Your Ultimate Guide To February: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles

We found a number of notable events happening in L.A. in February to help plan your social calendar. Read on for all our event picks and details.

Feb. 3-March 4

DIRECTORS CLOSE UP (Film talk)
Film Independent’s Directors Close Up series gives filmmakers and film fans a chance to hear from the best indie directors and their collaborators talk about various aspects of their work through five in-depth conversations. The talks take place on Wednesday nights from Feb. 3 to March 2 at The Landmark. This year’s participants include: Sean Baker (Tangerine), director Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), writer-director Charlie Kaufman and co-director Duke Johnson (Anomalisa), writer Meg Le Fauve (Inside Out), director David Robert Mitchell (It Follows) and director Chloé Zhao (Songs My Brothers Taught Me). The series begins on Feb. 3 with director James Ponsoldt (The End of the Tour) with actors Jason Segel and Mickey Sumner. Series registration: $150 for non-Members.

Feb. 3-13

SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Film fest)
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) runs Feb. 3-13 offering 52 world premieres and 53 US premieres from more than 60 countries. There will be tribute programs, panel discussions and free community events throughout the festival. SBIFF opens on Feb. 3 at the Arlington Theatre with the US Premiere of The Little Prince, directed by Mark Osborne and based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups also has its US premiere at the Arlington Theatre on Feb. 7, and the festival closes with Xavier Giannoli’s Marguerite. A variety of mini-ticket packs and passes available.

Feb. 4-14

XFILES ART SHOW (Art)
iam8bit opens Conspiracies, Monsters and Mythology: An X Files Art Show with a reception from 7-10 pm on Feb. 4. More than 30 artists have created limited-edition artwork and exclusive licensed products dedicated to the beloved sci-fi classic TV show. The works will be on view through Feb. 14.

Feb. 5

SLEEPLESS: THE MUSIC CENTER AFTER HOURS (Party)
The Music Center and dublab holds part three of the Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours series from 11:30 pm on Friday, Feb. 5 and running until 3 am on Saturday. It's free night of “immersive and multisensory programming” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and includes a video installation designed by Garson Yu of the design studio yU+co. (which also did the projections at Grand Park on New Year’s Eve). Music from the artists of Mas Exitos, ESP Institute and Leaving Records (distributed by Stones Throw Records). Other touch sound installations from Chris Watson, Jana Winderen, Bethan Parkes, Hildur Gudnadottir, The Eternal Chord, Philip Jeck, Simon Scott, and BNilsen & drøne; and Alexandra Pelly with Jon-Kyle Mohr. More activities and surprises inside and outside of the Pavilion. While online reservations are booked, walk-ups are encouraged and will be allowed in on space availability. Parking is $5 after 8 pm.

Feb. 5

FIRST FRIDAYS (Science + music)
NHM launches its 2016 First Fridays series on Feb. 5. This season’s theme is "Big Screen, Bigger Science," with programs exploring the intersection of science and fiction. “Scientists and filmmakers will discuss the good, the bad and the ridiculous in film — and how Hollywood continues to inspire the next frontier of science exploration.” Each event will feature panel discussions led by Los Angeles Times journalist, author and Emmy-winning public television and radio host, Patt Morrison.This season’s resident KCRW DJ is Aaron Byrd. February speakers will discuss the entomology and the body mechanics of hybrid superheroes (Spider Man et al). Music by The Hood Internet, Boulevards and Mark Redito fka Spazzkid. Tickets: $18 (February through May), $20 (June).

Feb. 5-6

TASTE OF NIGHT MARKET (Food)
Taste of Night Market is a more intimate version of the 626 Night Market. The Taste event takes place on Feb. 5-6 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. Dozens of local chefs showcase their foods and wares with live cultural performances by a number of artists. Tickets ($65-$75) are inclusive of all food, alcohol and beverages. Additionally, VIP tickets ($85-$95) allow for early access to the event.

