News / City Life

52 amazing things happening in L.A. this May 2018

Photograph: Courtesy Kelly Lee Barrett/Cinespia

Plan out your month with the city’s best concerts, culture, cuisine and more.


Through May 20
Renaissance Pleasure Faire; Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area

Prepareth thy schedules and costumes for the return of the oldest Ren Faire in the country.

May 4, 5
Lucha VaVOOM; Mayan

See a physical and twisted take on Cinco de Mayo at this exuberant edition of the high-flying wrestling-meets-burlesque show.

May 5, 6
The United State of Women; Various locations

Listen to empowering speeches from Michelle Obama, Jane Fonda, Connie Britton and others during this inspiring summit to break down the barriers that stand between women and equality.

May 11–13
RuPaul’s DragCon; Los Angeles Convention Center

Celebrate gender swapping culture and couture at this colossal convention from drag juggernaut RuPaul.

May 19, 20
Best Friends NKLA Super Adoption; Warner Center Park

Adopt your new best friend at this dog and cat drive.

May 20
Museums of the Arroyo Day; Various locations

Explore the history of early Los Angeles life with free admission to six museums in Northeast L.A. and Pasadena.

May 26–28
Topanga Days Country Fair; Topanga Community Club

Escape to this bohemian weekend festival tucked away in picturesque Topanga Canyon.

May 26–28
Fiesta Hermosa; Downtown Hermosa Beach

Bring your beach gear, and roam the 400 vendor stalls at this Memorial Day weekend block party.

May 27
L.A. Zine Fest; Pasadena Convention Center

Get to know the world of DIY printed lit with this assembly of nearly 175 exhibitors of zines, small press publications and comics.

Find more things to do in our May 2018 events calendar.


May 3
Westbound’s “Two Legit to Quit” Two-Year Anniversary Party; Westbound

Ring in two years of this gem of an Arts District cocktail bar as they throw a two-themed party, complete with two-for-one drink specials.

May 6
Masters of Taste; Rose Bowl

Splurge on this luxury fod fest featuring top-notch spots like Redbird, Lunasia, 1886 and more.

May 12
Sugar & Stilettos Bake Sale Extravaganza; 2306 Midvale Ave

Support the Westside Food Bank with sweets for sale and feast in a charity BBQ.

May 19, 20
California Strawberry Festival; Strawberry Meadows of College Park

Celebrate all things related to the red, heart-shaped fruit at this popular Oxnard festival.

May 19
EEEEEATSCON; Barker Hangar

Attend talks from top chefs and preview plates from spots like NoMad, Porto’s, Roberta’s at this food fest.

May 19
Taste of Santa Ana; MainPlace Mall

The fifth annual celebration of Santa Ana’s growing food and beverage scene means more than 40 vendors handing out unlimited small plates and samples.

May 20
Angel City Heritage Music & Arts Festival; Angel City Brewery

Celebrate the Arts District brewery’s sixth anniversary with this beer, food, art and music festival.

May 26
Eat Drink Vegan; Rose Bowl

Munch on an array of meals at the meatless smorgasbord, featuring more than 75 vegan food stands and unlimited pours of wine, beer, cold brew and kombucha.

May 27
MAINopoly: A Taste of Main Street; Main Street Santa Monica

Eat and drink at spots along Main Street in Santa Monica during this Monopoly-themed neighborhood crawl.


Through May 13
“Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’”; The Broad

Discover Jasper Johns’s beewax and found-object collages with over 100 of the artist’s most iconic and significant paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings.

May 1
Who Let “Who Let the Dogs Out” Out; Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles

Artist Ben Sisto shines a light on the origins of that catchy pop abomination you’re ashamed you can’t stop yourself from singing.

May 2
LeVar Burton Reads Live!; The Regent Theater

The Reading Rainbow hosts adopts his podcast for a live audience and reads a short story aloud on stage.

May 6–July 6
Beyond the Streets; Werkartz

Explore a massive Chinatown gallery filled with works from Shepard Fairey, Retna, Guerrilla Girls, Invader, Takashi Murakami and more.

May 6–Sept 9
“In the Fields of Empty Days”; LACMA

Past and present collide in these contemporary Iranian photographs, paintings and sculptures that draw from a history of olden kings, heroes and martyred imams.

May 6
Stories Of: Jealousy; The Regent Theater

Listen to Shirley Manson, Aparna Nancherla, Madame Gandhi share their personal experiences about a theme during this quarterly storytelling event.

May 12
Pop-Up Magazine; The Theatre at Ace Hotel

See a selection of writers, artists, photographers and filmmakers premiere new works at this live magazine experience.

