that will welcome and embrace that. There’s a lot of diversity here and there’s a lot of individuals and when you get them together, great things happen. So as it is the goal with the summit, it’s also the goal with the music to bring metal, with hip hop, with DJs, with indie artists. They can all connect and maybe collaborate going forward. And that’s the goal. And is this the

first year with the connection with the Ten West Festival? And it’s called Regenerate, Arizona. Correct. Yeah. Regenerate, Arizona. A Sonoran Desert Sustainability summit. Yes. This is the first year we’re collaborating with Ten West. Although we did try in the past, it just never quite lined up. We were finally able to manifest that this year and this will kind of serve the Summit will kind of serve as a preview to a bigger sustainability day we’re going to be doing at the TCC November 4 for Ten West. Okay, so this is a preview then of some of the things that are to come with one of your other projects. That’s fabulous. Tell me about Ticketing then. So you’re not paying per show, you’re paying per day or per weekend or how does that work exactly? Yeah, I tried to keep it very simple this year because in previous years with Hoko Fest 2019, for instance, we had like 40 venues or 40 events, 20 venues, 15 different ticket options. And although it was great and I loved those years, I wanted

to try to just make things a little bit more simple this year. So we have one full Fest pass, and we have a day pass each day. And if you have either one of those or any one of those, you’re able to RSVP to the Summit for free. You just have to show proof of a performance, concert, a day pass or a full festival. So it doesn’t have to be a day pass from the day of the Summit, necessarily. It could be from any day of Hokkofest. Okay. And if you for some reason do not want to listen to music or want to go to the Summit, is there a ticket options for that? My answer to that would be, sorry, but you have to go enjoy some radical tunes down the street after the Summit. What a shame. And then you’ll find yourself here until 05:00. A.m., you might get yourself a room and just stay the night. This wasn’t a bad thing. And I did notice, speaking of rooms, and you talked about Hotel McCoy, you’ve got some lodging partners in this. You’ve got Hotel McCoy. There was another one, I think, AC Marriott

downtown right here. Okay. So you’re probably expecting a lot of people to come in and can’t quite fit them all here. Yeah, just with artists alone, we almost fill this place up. And same with Hotel McCoy. At least 50% at each hotel, just on artists. But yeah, we’re partnering with Hotel McCoy once again. Love them over there. They’re going to offer free pool passes for HoCo ticket holders friday through Sunday, three to six if anyone wants to take a dip. And AC Marriott, they were just able to help us with a few artists and hopefully in the future we’ll be able to do a pool party there. Okay. I do hope if you’re listening, you have the opportunity to check out Hotel McCoy as a fabulous space. It’s a very beautifully done, sort of mid century modern, and they sort of become known for their pool parties. They’ve got quite a reputation for having some good pool parties. So this will be, I think, a fun event for people to join. So, Hockey Fest, it starts on Friday, it starts on Thursday, September

1 and it will run through Sunday, September 4 with the day off for everyone Labor Day. So your four days start on Thursday and that’s smart to build in a break so you can hydrate and get a little sleep after being up every hour. I know I’ll need it. And you know, on Thursday we’re kicking it off with a show really for Tucson with Losapson and Kid Congo Powers and Tasalko brainstorm. There’s a lot of stuff that I think really hits our town audience. And so we’ll start it off with this legendary 1960s borderland ban on Thursday evening and then we’ll end it with the new Arizona Borderland band, Losples. And that’s going to be on Sunday and that’s on Sunday book. Ending it with our borderland sounds very intentional. And how do people find out about ticket prices and how to get reserved seats and RSVP and stuff like that? Sure there won’t be any reserve seats, it’s general admission only, but all tickets are available@hocusfest.com hocofest.com and we try to keep the site simple so it’s all

pretty much right there on the homepage ticket link. Couple options, once you buy the day pass or full fest pass, then you can RSVP to the Summit and get free brunch. By the way, at the summit by LAN Dita. Bury the lead there with a free brunch. Come on. And coffee from Preston with past experiences. Has this sold out? Do you expect this to be like tickets to go to a point where you can’t let we should have tickets at the door each day, I would imagine. Okay? Yeah, I think so. Okay, you run the risk. Yeah, I mean, I would get there early also because we have a killer happy hour every day at Hoko, five to seven. And we have vendors, local vendors on display on the plaza that you can come check out some local tunes, local goods, get some good drink prices and start your day at 05:00 p.m. And not run the risk of getting left out if it sells out. Okay. The community festival organizer, the rock concert promoter, the Tucson lover. I appreciate your time today. I know you’re busy getting ready

