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Cherry blossoms at the Huntington
Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano

March 2023 events calendar for Los Angeles

Plan your month with our March 2023 events calendar of the best activities, including free things to do, festivals and our favorite concerts

Michael Juliano
Edited by
Michael Juliano
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Shed that extra, light sweatshirt—spring is here. Fill your lungs with the sweet, less-smoggy air on one of the best hikes in L.A. or set out in search of some (fingers crossed) wildflower blooms. Whether you’re looking for things to do around town or a weekend getaway, there are plenty of springtime happenings to find in our March events calendar.

RECOMMENDED: Full events calendar for 2023

This March’s best events

  • Things to do
  • TV, radio and podcast recordings
  • Hollywood

Geek out with fellow TV nerds at PaleyFest, the annual weeklong festival of exclusive episodes, clips and panel discussions with the cast and creators of the hottest TV shows. This year’s lineup includes The MandalorianYellowjacketsThe Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, YellowstoneAbbott ElementaryGrey’s Anatomy and The Late Late Show with James Corden.

  • Things to do
  • Echo Park

Kicking off at Dodger Stadium, this annual parade of physical endurance and community spirit winds its way through 26.2 miles of L.A., and usually would wrap up in Santa Monica—though this year’s route again loops back around West L.A. and toward Century City. More than 25,000 runners will participate, and even if you aren’t one of them, being a spectator can be an exhilarating experience as well.

RECOMMENDED: L.A. Marathon guide

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  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Downtown

Anna Deavere Smith’s one-woman play, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, turned firsthand interviews about the still-fresh riots into an astounding documentary-theater piece. Three decades later, the play comes home for a run at the Mark Taper Forum (Mar 8–Apr 9), this time around as an ensemble piece—which during its Off Broadway run in 2021, our theater critic in New York awarded five stars and called “a work of brilliantly sustained deep focus.”

  • Things to do
  • Festivals
  • Redondo Beach

This beautiful, free festival celebrates the history and whimsy of the kite. Watch as hundreds take to the sky, or bring your own—there will be contests for highest flying kite, best handmade kite and youngest kite flyer. You can also help to launch a 25-foot wide kite. There also tends to be a slew of (rather random) activities on the pier all day, including a hot dog on a stick eating contest and dance performances.

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  • Art
  • Installation

The desert-spanning biennial is back, with premieres of site-specific works from a slate of to-be-announced artists. For its third iteration, Desert X will once again stage outdoor installations across about 40 miles of the Coachella Valley from March 4 to May 7, 2023. This year’s artists include Rana Begum, Lauren Bon, Gerald Clarke, Paloma Contreras Lomas, Torkwase Dyson, Mario García Torres, Hylozoic/Desires (Himali Singh Soin and David Soin Tappeser), Matt Johnson, Tschabalala Self, Marina Tabassum and Héctor Zamora.

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  • Theater
  • Circuses & magic
  • South Park

This lively Cirque production loosely follows life after the death of a clown. After a brief run at the Forum during a 2019 tour, the spectacle returns to L.A. for a significantly longer stint at the Microsoft Theater. Despite the name, expect Corteo—an italian word for procession—to be anything but funerary, with swinging chandeliers and bouncing beds among its acts.

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  • Music
  • Rap, hip-hop and R&B
  • Inglewood

After years on the margins, singer SZA’s career blew up in 2017 with the release of her long-awaited debut album Ctrl, which delivered modern-day R&B with introspective reflections and a willingness to borrow from other genres. Ctrl led to an appearance on the Black Panther soundtrack and her career has only climbed since then.

  • Music
  • Rap, hip-hop and R&B
  • Inglewood

Rolling Loud doesn’t have every major hip-hop act on its lineup, but it’s typically pretty damn close. See Playboi Carti, Future, Lil Wayne and—deep breath—Travis Scott headline the three-day fest, which this year heads to Inglewood at Hollywood Park, on the grounds next to SoFi Stadium. The absolutely massive lineup also includes the likes of Kodak Black, Tyga, Lil Baby, Lil Uzi Vert, Saweetie, Ski Mask the Slump God and dozens more—seriously, we weren’t kidding about all the hip-hop.

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  • Things to do
  • Classes and workshops
  • USC/Exposition Park

If you’re sick of First Fridays only offering a high density of food trucks and lines at your favorite dive bars, check out something old—in a good way, we promise—at the Natural History Museum, where First Fridays offer dinosaurs and DJs. The first Friday of every month from February through June plays host to a KCRW-presented evening of music, allowing visitors of all ages to stay late for a night at the museum. Each month offers a different lineup of musical guests and DJs, guided museum tours, and scientist-led talks.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Hollywood

The ’90s kids are all grown up, but they can still indulge their Disney nostalgia under the guise of theater night. Check out Julie Taymor’s The Lion King for Simba, Nala, Rafiki and all the other iconic animals of the African pride lands. Oh, and give your neighbors a courtesy heads-up that you’ll be belting “The Circle of Life” for the next two weeks. 

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  • Music
  • Rock and indie
  • Inglewood

The synth-pop pioneers return to L.A. for one of its first live shows in five years—and its first tour following the death of founding keyboard player Andy Fletcher. Expect darkly melodramatic and sleazy, stadium-scaled electro rock from Dave Gahan and Martin Gore, offset by the odd tender pop ballad, as only DM can pull off.

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  • Music
  • Music festivals
  • San Bernardino

This springtime spin-off in Insomniac’s Wonderland series takes its whimsical, carnival-like atmosphere to this trance-heavy festival. The dreamy, multi-stage experience includes the likes of Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus, Kaskade, Tiësto, Rusko and more.

  • Music
  • Rock and indie
  • Hollywood

Jane’s Addiction, the band that practically invented the notion of “alternative rock,” swings by the Hollywood Palladium on a short West Coast tour.