May 12–Jan 6
“Rick Bartow: Things You Know but Cannot Explain”; The Autry Museum in Griffith Park

The Autry presents the first retrospective of the late Native American artist’s highly personal and haunting large-scale paintings of animal and human forms.

May 19–Aug 27
“Out of the Woods”; Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens

Trees take center stage in this traveling celebration of public gardens as expressed through this artist-submitted collection of botanical illustrations.


Rooftop Cinema Club; Ricardo Montalbán Theatre • LEVEL

Continue the outdoor movie season at the return of the Hollywood and Downtown rooftop series.

Through Oct 27
Street Food Cinema; Various locations

Follow the food trucks to this seasonal, outdoor screening series.

May 1–June 28
Melrose Rooftop Theatre; E.P. & L.P.

Sink into a beanbag for film screenings atop the ultra-chic Melrose rooftop bar.

May 5–Sept 15
Eat|See|Hear; Various locations

The outdoor screening series travels to different locales throughout the city each Saturday during the summer.

Starts May 12
Cinespia; Hollywood Forever Cemetery

It isn’t summer in L.A. until the first cemetery screening brings hoards of movie-lovers to Hollywood Forever.

May 19
Fight Club + Live Score; The Wiltern

Dust Brothers make a rare in-person appearance to lead their score of the David Fincher mind-bender.

May 21
City of Gold screening with Jonathan Gold Q&A; The Wiltern

Catch a screening of the documentary about L.A.’s own Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic, followed by a Q&A with Gold, director Laura Gabbert and a panel of local chefs.

May 25, 26
Beauty and the Beast in Concert; Hollywood Bowl

Zooey Deschanel, Kelsey Grammer and Taye Diggs will take up the singing voices during a live, orchestra-backed performance and screening of the animated classic.

May 25, 26
Lebowski Fest; The Wiltern • Fountain Bowl

The Dude abides at this Big Lebowski screening and bowling party.


May 4, 5
LCD Soundsystem + Yeah Yeah Yeahs; Hollywood Bowl

Dust off that old brick of an MP3 player: Two of your favorite early-aughts indie obsessions are sharing the stage at the Hollywood Bowl this spring.

May 5
Arctic Monkeys; Hollywood Forever Cemetery

The snotty British garage-rockers return after a four-year hiatus.

May 9, 10
Khalid; Greek Theatre

The 20-year-old soul star pairs breezy arrangements with allusions to Uber and subtweets.

May 10, 11
Top Dawg Entertainment: The Championship Tour; The Forum

Kendrick Lamar, SZA, ScHoolboyQ and others play at this victory lap from hip-hop’s dominant (local) label.

May 10, 11
“Weird Al” Yankovic; The Theatre at Ace Hotel

The prolific long-haired songwriter knows how to dish out a parody (and a polka jam).

May 15, 16
U2; The Forum

Though U2 still hasn’t found what it’s looking for on its latest album, Bono & Co. excel with cutting-edge stagecraft in arena shows.

May 18, 19
Taylor Swift; Rose Bowl

The old Taylor is dead and the new Taylor is... filling mega venues with harmless, shiny pop songs, just like the old Taylor.

May 22, 23, 28
Paul Simon; Hollywood Bowl

Catch the pop icon over three nights at the Hollywood Bowl on this farewell tour.

May 23
Godspeed You! Black Emperor; The Wiltern

The frantic Canadian collective continues to explore the boundaries of instrumental rock.

May 24
Fun Lovers Unite!; The Regent Theater

Moby, Sarah Silverman, Jonathan Ames, Kurt Braunohler and Open Mike Eagle headline this comedy-and-music fund-raiser for Women Against Gun Violence.

May 26, 27
Stoned and Dusted; Location T.B.A.

Celebrate stoner rock and the desert music scene at this on-the-down-low offshoot of Desert Generator.

Find more shows in our May 2018 concert calendar.


May 3–June 10
Soft Power; Ahmanson Theatre

The contemporary comedy reconsiders recent U.S. political history through the lens of a Chinese executive.

May 29–June 17
The Color Purple; Pantages Theatre

The brutal, lauded story continues to attract awards and devoted audiences.


Through May 1
NSYNC Dirty Pop-Up; Cinematic Pictures

Pose in front of photo activations and props and peruse official merch at this NSYNC pop-up.

May 12, 13
Echo Park Craft Fair;

Join artsy Eastsiders for a feast of hand-dyed clothing and delicately concocted bath oils, one-of-a-kind ceramics, weavings, jewelry and beyond.

May 12, 13
Unique LA;

Check out local products and rub elbows with the different designers and artists showcasing their work at this massive craft fair.