Food & Drink at XOXO 2014

September 9th, 2014

Portland’s street food scene is among the best in the world, with over 400 food carts across the city. Like whales, Portland food carts gather in “pods,” averaging 5-8 but with the largest hosting more than 60 carts. If you’re coming from a city like NYC, LA or SF, you might think food trucks are the same thing, but there are some big differences — while food trucks need to stay on the move, Portland’s food carts are effectively permanent.

For a festival about indie art and technology, food carts are the culinary equivalent. The barrier to entry and costs are low, letting you experiment with new ideas and build a following without falling into deep debt. And many of Portland’s best carts — like Lardo, Salt & Straw, and Nong’s Khao Man Gai — leverage their fan base to open brick-and-mortar locations.

About 80% of XOXO’s attendees come from out of state, many of them visiting Portland for the first time, so we try to bring the best of Portland to you. This year, our temporary pod is the best we’ve ever had — an all-star lineup of some of PDX’s best food and drink.

Roseline Coffee

In a city known for its coffee, Roseline is something special. Founder Marty Lopes spent years roasting coffee at Extracto and curating coffee at Barista before starting up his own super small-batch roastery. He’ll be serving a variety of freshly-roasted coffee drinks at our custom-built bar at The Redd all weekend, provided for free courtesy of our friends at Stripe. (Friday-Sunday)

Olympic Provisions

Somehow, we managed to convince Olympic Provisions, one of the best charcuterie producers in the world, to run a BBQ at our opening party on Thursday night. They’ll also have their award-winning salami for sale. We’re still in shock about this. Vegan/vegetarian sides available. (Thursday only)

Salt & Straw

It wouldn’t be XOXO without Salt & Straw, and we’re thrilled they’re returning for our opening party on Thursday night. In the last three years, the handmade “farm-to-cone” ice cream by cousins Kim and Tyler Malek has taken over Portland, expanding from a single tiny cart to three retail stores and national expansion in the works. Their constantly-changing menu allows for creative experimentation, often involving local chefs and food producers. (Thursday only)

Pok Pok

Getting a table at Andy Ricker’s world-renowned Pok Pok on the weekend can take hours, and it’s always worth the wait. His James Beard-winning take on Thai street food became an international sensation, expanding to locations in NYC and Brooklyn. We’re insanely proud to announce that Pok Pok recently built their first food truck, and it’s making its festival debut at XOXO. Holy crap. (Friday-Sunday)

Fried Egg I’m In Love

The best breakfast sandwiches, and arguably the best-named food cart, in Portland. With dishes like Yolko Ono and Huevo Mutilation, Fried Egg I’m In Love's roots are in music, started by two bandmates from Fort Union. They’re serving breakfast and lunch every morning at XOXO, starting at 9am daily. (Friday-Sunday)

Kim Jong Grillin’

Kim Jong Grillin’ is the stuff food cart legends are made of. Han Hwang’s wonderful Korean BBQ food cart won the Eat Mobile Competition in 2011, and burned to the ground while he was picking up his award. Last month, his cart reopened to acclaim and sell-out crowds after an appearance on the Food Network’s Chopped. (Friday-Sunday)

PBJ’s Grilled

Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches are the classic nostalgic lunch, but Keena Tallman and Shane Chapman and PBJ’s Grilled wanted to make a grown-up version, a menu stuffed with creative flavor combinations on grilled soft challah bread, with recent expansion made possible by a Kickstarter project last year. (Saturday-Sunday)

PDX 671

Named after Guam’s area code, chef Ed Sablan brings the Chamarro cuisine of his native home to Portland with PDX 671, a delicious and unique fusion of Filipino, Spanish, and Malaysian influences. Winner of the Eat Mobile festival in 2012, and featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Hafa Adai! (Friday-Sunday)

Taco Pedaler

Taco Pedaler's Melanie and Erica ride their three-wheel cargo bike around Portland, spreading their local and organic tacos across the city like modern-day Johnny Appleseeds. But instead of apple seeds, tacos. (Friday-Sunday)

Nong’s Khao Man Gai

Nong’s Khao Man Gai — Taken from the street food of her native Bangkok, Nong Poonsukwattana only makes one dish: poached chicken & rice, wrapped in butcher paper and served with a spicy sauce. But it’s so insanely good, the lunch lines at her 10th & Alder location often stretch down the block, leading to two new locations to satiate the addicts. (Saturday only)

Bro Dogs

It’s hot dogs and burgers, bro. (Sunday only)

On Families

August 25th, 2014

We’ve always worked hard to ensure families can comfortably attend XOXO together—no better exemplified by Andy McMillan’s panic-acquisitioning of every pack of baby wipes within a five-mile radius last year—and XOXO 2014 is no exception.

If you’re attending XOXO with your family, there are only two restrictions:

  1. Every XOXO event is all-ages except for Music at Holocene, our closing party at White Owl Social Club, and XOXO Social events held at 21+ bars. Minors are welcome at every event held at The Redd and Yale Union.

  2. Children 12 and under are welcome to attend XOXO for free with parental supervision. The conference portion, however, is sold out and seating is reserved for badgeholders only.

If there’s anything we can do to make attending with your family a more comfortable experience this year, please let us know. Email with feedback in advance of the festival, or speak with Andy McMillan, Andy Baio, or one of our friendly volunteers when you get to town.

Announcing XOXO Film & Animation

August 22nd, 2014

Finally, our week of insane XOXO announcements ends with XOXO Film & Animation, held Saturday evening at The Redd.

In case you missed them, check out Music, Tabletop, Story, and our ridiculous Arcade lineup.

We’ve pulled together a selection of seven filmmakers and animators that fascinate us. As always, we’ll have each filmmaker and animator on-site to answer your questions after each screening.

Bee and PuppyCat

Natasha Allegri started as a storyboard artist for Adventure Time, creating the gender-swapped Fionna and Cake characters. But she’s best known as the creator of Bee and PuppyCat, the animated story of a young disenchanted woman and her mysterious, space-traveling PuppyCat. The most-funded animation project in Kickstarter history, 18,000 devoted fans pledged $872,000 to make six more episodes.

We’ll screen the original pilot, and if you’re extra nice, Natasha might share an exclusive work-in-progress look at the upcoming series.


CLOUDS is an interactive, generative documentary on the intersection of code and culture, drawn from 40 interviews with artists, designers and hackers into an ever-shifting conversation manipulated by viewers in real-time. Funded on Kickstarter, Brooklyn-based artists James George and Jonathan Minard will give a live walkthrough and answer your questions about how it was made.

A Glitch Is A Glitch

Irish animator David OReilly is the genius behind the recently-released Mountain simulator, the hologram game sequences from Spike Jonze’s Her, and a series of surreal and disturbing short films, like the award-winning The External World.

David joins us to screen A Glitch Is A Glitch, the Adventure Time episode he wrote, directed, and produced, in which the Ice King creates a computer virus that turns the Land of Ooo into a glitched-out, datamoshed disaster.

The Films of PES

In the world of PES, grenades are ripe avocados, birthday candles are laser fire, and rubber bands are cooked spaghetti. His imaginative stop-motion films have been viewed 61 million times on YouTube, and his Fresh Guacamole is the shortest film ever nominated for an Oscar.

PES joins us from Los Angeles to screen his work and share a sneak peek at Submarine Sandwich, his upcoming short that raised nearly $49,000 on Kickstarter.

8-Bit Generation

In 2011, two Italian filmmakers announced 8-Bit Generation, a stunningly-shot miniseries about the history of retro computing and gaming. Over 55 interviews were shot with a who’s who of tech legends, including a very rare interview with Commodore founder Jack Tramiel, who passed away in 2012.

Preorders were taken, the soundtrack released, and then? Nothing. The project and its creators disappeared, leaving nothing but questions and a bunch of angry fans.

For the first time, one of the film’s producers talks publicly about what went wrong, the future of the project, and reveals exclusive, unreleased footage from the documentary. Filmmaker and digital archivist Jason Scott will interview producer Bruno Grampa, flown from Milan to the XOXO stage.

This Is Not A Conspiracy Theory

Last year at XOXO Film, Kirby Ferguson debuted the first episode of This Is Not A Conspiracy Theory, his Kickstarter-funded followup to Everything Is A Remix. This year, he returns to premiere the second part of the series examining the complex forces that shape the American political landscape.