Feb. 5-6

BERLIN TO LA (Music fest)
The Berlin-based Your Mom’s Agency, the Goethe-Institute, Bold LA and Raumfeld present From Berlin to LA, a free festival dedicated to electronic music on Feb. 5-6 at several venues in L.A. There are panels and workshops about DJing or digital production, projections, live and DJ sets showcasing “Berlin or Berlin-influenced electronic music ranging from electronica new beats, to house, techno and experimental.” Participating artists and technologists are: Anna Cavazos, Carlos Oblivion & Black Replica, Katie Otro, Masha, 19th Moon and many others. All events/workshops are free with pre-registration.

Feb. 6

MONA (Art museum)
The Museum of Neon Art (MONA) holds its Grand Opening Celebration on Feb. 6 from 7-10 pm at its new location in Glendale. View exhibitions: Illuminations! Group Exhibit of Neon & Kinetic Art; It’s About Time: The Neon Clock and Glenn B. Ward, Photographs of Glendale Neon from 40s-50s. There’s entertainment by the Lightening String Quartet, Neon Hunter Collective and Lou Mannick. The $50 ticket also includes desserts and an open bar.

Feb. 6-7

LA COOKIE CON AND SWEETS SHOW (Food)
The 2nd Annual LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show—the largest baking convention on the West Coast—returns to LA on Feb. 6 and 7. It moves to a larger location this year (the LA Convention Center) to allow for more vendors and attendees. Sweets lovers can enjoy free samples from more than 125 local shops and national brands, meet their favorite baking and TV stars and participate in workshops. Cost: $21/adult and $10/child for a one-day pass OR $35/adult and $15/child for a 2-day pass. VIP tickets are also available.

Feb. 6, Feb. 13

LUNAR NEW YEAR (Celebrations)
Two celebrations to note: The City of San Gabriel will host its Second Annual Lunar New Year on Saturday, Feb. 6 (11 am to 11 pm) in the historic Mission District to celebrate the Year of the Monkey. The festival’s new features include a craft beer garden, a dance crew competition, art, food booths and trucks, games and more. The day kicks off with a traditional lion and dragon dance. The following week, the 117th annual Golden Dragon Parade & Chinese New Year Festival takes place in Chinatown on Feb. 13 from 1-3 pm (starting at Hill and Ord). The Chinese New Year Festival takes place at Central Plaza Stage (New Chinatown) from 12-8 pm.


Feb. 9

PENGUIN PRISON (Music)
Penguin Prison (aka Chris Glover) brings its electropop tunes to the El Rey on Feb. 9. Penguin Prison headlines a night that also features music by Party Nails & Teenage Mystics. All ages. Doors at 8 pm, show at 9 pm. $20.

Feb. 9-10

FLEETWOOD MAC FEST (Music)
The Best Fest presents the first-ever Fleetwood Mac Fest: Two Nights to Celebrate the Music of Fleetwood Mac on Feb. 9-10 at the Fonda Theatre. Various artists and performers pay tribute to the band with their favorite Fleetwood Mac songs. Scheduled to appear are: Courtney Love, Carly Rae Jepsen, Juliette Lewis, Weezer's Brian Bell, Mark Ronson, Perry Farrell, Joanna Newsom, Alison Mosshart of the Kills, Sarah Silverman, Will Forte, Cold War Kids, KT Tunstall and many others. Ticket sale proceeds benefit the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund and The Sweet Stuff Foundation—organizations committed to helping musicians and their families through times of illness and age-related disabilities. Doors at 7 pm. Tickets start at $102.50.

Feb. 11-14

LA ART BOOK FAIR
The fourth annual LA Art Book Fair will once again take over the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA from Feb. 11-14. Printed Matter brings together 300 presses, antique book sellers, artists and independent publishers from 20 countries as well as talks, performances and panels. The Contemporary Artists Books Conference is being held in conjunction with the Fair and features a keynote speech from Experimental Jetset. The fair is free and open to the public during the weekend, but the opening night preview party on Thursday from 6-9 pm is $10.

