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After smashing it in 2013 during The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, the one and only Beyoncé Knowles is back in LA with Mr. Carter in tow. After the world-shattering surprise-release of her self-titled new album, Bey’ll have plenty of brand new songs to bust out at this Rose Bowl extravaganza, not to mention some of the definitive pop and R&B tracks of the last 20 years. All in all, it should be a typically Yoncéan hurricane of full-throttle tuneage, combined with stuff-strutting moves to leave the audience breathless, let alone her backing dancers. Would anyone argue that Jay Z isn't the undercard here? In recent years, he's been graciously sharing the spotlight with Kanye, JT, his wife... the latter of which is particularly fine by us.
Mecca of pop-culture art and collectibles Limited Runs is bringing its first-ever Pop Art Photo Show to L.A. this September. Expect rare and vintage art, photography and posters from the past four decades—including original Casablanca movie posters, vintage Vogue photos and more stylized pop art works than you'll know what to do with. Head to this four-day collector's paradise at Barker Hangar from September 28 to 30.
This year’s simmersive haunted house, Awake, is a literal nightmare, taking place in a dreamworld made incarnate. It’s also a much longer show, at 75 minutes, than previous runs. Groups of 25 at a time will be led through a series of surreal rooms, each one its own multi-sensory horror. We’re also told there may be some “intimate encounters,” which may allude to the one-on-one scenes Creep shows typically contain in which lucky guests are secreted away from their group by performers.
Start teaching your pooch how to carve waves because Huntington Beach’s annual surf dog competition is right around the corner. The event starts out with two days of “yappy hour” specials and surfing exhibits, followed by the competition itself on Sunday. The action starts in the morning with big dogs and works its way up (or down?) to pint-sized pooches before the final round.
Pop-Up Magazine brings together the best kinds of creatives—writers, artists, photographers, filmmakers, puppeteers, the list goes on—and puts them onstage to share and discuss their work. All pieces performed at the show are new and unpublished, either created for the event or as part of a larger ongoing project. This means getting a first look at work from some of the biggest names in fiction, photography, film and more—according to senior editor Pat Walters, “work everyone else will start hearing about a year from now.” Also, nothing is recorded, so everything shared is a one-time only creative experience.
To kick off its 100th season, the LA Phil joins forces with CicLAvia for a car-free, music-filled fest that stretches from Downtown’s Walt Disney Concert Hall to the orchestra’s summer home at the Hollywood Bowl. Bike, skate or walk between Downtown L.A. and Hollywood as more than 1,800 musicians, artists and dancers will perform at six pedestrian hubs across the eight-mile route. The afternoon culminates in a show at the Hollywood Bowl, where Gustavo Dudamel will lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic with performances from Herbie Hancock, Kali Uchis, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) and more.
Take every artsy street fair you’ve ever attended, add all the stereotypes about Venice Beach and you’ve got the general idea. At this year’s festival, dozens of top food trucks and booths will be on hand, as well as five live music stages featuring everything from electro to spoken word. Get your drink on in three different beer and spirit gardens, or shop from local vendors selling art, jewelry and other handcrafted goods. Riding your bike there? A free bike valet lets you lock it up carefree—which is more than we can say on other days of the year.
For dinner and a movie, all in one, just follow the food trucks. During the summer and fall, Street Food Cinema throws together a series of mostly outdoor parties that include screenings of some of our favorite movies, paired with an assortment of gourmet food trucks and even a live music performance from a cool local band. The screenings are held in venues across L.A., and alternate from week to week, so make sure to check the schedule. Some of the outdoor venues are dog-friendly, allowing you to bring your four-legged cinema lover along. New this year are two overnight camping events that extend the movie screening into a fun summer camp experience for grown-ups.
Every year, the non-profit arts organization Film Independent showcases some of the best up-and-coming filmmakers from around the globe at the annual L.A. Film Festival. If you’re trying to break into Hollywood, it’s an opportunity to take advantage of filmmaker-focused classes and coffee talks, but for the rest of us, the L.A. Film Fest means lots and lots of movie screenings.
Watch the nuns-and-Nazis musical and yodel along to the subtitles at the Hollywood Bowl's song-along celebration of the Julie Andrews classic. Lederhosen and wimples are optional, but they will get you in the mood for the Technicolor film, as will the choral warm-up before the screening and the goodie bag that's included in the evening's ticket price.