Empire Uncut

Take the most-loved sci-fi adventure ever, split it into 15-second clips, and ask thousands of fans to remake their favorite segment however they see fit. The result was the Emmy-winning Star Wars Uncut, arguably the most insane and impressive fan-film of all time.

Two years in the making, Empire Uncut is the epic sequel, splitting The Empire Strikes Back into 480 scenes and assembled from 1,569 fan-made submission, nearly twice what they received for Star Wars Uncut.

For the first time anywhere, creators Casey Pugh, Jamie Wilkinson, and KK Apple premiere the fan sequel at XOXO Film.

Announcing XOXO Arcade

August 21st, 2014

Reminder: Tomorrow — Friday, August 22 — is your last day to cancel your XOXO registration. After that, all sales are final.

Of course, you’d be insane to cancel now, as we announce our last two festival lineups this week. In case you missed them, we’ve already announced Music, Tabletop, and Story. And tomorrow, we’ll announce our Film & Animation lineup.

But today, the lineup for XOXO Arcade.

For the last two years, we’ve built our dream arcade party, projecting the best of the indie game scene huge on the walls, focusing on experimental and unreleased multiplayer games.

This year, we’re pulling out all the stops. This lineup represents some of the most creative and talented people in gaming, and we’re thrilled to have them be a part of XOXO.

Every single game at XOXO Arcade is commercially unavailable, some only available as installations and some a sneak preview before the rest of the world gets to try them, and we’re thrilled that the designers behind each game will be here to show it off and answer your questions.

Quadrilateral Cowboy

Created by L.A.-based designer Brendon Chung, the highly-anticipated Quadrilateral Cowboy is a cyberpunk hacking simulator set in a fictional version of the 1980s. Much of the game takes place in virtual reality, allowing you to play multiple roles to pull off heists in a mind-bending pastiche of 1980s computer culture.

Musclecat Showdown

Beefy, muscular cats try to out-pose one another to defend their owners’ honor in Musclecat Showdown, an epic feline bodybuilding contest played with furry controllers. Designed by Bee and PuppyCat creator Natasha Allegri and Major Bueno. Natasha joins us from Los Angeles to show it off.

Killer Queen

Killer Queen is the world’s only ten-player arcade game, designed for two teams of five players competing in two side-by-side cabinets. Like a lost game from the 8-bit era, play as a hive of angry bees to collect berries, ride snails, and save your Queen from destruction. Designers Nik Mikros and Josh DeBonis join us from NYC.

Edgar Rice Soirée

Some games are so big, so elaborate, you’ll never be able to play them at home. Edgar Rice Soirée has only been exhibited twice in the U.S., a competitive four-player game that uses 20 PlayStation Move controllers hanging from the ceiling, constantly shifting colors. Like a modern Tarzan, swing from vine to vine, hanging desperately to your own color while awkwardly blocking others from theirs. Designer Doug Wilson, creator of Johann Sebastian Joust, joins us from NYC.


eleVR isn’t a game, but a experiment in virtual reality video, an open-source web video player compatible with the Oculus Rift created by Andrea Hawksley, Emily Eifler, and mathemusician/badass Vi Hart, who spoke at last year’s XOXO.

Bennett Foddy’s Speed Chess

Imagine chess for 16 simultaneous players, with no waiting between turns, turning the thoughtful strategy game into a brutal, chaotic deathmatch that ends in seconds. Welcome to Bennett Foddy’s Speed Chess, from the creator of QWOP, GIRP, and Super Pole Riders, featured at last year’s XOXO.

Tenya Wanya Teens

Tenya Wanya Teens is a silly party game about adolescence and awkwardness created by Keita Takahashi, the creator of Katamari Damacy and Noby Noby Boy. Two players compete on custom 16-button controllers, “trying desperately to not say or do the wrong thing at the wrong time.” It will be presented by Wild Rumpus's Marie Foulston and Venus Patrol's Brandon Boyer, who both commissioned the game.

Close Castles

The new game from Threes! creator Asher Vollmer, Close Castles is an adorably minimalist real-time strategy/tower defense game for four players, in which players run a castle too close to its neighbors, send villagers to destroy others, and try to be the last castle standing.

