Memorial Day events in Los Angeles
Roam the 400 stalls at this arts festival, sample the fine foods and listen to the music—and then take a dip in the nearby Pacific. Look out for the Fiesta over both Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.
Forget blogs: Get out from behind your computer screen and into the world of printed lit at L.A. Zine Fest. The all-day event showcases over 175 exhibitors of zines and small press publications from across the country, bringing together the best of SoCal nerds for the exchange of art, ideas and more. Don’t miss the fest’s free readings and workshops.
Tucked away in picturesque Topanga Canyon, this Memorial Day weekend festival has become a favorite local tradition. Bohemian locals of all ages as well as curious onlookers converge to celebrate music, food, arts and Mother Earth. Some complain that the masses have commercialized this neighborhood event, but there are still plenty of true ‘60s hippies, vegan food vendors and healing arts to make you think you’re in Woodstock.
Everybody likes a good theme party, and this Memorial Day Weekend, Main Street in Santa Monica is giving the people what they want. In an effort not only to entertain Westsiders, but also to raise funds for Summer SOULstice, Main Street between Pier Avenue and Bay Street will transform into an interactive Monopoly board game, allotting attendees special “MAINopoly dollars,” to be exchanged for food tastings across the street's finest establishments.
While there are several festivals enticing families over Memorial Day weekend, this is the only option that will (figuratively) transport its 15,000 attendees to New Orleans. The two-day annual Cajun & Blues Festival in scenic Simi Valley will satisfy different musical tastes with both a Cajun/zydeco stage as well as a blues stage. Snack on food options straight out of Louisiana like jambalaya and alligator sausage, and take part in a bead-filled Mardi Gras parade each day. As a cherry (or rather crawfish) on top, the proceeds will go to charitable, educational and humanitarian causes.
After a short-lived stint in the early spring, UCLA’s impressively student-run fest is returning to its Memorial Day roots. Though the fest promises the same vibe—which, in the past, was definitely the most 4/20-friendly of the pre-summer festivals—its two days have been pruned down into one. Gone are the dedicated jam band and reggae days; instead you can expect a more streamlined show.
Angel City Brewery celebrates its birthday with the Heritage Music & Arts Festival. The annual beer, food, art and music festival features brewmaster-led tours every hour for a behind-the-scenes look at how house craft brews are made. Fill up on grub from local food trucks, and when you’re ready to break from eating and drinking, rock out to L.A. musical talents, check out live painting, and rummage through artisanal wares from local artisans at the Beer Bazaar.
As a throwback to the gasoline genrator-fueled desert parties in the early ’90s, this on-the-down-low offshoot of Desert Generator is celebrating stoner rock and the desert music scene with a two-day campout. The event kicks off at Pappy & Harriet’s with sets from Melvins, Fu Manchu and Brant Bjork, co-founder of seminal stoner rock band Kyuss. Then the action moves into the Mojave for a show with Black Mountain, Acid King, Mark Lanegan and more. Details are hush-hush; we just know it’s somewhere near Joshua Tree.
Celebrate gender swapping culture and couture at this colossal convention from drag juggernaut RuPaul. Meet queens, pop culture personalities and the winners of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and catch a keynote speech by RuPaul, panels on drag and disco and more.
Pack a picnic and plenty of booze for the summertime rite of passage, with a screening of Legally Blonde.