By JAMIE VERWYS
To have a happy semester, students need the essentials: movies, pals, beers and pencils. Oh yes, there is homework and grades too, isn’t there?
Upcoming festivals let students check off everything on our “must have” list. Well, almost everything. Chances are your next A-plus paper is somewhere far away from the beer festival.
Arizona Underground Film Festival
Arizona’s premier genre and cult film festival celebrates its seventh year with nine days of independent films at the recently renovated Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St.
The Arizona Underground Film Festival features short and full-length documentaries, horror films, animations and experimental movies.
The festival kicks off with a bloody bang. “Killers,” a Japanese and Indonesian thriller, begins at 8 p.m. on Sept. 19.
Tickets to each film cost $8 and are available at the box office or via azuff.org/tickets.
Festival passes costing $55 will provide admission to all screenings and after-parties, as well as festival goodies. Act quickly, since just 50 passes will be sold.
Oktoberfest on Mount Lemmon
Sept. 20-21, Sept. 27-28, Oct. 4-5, Oct. 11-12
Though our desert home is far away from Germany, we can have a little taste of it nearby at Mount Lemmon Ski Valley, 10300 Ski Run Road.
Oktoberfest pays tribute to Bavarian culture through beer, food and music.
Mount Lemmon’s Oktoberfest opens at noon each day. Opening weekend, Sept. 20-21, it will close at 4 p.m. Festivities will end at 5 p.m. on Sept. 27-28, Oct. 4-5 and Oct. 11-12.
Admission is free but parking costs $5. Organizers ask visitors to leave their dogs at home.
Details: visittucson.org or skithelemmon.com
Nightfall at Old Tucson
Sept. 26-Oct. 31
Feel a chill in the fall breeze that is sending shivers down your spine? With temperatures remaining in the 90s, the only explanation could be the chilling horrors gathering at Old Tucson Studios.
Nightfall transforms Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Road, into a haunted town filled with monsters, mad men, ghoulish live performances and spooky games.
The popular yearly event is open to all ages. Be advised, however, that displays may prove too frightening for children or the weak of heart.
Tickets will be available at the Nightfall Gate. General admission costs $26 and is $21 for children 9-11. Children 8 and under will be admitted for free.
Nightfall is open on Thursdays and Sundays from 6-10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m.-midnight.
Great Tucson Beer Festival
If you have ever struggled to select a beer or glass of wine, prepare to be overwhelmed in the best possible way.
The Great Tucson Beer Festival will spotlight brewers from Southwestern states with a large selection of wines, ciders and 200 varieties of beer on tap.
The event will run from 5-7 p.m. at Kino Veteran’s Memorial Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way.
Guests 21 and over can sample drinks, food provided by local restaurants, games, music and giveaways.
General admission tickets cost $45 and VIP tickets are $80. Discounted tickets are available to designated drivers for $25 general admission and $40 VIP.
Tickets are available at azbeer.com and will be available for a higher fee at the event if supplies last.
All proceeds benefit Sun Sounds of Arizona, an organization that provides audio access to people in the Southwest who are unable to read print.
KFMA Fall Ball
Head bangers and angry music lovers, rejoice with your lighters up.
KFMA’s annual Fall Ball is screaming across the Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way, from noon-10 p.m.
This year’s lineup includes Godsmack, Seether, Buckcherry, and PopEvil, with more to be announced.
General admission tickets are $39 and can be purchased at any Tucson area Pizza Hut or at kfma.com.
VIP passes are available for $150 and include, a ticket, t-shirt, souvenir, access to club level seating, two drinks and two meal passes.