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The Getty
Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano

May 2022 events calendar for Los Angeles

Plan your month with our May 2022 events calendar of the best activities, including free things to do, festivals and our favorite concerts

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You can almost hear the antsy teenagers tapping their toes as the school year wraps up. That’s right, May is the last month to enjoy your favorite L.A. attractions before summer vacation (and crowds) arrives—parents, time to start brushing up on some kids activities. So make the most of that sweet, pre-summer stretch between Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day with our May events calendar.

RECOMMENDED: Full events calendar for 2021 and 2022

The best events in L.A. this May

  • Art
  • price 2 of 4
  • San Marino

Yes, we’ve been looking forward to this, the first edition in an ongoing rotation of works from contemporary Chinese ink artists. But we’re also kind of excited because this exhibition marks the near-completion of the Huntington’s massively-expanded Chinese Garden. Step inside the snug Studio for Lodging the Mind and you’ll find 20 poetic calligraphic scrolls that inspired inscriptions at named sites across the surrounding Chinese garden. For anyone who can only decipher the Latin alphabet, the wall texts help unpack the art behind the Chinese characters: one breaks down the order of strokes with a step-by-step diagram while another unfurls the different components of a scroll mount. Make sure to watch the five-minute process video to scratch some ASMR itches, plus another that mixes footage of handwriting and interviews from eight of the artists. The delicate works on paper can only safely stay on display for a few months at a time, so the exhibition is split into two rotations: The first is up through mid-December, and then the gallery will go dark until the end of January for the second.

  • Art
  • Film and video
  • price 2 of 4
  • Miracle Mile

“Hayao Miyazaki,” which opens with the Academy Museum’s debut on September 30, features over 300 storyboards, concept images and backgrounds, many of them on display outside of Studio Ghibli’s Tokyo headquarters for the first time. It pulls from the director’s 11 feature films, with a particularly strong tilt toward My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away as well as his lush, enchanted forest settings. Find out more in our full preview of the exhibit.

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  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • price 2 of 4
  • Miracle Mile

Play “Q” for the day at this assembly of some of the most famous gadget-adorned vehicles to appear in 007 films. The Petersen has put together a collection of 30 cars, motorcycles, boats, submarines, helicopters and scale filming models of aircraft from six decades of James Bond movies. Highlights include the 1977 Lotus Esprit S1 Submarine from The Spy Who Loved Me, a 1999 BMW Z8 from The World Is Not Enough and the 2019 Aston Martin DB10 from Spectre.

  • Art
  • Film and video
  • price 2 of 4
  • Little Tokyo

At some point, you should probably read the materials lists for each one of Pipilotti Rist’s installations. Because that’s the only way you’d know that the garments in the entrance’s 29 Palms Chandelier are specifically used underpants, or that, yes, those lampshades in the glowing strands of Pixel Forest are indeed labia-shaped. But save all that reading for after your visit, because “Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor” crafts such a surreal, fully-realized world using projections and furniture that it’s best to just completely give in to its colorful, curious city and mull it all over later (as you undoubtedly will). Everything seems so purposefully fit for the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA that you might not even realize the works here span more than three decades: Rist’s retrospective has wrapped everything up in a layout that uses alleyways and house exteriors to link together psychedelically-decorated living rooms and curving hallways of curtains. Everything feels alive. There’s something waiting around every corner, whether a warehouse-wall–sized video projection or a top-down diorama of a bedroom that’s been been ripped open by the moon, and the pieces are always accompanied by sounds to pull you forward: birds chirping, water dripping, leaves rustling, a spectral cover of “Wicked Game.” The focus is on visuals, though, and the oddly hypnotic draw of a screen. Rist’s often female-form–inspired projections play out across every canvas size: tucked into books

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  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • price 3 of 4
  • Hollywood

It seems like the trend of room-filling, artist-inspired projections is here to stay because the folks behind Immersive Van Gogh have announced the next painter that’ll take over their Hollywood space: Frida Kahlo. From March 31 through June 11, 2022, the Mexican painter’s surrealist portraits will mix alongside historical photographs in “Frida: Immersive Dream.” The multi-city spectacle, put on here by Lighthouse Immersive and Impact Museums, says it’ll focus on both Kahlo’s life story and signature pieces, including works like The Two Fridas, The Wounded Deer and Diego and I. The digital creation onces again comes from Massimiliano Siccardi, whose busy take on Van Gogh we found to be a lot. And like Van Gogh, timed tickets (which are available now) are very pricey, starting at $40 on some weekdays and ticking up to $70 on weekend evenings.

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  • Comedy
  • Stand-up
  • price 2 of 4

Netflix’s stand-up specials keep us cackling at home, but the streaming service’s ambitious comedy festival is nothing to laugh at. Netflix is a Joke Fest was initially announced for the spring of 2020 with 100 shows spread across L.A. in the span of one week, from the likes of Ali Wong, Dave Chappelle, Hannah Gadsby, Jerry Seinfeld and Whoopi Goldberg. But then, you know, 2020 happened. Thankfully, though, the fest is slated for a 2022 debut, with the lineup still to come.

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  • Music
  • price 4 of 4
  • Indio

Strap on your cowboy hat and make the pilgrimage to country music’s biggest jamboree, taking up residence at Coachella’s digs, the Empire Polo Club. Stagecoach is coming back for a three-day fest; expect the usual mix of contemporary and classic country. Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Luke Combs headline the 2022 edition, with additional sets from Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne, the Black Crowes and Midland, plus some horseback presence from the Compton Cowboys.

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