Night In The Woods

Night in the Woods is a lushly-illustrated adventure game about Mae, a college dropout who moved back in with her parents in the small town of Possum Springs, uncertain about her future. With a focus on narrative and a cast of anthropomorphic animals, the game was made possible by a blockbuster Kickstarter project that raised over $200k from 7,372 fans. Aquaria designer Alec Holowka and co-writer Bethany Hockenberry will be at XOXO to share their work in progress.


Panoramical is a series of musical landscapes with analog controls, a music and visual exploration game by designer Fernando Ramallo and Proteus composer David Kanaga. Controlled with a custom DJ controller, each slider and knob affects what you see and hear. Fernando joins us from Berlin to show it off.

Please Don’t, Spacedog!

In Please Don’t, Spacedog!, you’re a space truck driving instructor teaching Spacedog to pilot a truck. He’s not a very good student. Your dashboard controls, played on the Oculus Rift with an AKAI LPD8, are modeled in virtual reality for an immersive and absurd experience. From Montreal’s KO-OP Mode, designer Bronson Zgeb will be at XOXO.

Announcing XOXO Story

August 20th, 2014

This year, we’re introducing a brand new festival event on Friday night at The Redd: XOXO Story, an evening of storytelling and comedy from four of our favorite podcasters.

It’s a big experiment and we have no idea what’s going to happen.


In the two years since keynoting the first XOXO, Dan Harmon’s been fired, rehired, cancelled, and rehired as the creator and showrunner for Community, one of the best shows in TV history. This year, he returns to XOXO triumphantly as mayor of Harmontown, his weekly comedy podcast recorded live in Los Angeles. Completely improvised and unscripted, fellow podcaster Erin McGathy and guest comptroller/dungeonmaster Spencer Crittenden join Harmon for a quite-likely NSFW jaunt through his inner psyche. And probably some D&D.

John Roderick’s Rendezvous

John Roderick tells stories. The bearded half of Roderick on the Line and lead singer/songwriter for The Long Winters, Roderick holds court every other week at The Rendezvous in Seattle, spinning yarns from his life touring the world, followed by an interview with a special secret guest. For the first time, he’s bringing the Rendezvous out of Seattle to the Redd, but “John Roderick’s Redd” sounded silly.

Song Exploder: Live

In each Song Exploder episode, Hrishikesh Hirway sits down with a musician and dissects one of their songs, analyzing it piece-by-piece to tell the story of how it was made. For the first time, Hrishikesh stages Song Exploder in front of a live audience, featuring Portland’s own The Thermals.

The New Disruptors

Inspired by the first XOXO, Glenn Fleishman started a podcast interviewing independent artists and makers about their work — many of them past XOXO speakers and attendees. Two years and 86 episodes later, The New Disruptors is going strong, diving into the stories and challenges from new creators every week. Returning full circle, Glenn brings The New Disruptors to our main stage with a series of interviews with some of our favorite makers.

Announcing XOXO Tabletop

August 19th, 2014

The week of XOXO announcements can’t be stopped. Today: our lineup for XOXO Tabletop.

Last year, we expanded XOXO to include Tabletop, a new evening event featuring our favorite independent card, board, and RPG games, with the game designers there to show you their work.

It was a bigger hit than we ever expected, so we’re bringing it back this year on Saturday to the top floor of the YU, with more games, more designers, and a whole lot of beer.


A modernized and meme-savvy version of the classic party game Celebrity, Monikers asks your friends to guess the name on your card, drawn from 400 of the “weirdest, most interesting names we could think up,” from Drunk Jeff Goldblum to the Star Wars Kid. Coming off the success of their overfunded Kickstarter project, designer Alex Hague joins us from Brooklyn to show it off.

Mouse Guard: Swords & Strongholds

Indie RPG designer Luke Crane returns to XOXO with a light strategy game for two players inspired by David Petersen’s Mouse Guard comics. Played on a wooden gridded board with mouse pawns and a deck of illustrated cards, the game raised $55,000 from over 1,200 fans.

