Your Ultimate Guide To May: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles
We found a number of notable happenings in May to help plan your social calendar. Read on for all our event picks and details below.
LOS ANGELES TIMES FOOD BOWL (Festival)
The L.A. Times’ Food Bowl—a month-long festival celebrating the city’s food scene—happens at restaurants and venues throughout the city, including the Santa Monica Farmers Markets, which will host a series of chef demos featuring recipes of farmers market produce prepared and presented in a bowl. (And since it's now cherry season in California, all the bowls will feature a cherry on top.) The festival’s big event is Night Market in Grand Park with 50 restaurants and food trucks, drinks and live entertainment each evening May 10-14. The Food Bowl also hopes to showcase the best in local dining while promoting social awareness about food waste and hunger.
HECHO IN LA | TACO MADNESS (Taco fest)
Hecho in LA: Taco Madness '17 is a food and drink festival presented by L.A. Taco, I LOVE MICHELADAS and Golden Road Brewing at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes on Cinco de Mayo from 6 pm to midnight. The fest celebrates “the taco lifestyle in Los Angeles” and features the best micheladas and tacos from carts, stands, trucks and award-winning chefs and restaurants. Ages 21+. Free entry.
The Canadian singer-songwriter Feist plays three shows at the Palace Theatre in DTLA. She’s touring in support of Pleasure, her first album in six years. 7 pm. Tickets: $45-$75.
ECLECTIC MUSIC FESTIVAL (Music)
The Eclectic, South Pasadena’s Music Festival and Art Walk, returns on May 6 for its largest lineup yet. Ozomatli headlines at night and opens the festival at 3 pm on the Gold Line Stage under their Ozokidz lineup, playing original children’s music. Other acts playing on the five main stages include: rock band Thorcraft Cobra, Tony Gilkyson (X and Lone Justice), Irene Diaz and others. There’s an art walk at various galleries and venues throughout South Pas. The festival is free, family-friendly and open to all.
ATLAS OBSCURA (Adventure)
Atlas Obscura—a field guide to odd and off-the-beaten path places—presents Obscura Day on May 6, with 15 “awe-inspiring events.” These guided adventures take place around L.A. and include: Lost Graveyards of Los Angeles, The International Printing Museum, Hi Fi, Deep Soul (a tasting trip through historic Filipinotown) and many more. Prices vary from free to $10-$35. Registration required.
NTS @ MOCA W/ B&O PLAY (Music)
B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen collaborates with MOCA and NTS Radio for an ongoing outdoor concert and sound series beginning on May 6. The acronym-filled series—NTS @ MOCA W/ B&O PLAY—becomes a quarterly event and kicks off with rapper Xavier Wulf, the hip-hop collective WeDidIt, dubby psych experimentalist Sun Araw; Afro-punk band F U Pay Us; and NTS DJ Alima (Akashik Records). Noon to 5 pm at The Geffen Contemporary @ MOCA. All ages. Free with RSVP.
ANGEL CITY BREWERY’S HERITAGE FESTIVAL (Party)
Angel City Brewery celebrates its five-year anniversary with its Heritage Festival on May 6-7, from 12-8 pm each day. The festivities include live music (a different lineup each day), food trucks, a live mural painting by street artist Young Mer, the release of special Angel City beers and new tappings throughout the festival. Admission to the festival is free.
STARRING EUROPE: NEW FILMS FROM THE EU (Film)
American Cinematheque presents the fourth annual EU Film Festival, which features festival award-winning shorts and features from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland and Spain. The festival begins with a screening of Mellow Mud on May 9, and features a reception in the courtyard starting at 6 pm. Discussion after the feature with Mellow Mud director Renārs Vimba after the screening. General admission tickets: $12.
RADIOTOPIA LIVE (Podcasts):
The Radiotopia podcast network presents Radiotopia Live on May 12 at 8 pm at The Theater at Ace Hotel. Listen to great podcasts and hosts live on stage including: 99% Invisible, Criminal, The Allusionist, The Memory Palace and Mortified, plus a performance of The West Wing Weekly featuring composer Snuffy Walden. Tickets: $29-$37.
LOS ANGELES LIVE SCORE FILM FESTIVAL (Film + music)
The fourth annual Los Angeles Live Score Film Festival takes place on May 12 at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre. Helix Collective, the Academy of Scoring Arts and the New York Film Academy team up for the collaborative festival, which pairs filmmakers and selected composers that culminates a live performance of the original scores by the Helix Collective during the screening of short films. Tickets: $15. The composer/filmmaker panel begins at 6:30 pm, the screening begins at 7:30 pm and the reception follows at 9 pm.
CONOR OBERST (Music)
Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos) plays the Greek Theater on May 13 in support of his latest album Salutations, a companion piece to 2016's Ruminations. Julien Baker opens. 7:30 pm. Tickets: $26-$50.50 (plus fees).
