HectoMAP is a dense, red-selected redshift survey to a limiting r = 21.3 mag covering 55 deg2 in a contiguous 1°5 strip across the northern sky. This region is also covered by the Subaru/Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) Subaru Strategic Program photometric survey enabling a range of applications that combine a dense foreground redshift survey with both strong and weak lensing maps. The median redshift of HectoMAP exceeds 0.3 throughout the survey region, and the mean density of the redshift survey is ∼2000 galaxies deg-2. Here we report a total of 17,313 redshifts in a first data release covering 8.7 deg2. We include the derived quantities Dn4000 and stellar mass for nearly all of the objects. Among these galaxies, 8117 constitute a 79% complete red-selected subsample with r ≤ 20.5 mag, and an additional 4318 constitute a 68% complete red-selected subsample with 20.5 < r(mag) < 21.3. As examples of the strengths of HectoMAP data, we discuss two applications: refined membership of redMaPPer photometrically selected clusters and a test of HSC photometric redshifts. We highlight a remarkable redMaPPer strong lensing system. The comparison of photometric redshifts with spectroscopic redshifts in a dense survey uncovers subtle systematic issues in the photometric redshifts.