Feb. 13-14

SCOTSFESTIVAL: ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXIII returns to the Queen Mary in Long Beach on Feb. 13-14 from 9 am-6 pm. Don yer kilt and experience the culture and history of Scotland through Highland games, athletics, dancing, entertainment and food and drink (even Scotch tastings) in homage to the Queen Mary’s Scottish legacy (the ship was built in Clydebank, Scotland). You can also participate in the games or dancing. One-day adult general admission starts at $19, but tastings and dinners are extra.

Feb. 13-March 14

BREAK BREAD (Art exhibition / festival)
Think Tank Gallery and Cirque du Soleil present Break Bread, an exhibition/festival that opens on Feb. 13 with a public reception from 8 pm to 1 am at Think Tank. The exhibition features new works by Dismaland artist Scott Hove and painter Baker's Son, and a 7,500 sq. ft. cake maze installation that ends in a lounge for performances and supper clubs that will be active for the 30 days the exhibition is on view (through March 14).

Feb. 14

LA MARATHON (Running)
Spend your Valentine’s Day cheering on LA Marathon runners. The Stadium to the Sea course takes runners from Dodger Stadium across LA to the finish near the Santa Monica Pier. The participants will take off by 7 am, and the streets will reopen on a rolling basis as the race officially ends 6 hours, 30 minutes and 59 seconds from the time the last runner crosses the start line. There’s still time to register, if so inclined. The entry fee starts at $200.

Feb. 21-22

AIR + STYLE (Sports)
Shaun White, Olympic champion, brings his Air + Style festival back to Los Angeles, this time to EXPO Park on Feb. 21-22. The two-day action sports competition, fashion and tech show, and music fest features performances by J. Cole, Incubus, Kaskade, HAIM, Big Grams, All Time Low, Action Bronson, Rudimental, A-Trak, Gramatik, Netsky, A$AP Ferg, Danny Brown, Flatbush Zombies, Travis Barker, The Struts, Migos, Allie X, Kaneholler and Bas, Cozz & Omen. Tickets/passes: $75-$220+fees. Children younger than 10 are free with paid adult admission.


Feb. 21-May 15

LEAP BEFORE YOU LOOK: BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLEGE 1933-1957 (Art)
The Hammer Museum presents the exhibition Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957 from Feb. 21-May 15. The show is the West Coast debut of the first comprehensive U.S. museum exhibition on Black Mountain College (BMC), a small experimental school in North Carolina that continues to influence art and pedagogy today. Artists, musicians and performers such as John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Buckminster Fuller, Cy Twombly and Robert Creeley, among many others, taught and studied at the college and are featured in the exhibition. There are more than 250 objects by nearly 100 artists that will be on view.

Feb. 21

GILMORE GUYS LIVE (Live podcast)
Spaceland presents Gilmore Guys Live: A Stars Hollow Town Meeting at the Regent on Feb. 21 at 7 pm. Hardcore Gilmore Girls fan Kevin T. Porter and show rookie Demi Adejuyigbe critique the episodes and bro-out on all things Gilmore Girls. (You know they’re all excited about the show’s upcoming new episodes on Netflix.) All ages. Tickets: $15.50-$19.50.

Feb. 20-21

LONG BEACH COMIC EXPO (Comic Books)
The Long Beach Comic Expo takes place Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20-21, at the Long Beach Convention Center. Expect vendors selling their wares, artists signing on Artists Alley, panel discussions and more. Advanced tickets: $30 for a Saturday only ticket; $20 for a Sunday only ticket and $45 for a weekend ticket.

Also happening this month: The Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Feb. 15, the Spirit Awards on the beach in SaMo on Feb. 27 and the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 28.

Want the 411 on additional events and happenings in L.A.? Follow @LAist or me (@christineziemba) on Twitter.