April 2014 events calendar for Los Angeles

Plan your month with our April 2014 events calendar of the best activities, including free things to do, festivals and our favorite concerts.

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Coachella 2013, Weekend 2, Day 3

Coachella 2013, Weekend 2, Day 3 Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

T.S. Eliot may have believed April is the cruelest month, but Angelenos have plenty of reasons to sing its praises: Concerts and festivals in LA kick into high gear this month as the weather warms up. A beer fest at LA Center Studios, cycling the city streets and our favorite music festival in the desert all have a place in our April 2014 events calendar, much-needed rain showers be damned.


LA Puppet Fest

  • Price band: 1/4

Most of us have an underlying penchant for puppets that started in childhood—if only from watching Sesame Street in the mornings—but adulthood comes with a serious lack of puppet shows. Enter the LA Puppet Fest: This second annual event celebrates the art and creativity of things on strings for all ages. A collection of puppetry organizations (there are a lot, believe it or not) will host events all across the city throughout April. Take in a classic marionette show, observe changing puppet technology or take a class to learn how to make and manipulate your very own creature. Highlights include: a Puppetzilla slam, a daylong fest at the Skirball and a Bob Baker Marionette Theater retrospective.

Neil Young

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Life-long Neil Young fans (are there really any other kind?) will not want to miss the rock star/environmentalist/best-selling author in person at Dolby Theater for a four-day engagement. His live performances have a legendary reputation, and hopefully there'll be a good mix of the old classics, the newest efforts (from 2012's acclaimed Psychedelic Pill, and his upcoming album A Letter Home), and Young's signature high-quality sound, energy, and gripping guitar solos.

  1. Dolby Theatre 6801 Hollywood Blvd
  2. Until Wed Apr 2
Buy tickets

Tig Notaro Presents: Krullapalooza

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

There's a clear soft streak hidden in Tig Notaro's deadpan delivery, enough that the acclaimed comedian is mounting an annual festival in the memory of late acress Suzanne Krull. Tig herself heads up a lineup with Zach Galifianakis, Reggie Watts, Patton Oswalt and Ian Harvie for Krullapalooza at the Wiltern. Don't let the steep ticket prices get in the way of seeing this dream lineup: The event benefits Survivors' Truths, in particular its TransYouth Speak project, a social media-minded initiative to reach out to transgender youth. Pro tip: Try to pick up tickets at the Palladium box office any Saturday from 10am-2pm to avoid service charges.

  1. The Wiltern 3790 Wilshire Blvd
  2. Tue Apr 1
Buy tickets

Willie Nelson

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Mellow outlaw-country figurehead Willie Nelson brings his road-sharpened crew to the Wiltern for one night only. The American songwriter/poet/activist/legend turns 81 this year, and musically he can still roll with the best of them (as well as in other regards—Snoop Dogg recently claimed Willie is the only person who has out-smoked him). Nab your tickets stat so you don’t miss this chance to see the icon in action.

  1. The Wiltern 3790 Wilshire Blvd
  2. Wed Apr 2
Buy tickets

LA Beer Fest

  • Price band: 2/4

Grab a cold one and gather 'round for a daylong celebration of America's favorite beverage—beer. The LA Beer Fest is coming back in April with over 50 selections of both international and domestic drafts on tap. Food trucks will be at bay to handle the cravings and bands will be rocking out their favorite tunes. The event is split into two separately ticketed time slots: noon to 3pm and 5pm to 8pm.

  1. Los Angeles Center Studios 450 S Bixel St
  2. Until Sat Apr 5
Buy tickets

Hollywood Half Marathon

  • Price band: 2/4

Hollywood Boulevard finds itself somewhere between pedestrian utopia and zombie apocalypse as all of the cars (and some of the tourists) flee for the Hollywood Half Marathon. The course starts at Hollywood and Highland, meanders all the way over to Echo Park Lake and finishes up back at Hollywood and Vine. If you can't cut running a half marathon, opt for the simultaneous 5k, 10k or fun run—proceeds benefit Covenant House and Los Angeles Youth Network Homeless Shelter.

  1. Hollywood & Highland 6801 Hollywood Boulevard
  2. Until Sat Apr 5
More info

Kevin & Bean’s April Foolishness

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

KROQ morning fixtures Kevin and Bean host this annual comedy blowout at the Shrine Auditorium. Like an LA counterpart to the UK's Red Nose Day, the show pulls in a "shut up and take my money" caliber of comedians, with proceeds from the event going to charity (Fisher House and Cedars-Sinai NICU). Be sure to snag a seat—on sale March 14 at noon—for the sure sell-out show, otherwise you'll be left begging for tickets on the KROQ request line. This year's performers include Jim Jefferies, Patton Oswalt, Adam Carolla, Tim Minchin, Marc Maron, Doug Benson, Eddie Ifft and Taylor Williamson (one of our 11 comedians to watch in 2014).

  1. Shrine Auditorium & Expo Center 665 W Jefferson Blvd
  2. Until Sat Apr 5
Buy tickets

CicLAvia – Iconic Wilshire Boulevard

  • Free

LA's beloved eco-friendly CicLAvia returns with an encore of its most walkable route ever. From One Wilshire Downtown to Miracle Mile, ride your bike, walk your dog, skateboard, run or do anything else motor-less you can think of at this unique impromptu park along six miles of one of the world's most iconic boulevards. Join the fun at any point along the route and visit museum-sponsored pedestrian zones with performers, activities, food trucks and more.

Grand Prix of Long Beach

  • Price band: 3/4

Nicknamed "Southern California's Official Spring Brake," this high-speed extravaganza takes places over a two-mile street circuit that includes plenty of straights and curves. Spectators should expect to spend the afternoon biting their nails. Concerts and a family fun zone where kids 3-6 years old can race in their own cars round the weekend out nicely.

  1. Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau 301 E Ocean Boulevard
  2. Until Sun Apr 13
More info

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Bibliophiles flock to the USC campus each spring for this annual two-day event. The outdoor book fair of sorts features stalls from a variety of booksellers as well as author readings, signings and culinary demos. It's impossible to understate the sheer variety and quality of talent the festival attracts, with past appearances by anyone from Dave Eggers and Batman comic book writers to Margaret Atwood and the late Ray Bradbury. Bring the kids and spend the weekend discovering new titles, watching screenings and enjoying live music and cultural entertainment.

  1. University of Southern California 850 W 37th St
  2. Until Sun Apr 13
More info

Ellie Goulding

  • Price band: 2/4

She's a big star nowadays, headlining the royal wedding reception in 2011 and romantically involved with Skrillex (of all people) for several months, but Goulding still has a fragile, personal side to her music that sets her apart from other chart-pop performers. She'll do her disco-meets-electronica thing at Fox Theater before she does a Saturday set at Coachella, breathily singing tracks from her 2012 album Halcyon (and the bonus track compilation Halcyon Days).

  1. Fox Theater Pomona 301 S Garey Ave
  2. Until Tue Apr 15
Buy tickets

Blessing of the Animals

  • Free

Led by a cow festooned with flowers, this procession of farm animals and pets (with their owners) winds its way down LA’s oldest street, where each animal is blessed with holy water. Bring Fido to the Plaza on Olvera Street and let the kids enjoy a petting zoo, free pony rides and live entertainment at this event—a local tradition every Saturday before Easter since 1930.

  1. Olvera Street 125 Paseo De La Plz # 400
  2. Sat Apr 19
More info

Coachella 2014

Each spring music lovers from all over the world make a pilgrimage to the Coachella Valley for one of the nation’s best festivals. Emerging artists take the stage along with established acts in every genre from rock to funk and dance, while fans turn out for two weekends of musical bliss in the California sun. The Coachella 2014 festival, which runs Fri–Sun April 11–13 and 18–20, includes stellar newcomers such as Haim and Lorde, established favorites such as Outkast, Chromeo and Neko Case and icons from Arcade Fire and Neutral Milk Hotel (swoon!) to Motörhead.

Ktown Night Market

Take a break from eating your bulgogi and listen up: LA is getting its very own Ktown Night Market. Well, at least for two days. On April 18 and 19, Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools will fill with food trucks, performers, a-yet-to-be-determined Kollaboration Stage, and a K-Pop experience (meaning there will be dancing galore). While the list of food trucks has not been released quite yet (we'll keep you updated!), the 40+ vendors are being curated by Seoul Sausage Co., Season 3 winners of Food Network's The Great Truck Race. Which means, essentially, that the selection of food is going to be crazy good. A Yelp-hosted Ktown bar crawl is also in the works, so you can cap off the night with libations from various bars in the area. Cheers to that!