for this because it’s just coming up around the corner. But I also want to just take a moment and appreciate that you have really put your energies into things that are really important to Tucson and I love being able to share those stories because it’s people like you that really are bringing back that history and culture and making it accessible for all new generations. So thank you for that. Thank you very much and thanks for having me on the show once again. That was Matthew Bake. He is the local business owner with Ranch House Media Books, a lot of bands at various venues across our city and is one of the main organizers of Hokofest, now in its 16th year. He’s been involved, he said, for the last four getting an overview of all the diverse artists that are going to be performing as well as this unique sustainability summit that is connected to Hoko Fest through the Ten West Impact Festival. Well, my name is Tom Heath and you are listening to Life Along the Streetcar on Downtown Radio

99.1 FM and available for streaming on Downtownradio.org. Scott Merch show your love for downtown radio with sweet new items from our Merch store, from our classic antenna logo on stickers and totes to a brand new design featured on phone cases, fanny packs, mugs and masks in a variety of colors. We know you’ll find something you like. Proceeds support daily operations of the all volunteer downtown radio so we can continue to broadcast underground music that rocks. Plus, $1 from the sale of every mask will go to a nonprofit providing meals to kids who normally rely on school lunch, courtesy of Teespring. Just head over to downtownradio.org, click the Merch link and get your swag on. Well, thank you for spending another part of your Sunday with us here on Downtown Radio. Life along the Streetcar. Hopefully you tuned in first thing for Mr. Nature and Little Leaf Radio and then probably hung out and got the yard of easing with Benjamin Bank there. I think he’s probably our best filter for

the show, the best leading because what happens is you start listening to a show and then you just sit on the couch. You don’t want to do anything. You just relaxed and easing and don’t even want to get to change the channel. So Lifelong Streetcar comes on and I’m pretty sure that’s where most of our audience comes from. The art of easing with DJ Bank. Hey, this show here with Mr. Matthew Bake, really good intersection of Tucson history, culture and music with the Hoko Fest and the sustainability Summit. Really excited about how they play that out. Was quite impressed with the number of artists that are playing and how they sort of wove this somewhat eclectic list into a tapestry that I’m kind of excited to hear. I am definitely going to be out there personally on Thursday to hear that kick off with Los An. Huge fan here in Tucson with that history that goes back to the 60s, definitely the 70s, but to the really kind of that borderland rock. They were some of the first to do that and looking

forward to that here on Thursday. We’ve got a big September coming up to lots of really cool shows. We’ve had people reaching out to us to talk about events and opportunities that are new and some that are expanded. So we have quite a few guests lined up for September and we always have room for more hidden gems. So if there’s something you want us to be covering, hit us up on our email contact@lifelongthstreetcar.org. Better yet, you can just tag us in something on Instagram or Facebook that really makes that connection very quickly and very efficiently. Out and about getting to the burr months. September, October, November people will start coming back into the Tucson area. If you have individuals trying to figure out what to do, have them check out our website, lifelongstreetcar.org. Go back through some of our past episodes, learn about our history or our museums or bands or restaurants, all the cool stuff happening. Use that website as a resource and get them out exploring Tucson.

And if they’re out and about and they happened to be at why I Love Where I Live and take any books, pop Cycle, the Presidio Museum or Mission Gardens gift Shop, any of those five places. They can also pick up a copy of our book, My Life Along the Streetcar. A collection of interviews. Really proud that we got that out this year. Wonderful photography from James Portus and QR codes throughout the book to link back to the original stories that we feature in the book. Those are available right now in five places as well as our website. But honestly, I’d rather you go to a local bookstore or gift shop, pick it up there, support them and thank them for supporting Tucson artists, as many of them do. Not just our show or our book, but every one of those shops contains a lot of material from local artists. Let’s see here. What have we got here? Coming up next week, we’re going to talk a little bit about, speaking of artists, an opportunity for artists to get their work into these places. How does

that work? There’s a big event coming up to educate artists on how to get their artwork into some of these retail outlets and we’ll talk about that next week. And then coming up after that, we’ve got a new organization called Cheers to Tucson. You don’t have to wait for the show. You can head to the Tucson Food Project right now and check them out. We’re going to wrap up today’s show with a little music from the opening act at HoCo Fest they’re going to be playing Thursday night is Los, a Song. They’ve been rocking it probably since the 60s with this borderland rockstyle that they have. And we’re leaving you with the song today. Calor means heat off an album. Laena Continua. The legend continues. My name is Tom Heath. I hope you have a great week and tuna next Sunday for more life along the streetcar,

my Lord.

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