September 2018 events calendar for Los Angeles

Plan your month with our September 2018 events calendar of the best activities, including free things to do, festivals and our favorite summer concerts
Ferris wheel at LA County Fair.
Photo courtesy LA County Fair Ferris wheel at LA County Fair.
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September may signal the end of summertime, but you’d never know it with this month’s packed schedule of major events. Start wrapping up your summer playlist and get in one last visit to one of L.A.’s best beaches while the water’s still, relatively speaking, warm. If you’d rather skip town, take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend to squeeze in a weekend getaway. But don’t worry, there’s no shortage of food fests, street fairs and other fun festivals in L.A. in our September events calendar.

RECOMMENDED: Full events calendar for 2018

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A photo from Len Steckler's "Mad to Mod" collection to be exhibited
Photograph: Courtesy Pop Art Photo Show
Art, Pop art

Pop Art Photo Show

icon-location-pin Santa Monica
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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.

Creep LA
Photograph: Courtesy JFI Productions
Things to do, Performances

Creep Los Angeles

icon-location-pin Downtown
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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.

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The Broad
Photograph: Courtesy Sam Poullain
Things to do, Performances

Summer Happenings at the Broad

icon-location-pin Downtown
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Spend a late night at the Broad during the return of its after-hours programming series, which finds musicians, dancers and poets collaborating in the museum's outdoor plaza as well as in gallery spaces. Tickets for each event include full access to the museum.

Photograph: Courtesy Surf City Surf Dog
Things to do

Surf City Surf Dog

icon-location-pin Huntington Beach
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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.

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Pop-Up Magazine
Photograph: Courtesy Pop-Up Magazine
Things to do

Pop-Up Magazine

icon-location-pin Downtown Historic Core
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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.

Photograph: Courtesy Gary Leonard/CicLAvia
Things to do, Festivals

Celebrate LA!

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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.

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Abbot Kinney Festival.
Photo courtesy Abbot Kinney Festival
Things to do, Festivals

Abbot Kinney Festival

icon-location-pin Venice
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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.

Street Food Cinema
Photograph: Courtesy Street Food Cinema
Movie theaters, Outdoor

Street Food Cinema

icon-location-pin Santa Monica Mountains
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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. 

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