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Weekend Planner: 20 Awesome Events Happening In Los Angeles

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Here are 20 super-cool things to do this weekend in L.A. this weekend, and if this list isn’t enough, then check out our June Guide for even more suggestions.


The L.A. Zoo begins its Roaring Nights Summer Music Series on Friday from 6-10 pm with an all ages ‘60s Summer Safari. The party’s part of the Zoo’s 50th anniversary “zoolabration” and features live music from Detroit Nights and Woodie and the Long Boards, and DJ Johnny Hawkes, as well as lawn games, food trucks, full-service bars, zookeeper talks and … animal encounters. Tickets: $20 for ages 13 and older ($17 for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association members); $15 for ages 2 to 12 ($13 for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association members); and kids younger than 2 are free.

The Broad’s Summer Happenings series begins its second season on Friday night with Warhol Icon, an event that’s inspired by Nico, the German singer-songwriter, model and actress who became famous as one of Andy Warhol’s stars (as well as part of The Velvet Underground). The program covers the breadth of her work with the band through “later synth collaborations, to her neo-folk approaches.” Music by Jenny Hval, Kembra Pfahler, Rose McDowall, Tiny Vipers and Geneva Jacuzzi. Performances also by Vaginal Davis and a video installation by Nao Bustamante. Tickets include access to the full museum, but the Infinity Mirrored Room will not be open. Tickets: $25-$30. 8:30 pm. Ages 21+.

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DANCE DOWNTOWN (Cumbia + dance)
The free Dance Downtown series returns for the 2017 summer season on Friday night to Grand Park, with a focus on Cumbia. Dance under the stars with friends or take beginner dance lessons from seasoned instructors. The dance floor’s open from 7-11 pm.

FEAR BASED LIFE (Live podcast)
Actor, comedian and podcaster Melissa Stephens brings her hit podcast Fear Based Life to the stage at the Lyric Theater in Los Angeles on Friday night. The podcast is a weekly exploration of phobias that range from a fear of snakes to the fear of death. The night features music, videos, stand up, and a live interview with an audience member as a "minisode." Guests include: Nick Court, Drew Droege, Steve Young, Eliza Rickman, Daniel Van Kirk and Chris Farrah. Tickets: $7.

Cold War Kids performs a free show at Union Station on Friday night. The show, presented in partnership with Sofar Sounds and Metro Art Presents, is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. (Or you can try to win a guaranteed entry over at Sofar Sounds.) The band’s new album LA Divine pays tribute to L.A. in all its glory—the good, bad and weird.

To celebrate the launch of its new clothing line at Urban Outfitters across the country, Emo Night LA throws a three-day Pop-Up Shop, Friday to Sunday, at Space 15 Twenty. Stop by to listen (and shop) to DJ sets by Ham on Everything, Skins; musical performances by DALES, SUPER WHATEVR, La Bouquet, Love Nothing and Luna Shadows; a live taping of the Ride or Cry Podcast, and a special session of Namastay 18 Forever—an emo-themed yoga class presented by Namasdrake; and an art installation.

The Black Lips bring their punk-garage sound to The Regent on Friday night. Timmy’s Organism and Starcrawler. Tickets: $19.50 advance, $27 day of show. 8:30 pm.


The first official Studio Ghibli Pop-Up Shop in the U.S. opens at JapanLA on Saturday. There’s an opening party from 11 am to 5 pm at the shop featuring exclusive products (jackets, enamel pins, etc.) and treats. Since 5,000 people have already RSVPd for the shop that can only accommodate 800 in one day, they are giving out tickets to the first 800 people in line, between 9:30-10:30 am. Check out the Facebook event for the details.

BEER CAMP (Beer festival)
Sierra Nevada presents Beer Camp—America’s largest craft beer festival—travels to the Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach on Saturday. The day features hundreds of craft beers, food trucks and live music. Ticket prices include unlimited tastings and access to hundreds of beers, live music and a commemorative taster. The festival runs from 1-5 pm, with VIP/early admission at noon ($75) and general admission ($50) at 1 pm. Designated driver tickets are $40.

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The free Summer Film Series at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (La Plaza) kicks off on Saturday night with legendary Latino-themed films under the stars through October. The series opens with Boulevard Nights (1979), one of the first films about gang life in East L.A. The evening features cast members, a car show (including the famous low-rider Gypsy Rose), live music by Chicano band Tierra, food, local art vendors and much more. The screening is free and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests can bring lawn chairs or blankets. Doors open at 6 pm.