Marrying Mr. Darcy

Twin Cities-based conductor-turned-game designer Erika Svanoe created Marrying Mr. Darcy, a role-playing/strategy card game inspired by Pride and Prejudice, in which players play the female characters from the book to attract a suitor. The game raised more than $57,000 on Kickstarter and was shipped to backers in April.


Originally created in 2010, Catacombs is a dungeon crawler board game with dexterity, where players flick wooden discs to defeat monsters. In April, the creators launched a complete redesign of the game’s artwork with illustrations by Kwanchai Moriya, a blockbuster project that raised over $200k on Kickstarter. Game designer Aron West is coming from Hamilton, Canada to share his latest prototype.


An ancient folk game, Ninja is a theatrical turn-based party game where players take turns striking moves and engaging each other in ultimate ninja combat. Ninja evangelist and Threes creator Asher Vollmer joins us from Los Angeles to facilitate battles. Ninja costume optional.

These French Fries Are Terrible Hot Dogs

Can you convince someone that toilet paper is a penguin, without telling a lie? These French Fries Are Terrible Hot Dogs is a party card game that asks players to convince others their card is the best hot dog, hat, or other object, usually by stretching the truth. Raising five times his goal on Kickstarter, creator Shawn Pierre joins us from Philly to share his latest prototype.

Guts of Glory

NYC’s Zach Gage may be best known for his videogame work on games like Spelltower and Ridiculous Fishing, but he’s made several tabletop games too. Guts of Glory is his first board game, a competitive eating game set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland for 2-4 players, shipped earlier this year after a successful Kickstarter project.

Two Rooms and a Boom

Two Rooms and a Boom is a fast-paced party game of social deduction, like Werewolf with a ticking time bomb. Groups of up to 30 people split into two teams, get assigned roles, and try to find the bomber and save the President in three tense, timed rounds. Bolstered by their smash Kickstarter project, creators Alan Gerding and Sean McCoy bring their latest prototype to XOXO.

Gloom: Copyright Infringement Edition

Keith Baker is a game design legend, responsible for creating the world of Eberron for Dungeons & Dragons and Gloom, a darkly-comic game played on transparent plastic cards. Gloom’s second edition was released earlier this year, but one variation will never see the light of day: Copyright Infringement Gloom, which crams in characters and situations from Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, Doctor Who, and more into a lawsuit-worthy sci-fi universe. Keith will bring his unpublishable game, you bring your imagination. (No lawyers, thanks.)


I’m a villager! Really!

Announcing XOXO Music

August 18th, 2014

We’re less than a month away from XOXO 2014 and we’ve barely announced 20% of what we’re planning. That changes today, with daily announcements of our festival lineups over the next five days. First up: XOXO Music.

For the last two years, we’ve brought some our favorite indie musicians to XOXO — eclectic lineups of artists and bands who’ve used technology in interesting ways, to connect directly to their fans, and build their careers without sacrificing their creative or financial control.

This year, we’re doubling down. For the first time, we’re expanding to two nights of musical performances on Friday and Saturday night at Holocene, four blocks from our main HQ and directly across the street from the Yale Union, our venue for Arcade and Tabletop.

Let’s do this.

Friday, September 12



Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte kick off their biggest-ever tour at XOXO to support Season Two, Pomplamoose’s new album and video series made possible by Patreon, the subscription funding platform Conte co-founded last year. Together, the indie-pop duo recently passed 100 million views for their VideoSongs on YouTube — videos that show every step of the recording process without lip-syncing or overdubs.

Mike Doughty

Mike Doughty

The former frontman for “slacker jazz” group Soul Coughing, Mike Doughty has a deep history of online experimentation, blogging before Blogger and self-publishing his solo album Skittish on his site after it found a cult following on Napster. His last three albums were funded directly by fans through Pledge Music, most recently his upcoming Stellar Motel, where he’s posted exclusive videos during the recording process. Doughty will be joined by long-time collaborator Andrew “Scrap” Livingston on cello.

Molly Lewis

Molly Lewis

Armed only with a ukulele and a disarming wit, Molly Lewis made videos viewed by millions, toured with geek legends, serenaded Stephen Fry, and charmed more than 400 fans into pledging over $2,600 for every new song she releases. (Photo by Stephen Wilson.)