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  • Music
  • Rock and indie
  • Inglewood

Sing the sorrow with AFI as the moody sort-of-punk band celebrates the 20th anniversary of, well, Sing the Sorrow. The supporting lineup for the show at the Forum is surprisingly strong, too, with sets from Jawbreaker, Chelsea Wolfe and Choir Boy.

  • Things to do
  • Festivals
  • Hermosa Beach

It’s no emerald seaside, but Hermosa Beach injects a bit of Irish spirit into the coastal city for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. Bagpipers, marching bands, cars decked out in green and festive pups from the Irish Setters Club of Southern California typically all make their way across the seven-block route. The parade kicks off near City Hall on Valley Drive, heads west on Pier Avenue and ends at the corner of Hermosa Avenue and 10th Street.

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  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs
  • Downtown Arts District

Every Sunday you can find dozens of food vendors at this market at ROW DTLA, with a mix of much-loved pop-ups and future foodie stars. Look out for this year’s new vendors, including The Golden Skewer, Shlap Muan and Thai Town's Rad Na Silom.

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  • Art
  • Downtown

William Kentridge’s works have rarely popped up in L.A. collections, so it’s understandable if you’re unfamiliar with him. In fact, we’d say that might be the ideal way to head into this nearly four-decade-spanning survey, which has surprises waiting in seemingly every gallery—including a showstopping, barely-illuminated immersive environment.

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  • Art
  • Painting
  • Miracle Mile

This traveling exhibition celebrates a loose group of artists who came together in 1938 in New Mexico, linked by an inclination toward spiritually heightened abstraction. If you’ve day tripped into the deserts near L.A., you’re probably already familiar with a certain mystical quality among the artwork there, and the canvases here conjure that vibe—but decades earlier. You’ll see colorful geometric paintings that mix bold, colorful lines with pastel backgrounds (the homages to Wassily Kandinsky are particularly obvious if you’ve just come from LACMA’s modern galleries). The exhibition is broken up by artist with a focus on painters Raymond Jonson, Emil Bisttram, Agnes Pelton and Lawren Harris. While you’re there, make sure to venture into the adjoining gallery—an unrelated exhibition, to be clear—to see some remarkable lacquer works from East Asia.

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  • Art
  • Painting
  • West Hollywood

These beautifully ugly large-scale paintings from neo-expressionist George Condo would be worth seeing regardless of the context. But for this L.A.-channeling exhibition (the name is an homage to the classic song by the Doors), we’re particularly interested because it marks the debut show at Arts District mega-gallery Hauser & Wirth’s new West Hollywood space, housed in a former classic car showroom.

  • Theater
  • Puppet shows
  • Highland Park

Kick off the Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s 60th anniversary with this bustling big top-inspired show. Over 100 handcrafted marionettes—including elephants and plenty of clowns—fill the Highland Park production, which actually predates both of the BBMT’s locations (late founder Bob Baker first staged the show as a department store window display in the ’40s).

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  • Art
  • Miracle Mile

More than 100 works spanning from the 17th century to today chart the history of the transatlantic slave trade and its legacies in the African diaspora. The works and expressions on display in this LACMA exhibition come from just about every landmass that touches the Atlantic—and therefore places that participated in the slave trade—with works that are hundreds of years old shown next to contemporary creations.

  • Art
  • Hollywood

Perhaps most recognizable to Angelenos for his projections that’ve blanketed both the Walt Disney Concert Hall and a block of DTLA, Refik Anadol creates works of art based on points of data. For this exhibition at Jeffrey Deitch, Anadol’s works all visualize data sets from California environmental data, including weather data around L.A., images of national parks and wind forecasts over the ocean. The gallery show also includes his traveling Infinity Room, an immersive wall of real-time data.

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  • Art
  • Painting
  • Downtown Arts District

Hungarian-American artist Rita Ackermann’s large-scale oil paintings layer colorful, gestural lines atop scenes and figures. Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi creates monumental abstract landscapes that recall color field paintings. Both will be on display at Hauser & Wirth as part of the DTLA gallery’s late-winter exhibitions.

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  • Art
  • Textiles
  • Westside

See how American quilters have knitted together stories since the 1600s at the Skirball’s celebration of quilt makers. Over 40 artists will have work on display, as will a complementary exhibition, “Together for Good: Caron Tabb and the Quilting Corner,” a large-scale collection of keepsakes that respond to the pandemic. Both run at the same time as outdoor sculpture exhibition “Chloë Bass: Wayfinding.”

  • Art
  • Glendale

The museum atop Forest Lawn’s Glendale cemetery is celebrating 60 years of the beloved Bob Baker Marionette Theater with a display of about 100 historical pieces, including puppets, concept art, archival photos and an animatronic band.

Swing by on October 20 for the opening reception, which includes exhibition tours, marionette performances, complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres, and a DJ set from OK Go’s Timothy Nordwind, who’ll be spinning vintage records from the theater’s music library. Email museum@forestlawn.com to RSVP.

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  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Hollywood

Don’t worry about a thing at this Bob Marley exhibition, which arrives in L.A. this winter. The One Love Experience first debuted in London and will now fill 15,000 square feet of the second floor of Ovation Hollywood (formerly Hollywood & Highland) with photos, posters and artwork of the late reggae legend.

The Marley Family and Terrapin Station Entertainment production boasts the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s entire Bob Marley archive, which is stuffed with photos and memorabilia, as well as a silent disco, a street art area and a celebration of the Marley family. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the exhibit will absolutely play up Marley’s connection with marijuana via the “One Love Forest,” a Jamaica-inspired, garden-like gallery that invites you to get together and feel alright, as well as a special 4:20 package available from 4 to 5pm daily.

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