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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA alumni created Dusk, the Old Pueblo’s first major music festival

    Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildca
    Ambassador Emery Payne passes out flyers in front of the Dusk Music Festival booth on the mall on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. The music festival will take place on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Rillito Park and will feature both local and internationally acclaimed musicians.

    Dusk Music Festival started as a simple idea spitballed around by a group of UA alumni and local businessmen.

    One of Dusk’s founding partners, Steve Stratigouleas, spoke to the Daily Wildcat about the history of the festival. If Stratigouleas’ name doesn’t ring a bell, his restaurants surely will.

    “I own Union [Public House] and Reforma [Cocina Y Cantina] with my partner [Grant Krueger],” Stratigouleas said.

    Stratigouleas founded Dusk along with John Rallis, Page Repp and Pete Turner.

    Rallis, Repp and Stratigouleas are all UA alumni.

    “So I grew up with John [Rallis] for the past 30 years in Tucson,” Statigouleas said. “We’ve been childhood friends — our parents were friends. John and I were business partners at one point when we were in the mortgage industry. He’s still in the mortgage industry.”

    Rallis works as a loan officer with V.I.P. Mortgage Inc., located on Oracle Road.

    “So John has been cooking this idea around for years — you know, ‘Let’s do a music festival,'” Stratigouleas said. “I had my businesses open, I had the birth of my daughters. He had the birth of his daughter. So we kinda put this on hold.”

    Rallis and Stratigouleas realized they would have to make their move soon. If they didn’t, someone else would inevitably launch a major music festival in Tucson.

    “The idea is simple,” Rallis said. “Every big city has a multi-genre music festival. Tucson is now over one million people. It’s time.”

    Stratigouleas became acquainted with Repp when he built one of his restaurants.

    “In that meantime, Page Repp built Reforma,” Stratigouleas said. “And I got to work with Page, and he was a music lover and highly organized, and I brought the idea up to him. He was on board.”

    Repp serves as president and architect at Repp + McLain Design and Construction. He’s an alumnus of the College of Architecture and a member of theArizona Wildcat Club.

    Repp + McLain built and designed R Bar, Reforma Cocina Y Cantina, Sidecar Bar and Sparkroot Coffee Bar + Fare.

    Repp then ran the idea of a music festival by Turner, “and it kind of all just came together with the group,” Stratigouleas said.

    Turner founded Illegal Pete’s. The University Boulevard restaurant opened on Dec. 10. This location, Illegal Pete’s first venture outside of the Colorado area, is a smash hit among UA students.

    This isn’t Turner’s first venture with music. He also operates a record label, Greater Than Collective, in association with the restaurant. Greater Than releases music from bands in Colorado.

    The Dusk founders then brought in Turner’s friend, Bart Dahl, to handle festival marketing. Dahl works at Boulder-based management and booking firm Madison House Inc.

    Dahl said the founders aren’t doing this for the money — they don’t expect to make a profit on Dusk. The four founders want to foster a sense of community in Tucson. They also want to provide a fun annual experience for UA students.

    A statement on the website said Dusk “was dreamed up to elevate the already burgeoning city of Tucson by bringing forth internationally-acclaimed Tucson talent with awe-inspiring performers from around the globe.”

    Free shuttles will run to and from Illegal Pete’s on Saturday from noon to midnight. Dusk will also provide a free bike valet, Uber discount codes and on-site paid parking.

    Proceeds from the festival will benefit local organizations Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs, Children’s Museum Oro Valley, Heirloom Farmers Markets, The Rialto Theatre Foundation, Rillito Park Foundation and Youth on Their Own.

    The organizers are excited for their vision to become reality on Saturday and hope to extend this festival beyond just a one-year event.

    Follow Nina Ulloa on Twitter 

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