EAT SHOW (Food)
EAT Show is a new tasting event that’s at the REEF in DTLA on May 13. The food fest limits tickets to 1,500 per session (11 am to 3 pm or 5 to 9 pm) to avoid the craziness of most food shows. The lineup looks pretty tasty: Otium, The Halal Guys, Dino’s Chicken and Burgers, Cocktail Academy and many others. The ticket cost includes food and an open bar. Tickets: $60+ service fee.
Sweet Relief Musicians Fund’s presents its inaugural annual benefit concert Strange 80s on May 14 at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. The night’s hosted by Finn Wolfhard (Mike of Netflix’s Stranger Things) and includes performances by Finn and a rotating cast of musicians and celebs covering anthems of the 1980s. The bill features: Tenacious D, "Weird Al" Yankovic and Sarah Silverman, and members of Deap Vally, The Go-Go’s, OK Go, Taking Back Sunday, Velvet Revolver, Steel Panther, Anberlin, Goldfinger, Sugarcult, Anthrax, Precious Kid, Filter, and Honey Honey. Also in the lineup are TV stars: Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why), Braeden Lemasters, Hayley Orrantia (The Goldbergs) and Chelsea Talmadge (Stranger Things). All proceeds go to Sweet Relief Musicians Fund which provides financial assistance to career musicians and music industry workers in need due to illness, disability or age-related problems. 8 pm. Tickets: start at $43 (general admission); $100 for VIP.
POD SAVE AMERICA (Live podcast)
Pod Save America is a no BS podcast about politics, hosted by four Obama staffers: Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor. The four bring the show to The Theatre at Ace Hotel on May 17 at 7 pm. All ages. Tickets: $35-$150.
KROQ WEENIE ROAST (Music fest):
KROQ Weenie Roast y Fiesta celebrates 25 years. And for the first time ever, the 2017 edition takes place at the StubHub Center in Carson on May 20. Performances by: Lorde, Incubus, Imagine Dragons, Cage the Elephant, 311, Paramore, Lana Del Rey, DREAMCAR, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Judah & The Lion, New Politics and The Revivalists. Doors at noon. Tickets: $39.95-$150. All ages.
EEEEEATSCON (Food + music)
The first-ever EEEEEATSCON—being billed as a food festival for a new generation—is happening on May 20 from 12-9 pm at The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. Participating restaurants include: Chi Spacca, Jon & Vinny’s, Salazar, Shake Shack, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, The Nomad Truck, Nighthawk Breakfast Bar and Tinfoil, Badmaash, Afters Ice Cream, Sweetfin Poke, Yeasty Boys, Ramen Hood, Dream Pops, Matcha Bar, Maple Block Meat Co., and Eataly’s first-ever L.A. event. Music by The Knocks and Lizzo. Talks with Shep Gordon and Nancy Silverton are scheduled for the festival, too. This is not a one-price tasting festival. The food and drinks will be sold a la carte. Tickets: $40-$100 (includes admission, access to two musical performances, keynotes and panel discussions).
SKYLINE: ART, MUSIC, FOOD (Festival)
Radio Hill—a new collective of L.A.-based concert producers, festival planners and talent creators—teams up with KCRW, The Well, Space Yacht and DoLA—for Skyline: Art, Music, Food on May 20. The event is the first major gathering in the recently re-opened Los Angeles State Historic Park since 2014. Acts scheduled to perform include Miike Snow, Duke Dumont, Lido, Eden, Michl, Elohim and Jason Bentley. 2 pm start. Tickets: $45-$85. Ages 21+.
CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL (Food)
Now in its 34th year, the California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard celebrates the berry with food, art, live music and entertainment. The fest, taking place at the Strawberry Meadows of College Park, features more than 50 food vendors, delights such strawberry pizza, strawberry beer, strawberry nachos, strawberry funnel cake, strawberry crepes, chocolate dipped strawberries, fried strawberries and more. General admission for adults is $12; seniors 62+, active military and dependents with ID card: $8; youths (5-12): $5. Free for kids 4 and younger. The festival runs from 10 am to 6 pm on both days.
FOUND FOOTAGE FESTIVAL (Film fest)
Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett bring the Found Footage Festival—their touring showcase of odd and hilarious found VHS tapes—back to L.A. on May 25-26 at the Downtown Independent. This is the festival’s first new program since 2015 and includes VHS finds (found in garage and sales, thrift shops, etc.), commentary, comedy and exclusive footage from the duo’s latest prank. 8 pm both nights. Tickets: $15.
EAT DRINK VEGAN (Food + drink)
Eat Drink Vegan, the vegan beer and food festival, is at the Rose Bowl and Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena on May 27 (over Memorial Day Weekend). The festival features unlimited pours of more than 250+ beverages, more than 75 restaurants, a vegan marketplace and more amenities. Gates open at 12 pm for VIP ticket holders ($105), 2 pm for general admission ($55). Last pour is at 8 pm and the festival ends at 9 pm. Food is not included with passes.