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Aaron Franklin's 2021 Hot Luck festival has been postponed

Matthew Odam
Austin 360
Aaron Franklin says now is not the time to throw another Hot Luck festival.

The coronavirus pandemic was in its early stages last spring when Aaron Franklin and his partners canceled their annual Hot Luck food and music festival

While restaurants are starting to reopen dining rooms, the partners are not quite ready to roll back out their multi-day festival that draws some of the biggest names in the culinary world to Austin each year. 

Hot Luck organizers announced Tuesday that they are postponing the festival, which usually happens in May. They say they hope to program an event later in the year.

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“While we're eager to get back out there, Hot Luck is too much of a hug-your-friends, share-some-food kinda hang to be able to do it safely at the moment,” Franklin told the American-Statesman. “Plus, with everything our favorite restaurants have been going through in the last 12 months, it just felt a bit too soon to ask the homies to cook for everyone.”

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The organizers of the festival founded in 2016 announced earlier this year that they had partnered with Houston chef Chris Shepherd’s Southern Smoke Foundation (southernsmoke.org), the nonprofit organization dedicated to helping restaurant industry workers in need. The organization will be the charitable beneficiary of the food and music festival going forward, with a portion of all sales generated by Hot Luck going to help pay for the foundation’s efforts.

"Once it is safe for us to begin to gather, eat together, and hangout...where we can all relax and enjoy it properly...we have plans to bring the Hot Luck experience back in new and special ways," Hot Luck organizers wrote in a released statement Tuesday. "Stay tuned as we are itching to get moving again."

Franklin Barbecue has been operating in takeout-only capacity since last summer. Franklin says he does not have a reopening date set for his restaurant that draws long lines for its tight dining room and patio.