  1. Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools 701 S Catalina St
  2. Until Sat Apr 19
More info

WonderCon Anaheim

  • Price band: 2/4

Comic-Con International brings its unique brand of super-fandom closer to LA this Easter weekend. Comic, anime, gaming, movie and TV lovers can head to Anaheim for three days full of sneak peeks, Q&As, premiere screenings and special guests. Highlights include birthday celebrations for Batman and Godzilla, as well as the world premiere of the animated film Son of Batman. And no comic convention would be complete without a costume contest; register by April 5 to participate in the large-scale onstage Masquerade competition.

  1. Anaheim Convention Center 800 W Katella Ave
  2. Until Sun Apr 20
Buy tickets

Lebowski Fest

  • Price band: 2/4

The dude will abide at this loyal homage to the cult Jeff Bridges stoner classic. The two-day festival tours the nation and "achievers" (fans of the film) show up in droves for a Lebowski screening, bowling, trivia and costume contests, and, of course, White Russians. Grab your bowling shoes and viking helmets and celebrate the 16th anniversary of the movie. The Friday night film screening will feature music by the Kyle Gass Band (of Tenacious D fame), and expect actors from the film to make appearances throughout the weekend as well. In the past Bridges himself has even showed up and sang along to songs with fans. Far out!

Desert Daze

  • Price band: 2/4

More indie than Coachella, less dirt than Burning Man, Desert Daze is your antidote to the typical desert music festival. Join the lineup of Blonde Redhead, The Raveonettes, Liars, Autolux, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Vincent Gallo, DIIV, Allah-Las, Night Beats and nearly two dozen others for an outdoor concert, camping and art festival. The event is open to music lovers of all ages, especially those who purchase a Desert Daze solar powered tent by April 2, which they'll have fully charged and set up upon your arrival.

  1. Sunset Ranch Oasis 69520 South Lincoln St
  2. Until Sat Apr 26
Buy tickets

BritWeek

A week-long celebration of all things British, from Shakespeare to rugby and everything in between, is an annual event in Los Angeles. The fest includes lectures, parties, performances, and more, and it ends with a street fair in Santa Monica.

  1. Third Street Promenade 3rd St, between Wilshire Blvd and Colorado Ave
  2. Until Sun May 4
More info

The Amazing Acro-Cats

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Your cat can push things over, scamper around like a possessed demon and ignore commands, but can it do all of that in front of a paying audience? Enter the Amazing Acro-Cats, a troupe of over a dozen cats (former orphans, rescues and strays) that dazzles feline-loving audiences with its circus-inspired routine. The cats perform—when they feel like it—under the direction of "chief human" Samantha Martin. Plus, after the routine, cowbell player extraordinaire Tuna leads a performance by the Rock Cats, the most adorable noodly band in cat (and chicken, thanks to drummer Cluck Norris) history.

  1. Underground Theater 1312-1314 N Wilton Pl
  2. Sun May 4
Buy tickets

Renaissance Pleasure Faire

  • Price band: 3/4

The hour stands before another springtime, and the Renaissance Pleasure Faire is nigh. Good mistresses and masters, prepareth thy schedules and costumes for the return of the oldest Ren Faire in the country, a spectacle that cov'reth 20 Irwindale acres with Elizabethan libations and amusement: fully armored joust tournaments and tea parties with the Queen along with beguiling stage acts, rides, games, delicious edibles and ales abound. The fesitivies will transpire each weekend at the Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area (15501 E Arrow Highway) from April 5 through May 18. Procureth day or season passes in advance by visiting ye olde online box office. And no, we can't stop talking like this.

Live Talks LA

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

LA's star-studded lecture series has outdone itself this spring with a lineup of writers, artists, performers, scientists and business leaders, who, for as little as $25 per Live Talk, will graciously blow your mind. Every week (and sometimes more) from March through May, venues around the city will host guest speakers to tickle a variety of Angeleno brains—from those interested in technology to those who fancy literature. This season's lineup includes Chelsea Handler, Malcolm Gladwell, Bob Saget, Arianna Huffington, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and several other masters of their field. Check the Live Talks website for individual event details, and snag your tickets before word spreads.

Date Night at the Grove

  • Price band: 2/4

Let's spend a night together at the Grove—perhaps it's not the most romantic pick-up line, but it is a worthwhile option for a budget-friendly night out thanks to Date Night at the Grove. For $30 per person, you'll get a three-course dinner and movie tickets for two, plus complimentary valet parking. Participating restaurants include Morels French Steakhouse, La Piazza Ristorante Italiano, Maggiano's Little Italy, the Whisper Restaurant and Lounge and Bar Verde at Nordstrom.

  1. The Grove 189 The Grove Dr
  2. Until Sat May 31
More info


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