The only thing better than a haunted attraction is a haunted attraction on a giant boat. You’ll find all the usual horrors here—fog, mazes and countless monsters. What sets Dark Harbor apart is its use of its surroundings; the dark, cramped confines of the Queen Mary are already pretty spooky even without monsters—just be prepared to climb a lot of skinny staircases. There’s also an R.I.P. Lounge (see what they did there?) if you’re looking for a first-class experience (fewer monsters, more booze). Tip: Arrive early for the $20 “Happy Haunting Hour” from 6pm to 8pm, where you can calm your nerves with a spiked potion at a pair of tap rooms.
Confront familiar foes at Universal Studios’ annual Halloween festivities, where big-budget scares meet iconic horror movie characters. Navigate multiple mazes, scare zones and the “Terror Tram”—this year’s themed attractions include Stranger Things and The First Purge. The scariest part? The intense level of corporate tie-ins. We kid, we kid; the familiar properties make for some pretty fun walk-throughs. See more of the best haunted houses in L.A.
L.A. has changed immeasurably since 1921, when this event was first staged as an agricultural fair. However, the perennially popular event still has farm-friendly appeal (livestock beauty contests, local produce) alongside the more modern acrobats, wine tastings, exhibitions and concerts. RECOMMENDED: A guide to the L.A. County Fair
Indulge your inner foodie and shopaholic at this weekly food-focused market. The Brooklyn export has landed in the Arts District and become a hotbed of fantastic food and retail vendors, with some that are testing out their dishes before launching a full-blown brick-and-mortar in the city. Bonus: there is plentiful (and free, for two hours!) parking in the nearby parking garage.
Silver Lake's legit little music venue offers up some of the best local music in the city every Monday night... for free. Check out LA bands that are about to make it big (acts like Fitz & the Tantrums, Superhumanoids and even Local Natives have graced the residency stage) without spending a dime—well, except on maybe a beer, or a round for the folks onstage. Check the Satellite calendar to see who's on the bill each month. Acts often have a rotating cast of openers, so you can see different bands each week while watching the main act work on material, become more comfortable onstage and find their rhythm as the month goes on. Then a few years from now, you can say "I saw them when...."
Every Saturday and Sunday, the UCB franchise's longest-running, most beloved showcase starts when a base cast of the theater's current top-brass—including founding UCB members Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts—takes the stage. Then they introduce the surprise celebrity alumnae and friends who will be joining them (think Horatio Sanz, Ben Schwartz, Adam Pally). And finally, another special guest takes the stage, a non-improviser (think Flea, Cat Power, Rebel Wilson, Lena Dunham) who opens the show with a personal story, that's deftly mined for laughs by the players. But you have to go to find out who's there—that's part of the fun. Looking for a cheap night out? Sunday shows are free, but seating is first-come, first-served, so be sure to arrive early.
It's free music every Monday when sponsored, up-and-coming local bands call the Echo stage home for a one-month stint, honing their stage presence and giving various opening acts a chance at the spotlight as well. If you're worried a Monday night will fill up to capacity, you can RSVP on the Echo website for VIP entry. When a band is on its third or fourth Monday and killing it, this is a pretty convenient way to make sure you're in on the action.
The newest flea market on the block, the Venice outpost of this artisan/craft-focused flea market mini-empire is bringing records, vintage and vintage-inspired clothing, cosmetics, jewelry and more to the Westminster Avenue Elementary School. A handful of small batch confectioners provide sweet treats to snack on or take home, while food trucks and nearby restaurants provide heartier bites. Though relatively small in size, owing perhaps to its prime location bookending the neighborhood’s famed Abbot Kinney stretch, vendors hawk a diverse range of hand-made and expertly curated wares that seems to simultaneously fit in and stand out in one of the nation’s most unusual neighborhoods.
The third iteration of Ohana Festival once again lands at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, with sets from Eric Church, Norah Jones, Eddie Vedder, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liz Phair, Johnny Marr, Mumford & Sons and Beck. The fest’s name, as Lilo & Stitch fans can tell you, comes from the Hawaiian concept of family, and as such the beachfront festival will give back to its own community by donating a portion of proceeds to the San Onofre Parks Foundation.
This erstwhile Imogen Heap keyboardist and frequent Coldplay collaborator—dubbed “the next Brian Eno”—specializes in dramatically textured sounds and pulsating rhythms (for evidence, see his gorgeous newly released sophomore LP, Singularity). Expect a transporting set from the British maestro.
As the name suggest, this musical is about the life of the talented singer/songwriter Carole King. The show follows her life, from growing up in Brooklyn to making her way into the recording business, getting married and the bumps along the way. You'll get insight into her marriage with Gerry Goffin and her friendships with Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann.