August 2018 events calendar for Los Angeles

Plan your month with our August 2018 events calendar of the best activities, including free things to do, festivals and our favorite summer concerts
Photograph: Foster Snell
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August may signal summer’s home stretch, but that doesn’t mean the fun needs to end. Grab an ice cream cone or dive into a pool party while it’s still warm—ah, who are we kidding, it’s always perfectly pleasant in Los Angeles. Keep sipping those summer cocktails, head to one of the county’s best beaches and follow our August events calendar for the best festivals and activities in L.A. this month.

RECOMMENDED: Full events calendar for 2018

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Rooftop Cinema Club
Photograph: Courtesy Kimmi Cranes
Movies

Rooftop Cinema Club

icon-location-pin Downtown
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The masters of alfresco rooftop movie viewing have returned for their fourth season of screenings in Hollywood—and its second in Downtown L.A. Known for excellent film choices and a steady supply of snacks and booze, Rooftop Cinema Club is your snazzy, comfortable and less stressful alternative to other outdoor movie screenings.

Union Station
Photograph: Courtesy Union Station
Movies

Summer Film Series at Union Station

icon-location-pin Downtown
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Film enthusiasts and foodies alike can come together inside L.A.'s historic Union Station for Metro Art's three-part, film series, Filmmm, featuring a curated roundup of food-themed movies. The summer series kicks off with a screening of The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound, followed by City of Gold and I am Love. Don't worry about these films making you hungry—each showcase will be accompanied by a line-up of L.A. food trucks including Comet BBQ, Boba Ni Taco and Nitropod. Plus, you can expect special guests or Q&A's for each screening. Insider tip: Make it a picnic and bring your chairs and blankets to spread out on the North Patio, where the screening will take place.

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Music, Rock, Pop & Hip-hop

Ed Sheeran

icon-location-pin Pasadena
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Ginger-mopped English popster Ed Sheeran is only in his early 20s but already a huge hit at home—his debut album, +, entered the charts at number one, and he performed at the Olympics closing ceremony. He's making waves here, too, having recorded a duet with Taylor Swift for her best-selling album, Red and performing live with Elton John at The Grammys.     

Best Coast
Photograph: Courtesy Best Coast
Music

Pershing Square Downtown Stage

icon-location-pin Downtown Financial District
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Downtown’s concrete square gets a bit livelier with feel-good Saturday-night sets from the Bangles, Best Coast, Ozomatli and Smash Mouth, plus Wednesday afternoon farmers’ market shows. Catch the free, open-air performances from July 11 through August 18. 

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riot fest 2017, m.i.a.
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Music, Music festivals

All My Friends Music Festival

icon-location-pin Downtown
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ROW DTLA isn’t just for Smorgasburg and trendy boutiques. Come this August, it’ll also host a new music festival from HARD founder Gary Richards. The inaugural All My Friends music festival will arrive at ROW DTLA on August 18 and 19. RL Grime, Gucci Mane and Jhene Aiko will headline Saturday of the fest, while M.I.A., Jamie xx and Armand Van Helden top Sunday’s lineup. Tickets for the 18-and-over fest are on sale now. A two-day pass costs $119, while a VIP ticket runs for $249.

Things to do

Hello Kitty Night at Dodger Stadium

icon-location-pin Echo Park
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America’s pastime and a supercute Japanese icon collide during Hello Kitty Night at Dodger Stadium. Pick up your ticket to the game against the St. Louis Cardinals through a special package and you’ll nab an adorable Helloy Kitty x Dodgers drawstring tote bag along with your seat at Chavez Ravine.

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KCRW Summer Nights
Photograph: Courtesy KCRW
Music

KCRW Summer Nights

icon-location-pin Santa Monica
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Everyone’s favorite NPR affiliate has a hand in over a half-dozen summer concert slates at locations like Union Station and the Hammer Museum. But the party-till-midnight bashes at Chinatown Central Plaza have become a particular favorite. Familiar KCRW personalities like Garth Trinidad, Travis Holcombe, Anne Litt and Jason Bentley spin the tunes at these food truck-fueled block parties. Participate in cultural workshops before busting a move on the dance floor to DJ sets and live bands. A craft beer garden, cooking demonstrations and a vintage market round out the fun to be had at this music-centric event.

The Joy Luck Club screening
Photograph: Courtesy Wikipedia
Movies, Drama

The Joy Luck Club 25th Anniversary Screening

icon-location-pin Beverly Hills
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Revisit your high-school English class with this screening of the film adaptation of Amy Tan's best-selling novel The Joy Luck Club. The Chinese-American author's tale struck a chord with readers everywhere, and the book became a movie in 1993. Head to the Samuel Goldwyn Theater to get swept up in the film's masterful storytelling—it weaves together eight narratives about mothers and daughters—and poignant comment on the meaning of family. Tan, along with executive producer Janet Yang, writer-producer Ron Bass and actress Rosalind Chao, will be in attendance. Tickets go on sale August 1. 

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Art, Installation

Olafur Eliasson: Reality Projector

icon-location-pin Central LA
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Eliasson began planning his first major L.A. exhibition in a decade about two years ago, when he first set foot in the then-under-construction. He started with a large-scale model of the installation and began removing elements until he was left with the finished work: a series of projectors and color gels that turns the massive space into a sort of illumianted X-ray. The space may look like an oddly aligned movie screen at first, but step forward and look behind you to see the magical mechanisms at work. Reality Projector positions slowly moving lights in the buildings rafters, and as they slide along they cast colorful shadows through a series of strategically placed filters. As a result, the guts and bones of the building become part of the artwork—as does the viewer, as part of that larger space. Eliasson tapped fellow Icelandic artist and Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi to create a clattering ambient score that accompanies the slowly shifting installation. He also designed two hanging spheres in the museum’s lobby: one lit by LEDs with silver coated glass, the other a more colorful cluster of handblown glass illuminated by an incandescent lamp. You can visit the installation for free at the Maricano Art Foundation from March 1 to August 25, though advance reservations are required.

Harry Potter Roller Skating Night
Photograph: Courtesy LADA
Things to do

Harry Potter Roller Skating Night

icon-location-pin Glendale
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Lace up your Muggle skates and roll around the not-Quidditch pitch at the annual Harry Potter Roller Skating Night. The fan group Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army takes over Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale for a night of Harry Potter-themed music, merch and games. Come dressed in costume and load up on candy and butterbeer—non-alcoholic, unfortunately—while you’re there.

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