LA LUZ (Music + museum)
The Getty Center’s Off the 405 music series returns to the museum’s grounds on Saturday at 6 pm with a performance by La Luz and DJ set by Honey Power Club. Watch the sunset, browse the art and listen to music under the stars. From the Getty: La Luz “combines bright, snappy surf music, retro girl-group harmonies, and indie rock into one smart package.” Cash bar, snacks and agua fresca drinks available. Admission is free; no reservation required.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Out Under the Stars annual summer outdoor film screening event takes place on Friday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with the psychological (emphasis on psycho) thriller Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962). The film stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford as aging child star sisters who are out to get each other. Tickets: $25 for general admission entry at 7 pm; $150 VIP Package for two (2) and includes early entry to the venue at 6:30 pm, a free parking pass; a picnic basket filled with a complimentary bottle of wine and food pairings, and reserved premier picnic seating. All proceeds benefit the programs and services at the Center.

MATING RITUAL (Music benefit + release party)
To celebrate the release of debut album How You Gonna Stop It?, Mating Ritual (Ryan Marshall Lawhon’s solo project) is holding a benefit concert, No Matter What, on Saturday at The Hi Hat in Highland Park. The day-long party features performances by LA-based musicians and will benefit Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley. The lineup includes Mating Ritual, Beginners, DYAN, La Bouquet, Oddnesse, Inspired and the Sleep, The Openers, and DJ sets from Sir Sly, DJ L0L0 (From Pr0files) and Bad Wave. 5 pm. All ages. Tickets: $10-$12.

BIG SING L.A. (Music + singing)
Los Angeles Master Chorale holds its first-ever Big Sing L.A. on Saturday at 1 pm. The free, family-friendly event takes place in Grand Park provides a chance for people to come together and sing, regardless of experience or ability. Los Angeles Master Chorale singers perform on the day and will be interspersed in the crowd, encouraging people to find their voice. The song list includes Lean On Me, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Be Our Guest (Beauty & the Beast) and more.

The BET Experience at L.A. Live returns this weekend for music and entertainment, featuring a number of ticketed and free performances and talks. The lineup includes Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Migos, A$AP Rocky, ScHoolboy Q, Bryson Tiller, Kid Cudi, Gucci Mane, Jhené Aiko, Rae Sremmurd, Jidenna, Young Thug, Desiigner, Lil Yatchy, Pusha T, THEY., H.E.R., Playboi Carti and Khalid. In addition, there’s interactive entertainment and a celebrity basketball game at the BET Experience Fan Fest (free admission) on Saturday and Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Saturday also features a series of free Genius Talks with Tracee Ellis Ross, Ava DuVernay, Issa Rae, Pusha T, Nick Cannon, New Edition and others. The weekend culminates with the BET Awards on June 25 at the Microsoft Theatre.

We loved Ana Lily Amirpour’s first film, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, so we’re eager to see what she does with The Bad Batch, a dystopian love story that opens this weekend. At the Arclight Hollywood on Saturday, there’s a Q&A with Amirpour after the 7:30 pm show. Tickets: $17.75.

The first Arroyo Seco Festival takes over the shady park area of Brookside next to the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena on Saturday and Sunday, with headliners Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Mumford & Sons, Alabama Shakes, Weezer, The Meters, The Shins and many others (most recent additions are Magic Giant and Rachel Platten). In addition to the music, there is a chef-curated picnic basket program (a full three-course meal for two, beverage vouchers and snacks) from local restaurants like Crossroads Kitchen, République, Barrel & Ashes, Rose Cafe and Redbird. Tickets: Single-day general admission tickets are $125 + fees; weekend GA is $225 + fees; and weekend preferred parking is $50.

NFMLA (Film)
The monthly NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) Film Festivaltakes place on Saturday at South Park Center’s theater. There are three short film programs scheduled for the event, with two focusing on LGBTQ stories: "InFocus: LGBT Stories of Love" and "InFocus: LGBT Stories of Struggles & Conflict." The screenings begin at 6:30 pm, and there are networking and filmmaker receptions before and after each program. Tickets: $5 for a single film program and $15 for all films with open bar.


Art Beyond the Glass VI takes place at Los Globos on from 3-7 pm, with L.A.’s top bartenders (and the public) coming together for cocktails and a cause. Art Beyond the Glass raises money this year for the arts nonprofit The Moth. Bartenders from around the city will mix it up throughout the afternoon, showing off their musical and artistic talents aside from tending bar. Tickets: $60-$75 and includes drinks, entertainment and bar bites. Ages 21+ (natch).

Nashville-based folk-pop artist Peter Bradley Adams plays the Troubadour on Sunday night in support of his latest release, A Face Like Mine. Anna Tivel opens the show at 7:30 pm. Tickets: $16-$18.

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