The University of Iowa University of Iowa

KRUI’s Must See Witching Hour List

Witching Hour has become a treasured event during the past two years, and Iowa City residents are anxiously awaiting year three. During the festival, writers, musicians and artists of all kinds present their work at various venues in the heart of downtown Iowa City. Powerful voices fill The Mill, Gabe’s, Englert Theatre, FilmScene, RADinc. and more awesome venues with performances, readings, screenings and workshops. As stated on their website, Witching Hour is “a festival exploring the unknown, discussing creative process, and presenting new work”. What’s not to love?


As the third annual Witching Hour festival nears us, we must prepare for all of the talented acts that are coming our way this weekend. All the events will be taking place on Friday, October 20th and Saturday, October 21st.

So many events, so little time? Don’t worry. We’re listing the top ten events we think you should see here!

  1. Public Art: The Creative Confessional [Workshop]: (Friday 3-5p.m. & 7-10p.m., Saturday 10am-1pm) Do you have an idea you’ve been too afraid to voice? A poem you’ve never shared with anyone? A secret love you’d like to confess? Well, now’s the time to lift these things off of your shoulders. On Friday in the Ped Mall, Jami Milne is hosting a free public portrait booth where you can confess anything your heart desires, and have a beautiful portrait taken of you. Speak your ideas into existence or set your secrets free.

  2. DJ Spooky [Performance]: (Friday, 7p.m. – Englert Theater) DJ Spooky is one of the most unique performances at Witching Hour this year. As a composer, multimedia artist and writer, his work blends genres, social issues and cultures together to create an experience unlike any other, surprising and exciting audiences. His name, of course, also fits the vibe of the festival and month of October.
  3. New Voices in Comedy [Performance]: (Friday, 7:30p.m. – The Mill) Come see an intimate performance from six of the best and brightest comedians from the Midwest while eating some of Iowa City’s best pizza.
  4. Beach Fossils [Performance]: (Friday, 11p.m. – Gabe’s) As the headliner for Friday’s lineup, Beach Fossils is a show that you do not want to miss. The Brooklyn-based Indie Rock band recently released their third studio album and introduced a more focused, refreshing sound that will sweep you away into airy summer nights. Read a more detailed preview here. 
  5. Doorway to Intuition: Gong Bath and Sound Healing Meditation with Doug Mills [Workshop]: (Saturday, 10a.m. – Englert Theatre) In the fast-paced world of college where we hardly have time to eat lunch, let alone meditate with zen bowl tehniques, take advantage of this opportunity to destress and reconnect with your mind and body after a tough week of midterms. Doug Mills will immerse you in the beauty and power of the gong, while you lay on the Englert Theatre stage and allow yourself to get lost in the sound surrounding you. 
  6. Finding Honey in the Rock: A Workshop of Obsession [Workshop]: (Saturday, 12p.m. – RADinc.) For experimenting and experienced writers alike, this workshop will ask you to consider your favorite topics of writing that you cannot seem to step away from. Here, you’ll learn how to overcome writers block and to find fresh ideas in areas of writing that you’ve always had an infatuation with.
  7. Variations [Performance]: (Saturday, 5:30p.m. – Englert Theater) Enjoy a discussion and performance by Tricia Park, esteemed Korean violinist. Park has performed in many renowned venues such as the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall and was named one of “Korea’s World Leaders of Tomorrow”. Come listen to her “achingly pure sound” (The Toronto Star) and learn about her creative process.
  8. Jak Knight [Performance]: (Satruday, 7:30p.m. – The Mill) Come laugh with Jak Knight, a comic on the

    rise, who has received high praise already in his young career. Knight was named a 2014 Comedy Central Comic to Watch and a 2015 New Face at the Montreal JFL Festival. Enjoy his hilarious bits and again, eat some great pizza.

  9. Kweku Collins [Performance]: (Saturday, 11p.m. – The Mill) Armed with poetic lyrics and Afro-Latin instrumentals, Kweku Collins is a rising rap star. He has received acclaim from Pitchfork and Billboard and is just getting started. Read a more detailed preview here.
  10. Yves Tumor [Performance]: (Saturday 12a.m. – Gabe’s) As the last performance of the entire festival, Yves Tumor is prepared to knock you off of your feet. Tumor’s whimsical dance music is entrancing and multi-layered, and he is known for his elaborate live performances. Get ready to dance during the whole thrilling performance.

This list of ten events is just to get you started – enjoy the endless exciting performances, workshops and interactive events that Witching Hour is the proud home of. Check out the schedule and if you still haven’t bought your pass! It’s not too late!

Happy Witching Hour week!