Marian Call

Marian Call

Alaskan singer-songwriter Marian Call is like Joni Mitchell for the Comic-Con set, a geek chanteuse who got her start winning a Firefly song contest, rocks a mean typewriter, and performed Particle Man at CERN. With the support of her fans, she toured all 50 states and then took on Europe and the UK with a hugely-successful Kickstarter project, funding a series of intimate house shows.

Anil Dash

DJ Anil Dash

Yes, that Anil Dash. We hope you like Prince.

Saturday, September 13



YACHT is not like other bands. How many electropop bands team up with Panic to make a series of iPad sleeves? Or protest the NSA’s domestic spying by making a single and t-shirt with all profits donated to the EFF? Or release their own app to help people explore the city they live in? Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt join us for a special performance at XOXO two days before kicking off their North American tour.

John Roderick & Sean Nelson

John Roderick & Sean Nelson

In 2001, Harvey Danger’s Sean Nelson asked his friend John Roderick if he wanted to make an album. The result was The Long Winters, three brilliant albums, and a near-religious cult following. Last year, they celebrated the ten-year anniversary of pop masterpiece When I Pretend to Fall with a series of sold-out shows. Roderick reflected on his slow-burn success, less “rock star” and more like “running a thriving dental practice.” John and Sean join us for a special duet show. (Photo by David Lee).

Nerf Herder

Nerf Herder

In the late ’90s, SoCal pop-punk band Nerf Herder found a hit in their loving tribute to Van Halen and wrote the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme, but fought to leave their crummy major label deal, releasing three albums before taking an eight-year hiatus. In the interim, singer Parry Gripp became a viral smash with his soundtracks to popular memes like Nom Nom Nom Nom and Baby Monkey. Finally, Nerf Herder is back and completely independent, with an upcoming new album funded entirely by their fans.



Ramona Andra Xavier, the incredibly prolific and enigmatic 21-year-old producer and graphic designer known as Vektroid, produced over 40 albums in the last four years under a dozen names, including Macintosh Plus, New Dreams Ltd, PrismCorp, and Laserdisc Visions. A pioneer of vaporwave, a microgenre of remix art, Vektroid chops and screws samples into a lo-fi soundscape that’s like listening to a VRML shopping mall. We really have no idea what to expect, but this should be good.

DJ Magic Beans

DJ Magic Beans

By day, Maggie Vail is the label manager for Bikini Kill Records, the co-executive director for CASH Music, and a past XOXO speaker. By night, she turns into DJ Magic Beans, Portland’s own superhero.

Hotels & Accommodations

July 3rd, 2014

Hey, everyone! While XOXO 2014 passes are still rolling out to attendees, we know many of you are anxious to start booking your hotels. Fortunately, we’ve negotiated some great discounts for you around town.

We should stress, September is a very busy month for events in Portland, with a lot of other festivals going on during or around the weekend that XOXO is taking place.

While we’re holding blocks of rooms at these hotels, we expect they won’t last long, so we advise you book your accommodation immediately.

Like last year, we’re running a continuous shuttle from all the hotels below to our festival venues. The Jupiter Hotel is a short ten-minute walk from XOXO, all the other downtown hotels will take about 30 minutes by foot, which might prove a great reason to rent a bike while you’re in town.


We highly recommend that you come in on Thursday and leave no earlier than Sunday night. Preferably Monday morning.

Our opening party kicks off XOXO on Thursday night, and we run talks until Sunday 5pm, often saving our favorite speakers for last, followed by a big closing party that runs from 7pm until late.

We know some people may need to leave early, so we will shed a tear when you go.

Hilton Downtown

Located four blocks from the Marriott, the Hilton also boasts close proximity to public transport, and plenty of great food and drink. Our shuttle stops at the Hilton, and runs continuously during XOXO. Discounted single or double rooms come in at $179/night, with complimentary wifi included.

Book now or learn more.

Marriott City Center

Update: Sold out! The Marriott’s “boutique” City Center location is in convenient proximity to great coffee, the downtown cart pods, and public transportation to/from the airport. Our shuttle will pick up right in front of the Marriott, and runs continuously during XOXO. Our attendee discount brings rooms down to $158/night, including complimentary wifi.

Book now or learn more.

Jupiter Hotel

Update: Sold out! This year, we’re happy to announce we’ve taken over the entire Jupiter Hotel, a funky restored motel in inner SE Portland, adjacent to the Doug Fir Lounge, one of Portland’s best music venues. Everyone who stays here will be attending XOXO — a first for us.

An easy 12-minute walk to XOXO, this is also our most affordable hotel option, with 81 rooms between $129 - $159 per night, complimentary wifi included. The cheaper bar-side rooms can get noisy in the evenings, or you can choose one of the quieter rooms on the “Chill” side of the hotel.

Book now or learn more.


Not into the hotel scene? Use Airbnb to rent a local apartment or room, a great way to experience Portland like a native. This map shows current listings close to XOXO. If it’s your first time, this link will give you a $25 discount off your first booking.

On Significant Others

June 23rd, 2014

Last year, it was relatively straightforward to attend XOXO with your spouse or partner. Since we reviewed surveys first-come first-served, you were both likely to receive an invite if you submitted around the same time.

With this year’s lottery, we’re throwing chance into the mix — so we’re adding a compromise.

As part of the survey process, you’ll be able to supply the name of your spouse or significant other. If they’re not randomly selected for a conference pass, they’ll be given priority access to purchase a festival pass.

We worked hard last year to make XOXO welcoming, diverse, and family-friendly. It meant a lot to us that so many of you travelled with your families, and while we want to make the registration process fairer this year, we also want to ensure that we’re building upon that friendliness.

Hugs & kisses,
— Andy & Andy

On Diversity

June 23rd, 2014

After XOXO ended last year, we were curious what the gender ratio looked like. Anecdotally, it was a lot of men, but how many?

We don’t collect any demographic information from XOXO attendees, but we did find one way of measuring gender: looking at men’s vs. women’s t-shirts. It wasn’t perfect — some women chose men’s sizes — but it’s the closest we have.

The results were dismal. Both years, with two completely different approaches to registration, the ratio stayed consistent — about 22% of attendees were women, a little over one woman for every four men.

We don’t have demographic information about how people identify in terms of race or ethnic community, but using the (admittedly very imprecise) method of looking at the crowd, it’s clear we’ve had an overwhelmingly white audience.

This isn’t unusual for tech conferences, but XOXO is not a tech conference. It’s an arts and technology festival about independence, and there’s no reason it should inherit the problems that plague the tech community.

We want XOXO to represent the broad spectrum of amazing and interesting people across art and tech, but we haven’t done enough to let everyone who cares about these ideas feel welcome. More than 80% of the people who’ve wanted to attend XOXO in the past are white, straight, cisgender, able-bodied dudes, and we want everyone who’s not in that category to know XOXO is for you too.

We can do better. So we’re trying something new this year.

When you register, you’ll see a new addition to the survey:

Do you identify with a group that’s been underrepresented at XOXO?

Your answer is entirely optional and confidential, and freeform text instead of multiple choice. Diversity means much more than gender or race alone, and it isn’t easily pigeonholed into a series of checkboxes.

We’ll review the responses and factor them into the admission process, using your answers to prioritize attendees that have previously been underrepresented.

Like everything else at XOXO, this is an experiment. And like any good experiment, we’ll measure the results, report on them, and keep trying.

We won’t get this perfect right away — we’re still learning how to address these issues — but we’re committed to trying.

A Word About Conduct

Our code of conduct has always been pretty simple — we don’t tolerate harassing behavior of any kind. Anyone violating it has been and will be dealt with appropriately.

We want everyone to feel safe and comfortable at XOXO, and we try to cultivate an atmosphere of empathy and belonging. For the last two years, we’ve announced this policy on stage during the opening remarks.

Last year, we needed to enforce it for the first time when a drunken attendee sexually harassed an XOXO volunteer. We took her report in private, tracked down the attendee, and permanently removed him from the festival after he confirmed the details. (If you’d like a third-party take on how we handle harassment, the volunteer that was harassed wrote about her experience in detail.)

This year, we’ve gone one step further, and formalized it as policy. As with previous years, we’ll talk about it on-stage so everyone’s aware of our rules.

If you have any questions, please get in touch at

— Andy & Andy