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Arts and Entertainment

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

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We found a number of notable happenings in August (with a few beginning this weekend), so we're ready to help you plan your social calendar. Read on for all our favorite event picks and details.

Aug. 1-31

ART: La Luz de Jesus Gallery presents Profanity Pop, a new exhibition by José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros. The artist mixes pop art and pop culture icons/themes with both historical and religious works. His animated characters play roles that are sure to amuse or offend some audiences. The opening reception is on Aug. 1 from 8-11 pm and the show remains on view through the end of the month.

Aug. 1-2

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MUSIC: The Canadians are coming! And we can’t wait. Montreal’s Arcade Fire stops at The Forum for two nights as part of the Reflektor Tour. Ticket price range: $44.05-$88.

Aug. 2

BACON: Big Bite Bacon Fest features beer+bacon aboard the Queen Mary. Get all-you-can-eat samplings of more than 40 varieties of bacon or pork dishes in a 2.5-hour slot. (Beer is extra for 10, 3 oz. tasters.) Ticket range: $35-$75.

Aug. 2-3

MUSIC: Here’s what we know for sure about Beyoncé and Jay Z—the dynamic duo play two nights at the Rose Bowl for their On the Run Tour. 8 pm both nights. Ticket range: $53.74-$384.34.

Aug. 2-3

MUSIC: Tickets are scarce for Hard Summer taking over the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte. The two days feature acts from the alternative, electronica, techno, dance, house, etc., and more. Headliners include Jack U, A$AP Mob, Tiësto and Disclosure. Music is scheduled to begin at noon on both days. 18+. Remaining VIP passes: $160.70 (only ones available).

Aug. 5-6

GAMES: The SPiN Standard in DTLA holds two pop-up arcade nights. From 4 pm to 2 am, there are 20 different arcade machines and five ping-pong tables brought into SPiN. Cover is $5 at the door, but once inside, all games are free with unlimited play. 21+.

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Aug. 7-10

FILM FEST: Sundance NextFestis an offshoot of the Sundance Film Festival’s NEXT <=> section. Screenings happen at Hollywood Forever and at The Theatre at Ace Hotel, and the events bring together a mix of films, live music and conversation. It opens with Napoleon Dynamite at Hollywood Forever and closes with A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (an Iraqi vampire/western mashup) and concert by Warpaint. Tickets: $14-$25.

Aug. 8

BEER FEST: Brew at the Zoo returns to the L.A. Zoo and Botanical Gardens from 7-11 pm. Dozens of breweries are participating in the event (including Eagle Rock Brewery, Lagunitas and Golden Road), which includes 4.5-oz beer samples, pub grub for purchase and live music by The Spazmatics, Indian School and the Jug or Nots. Tickets: $45 general admission (presale); $50 at the door (if not sold out); designated drivers: $25 (free non-alcoholic beverages in a zoo cup).

Aug. 9-10

K-POP : KCON, the largest annual fan celebration of Korean entertainment, K-Pop and culture, takes place at the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena, with a fan convention all day Saturday and Sunday. There are meet-and-greets, panel discussions and workshops (like Learn Korean Slang! and Bibigo’s Anyone Can Cook Korean Food). There are also concerts that are featuring some of the top names in K-Pop, some of whom are making their U.S. debuts. Ticket range: $50-$250 + fees.

Aug. 9-17

JAPANESE FESTIVAL: Nisei Week Japanese Festival is a nine-day celebration of Japanese Culture in Little Tokyo. One of the longest-running ethnic festivals in the U.S., the events and activities include a taiko gathering, a gyoza-eating championship, parades, music, special dinners and more. There’s also Ramen Yokocho (fest within the fest on Aug. 16-17) with $5 admission and $8/bowl.

Aug. 14-23

FILM FESTIVAL: Hollyshorts Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing film works 30 minutes or less. Screenings take place at the TCL Chinese Theatres and at the Roosevelt Hotel. One of the films screening opening night is Luke Wilson’s short, “Satellite Beach,” which tracked the space shuttle Endeavor’s journey through the streets of L.A. and the Atlantis space shuttle’s journey to the Kennedy Space Center. Individual screening programs: $15. Prices vary for day festival passes ($600), day passes and special events (typically $40-$80). [Above trailer: 'Bingo Night' by Jordan Liebowitz.]

Aug. 16

TACO FESTIVAL: The 4th Annual LA Taco Festivaltakes place at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights, featuring all-you-can eat taco offerings from around Boyle Heights and East El Lay. Premium tickets (21+) is $45 and includes unlimited tacos, access to Beer Garden from 2-7 pm and a tequila tasting from 3-7 pm. The tacos only option is $20 or they can be bought individually for $4 each. The festival runs from 2-8 pm.

Aug. 17

FRIED CHICKEN FESTIVAL: If fried chicken is more your style, then head to Chinatown for the 3rd Annual Food GPS Fried Chicken Festivalfrom 4-7 pm. Presented by Bolthouse Farms, the all-inclusive event features L.A. chefs creating chicken dishes and sides in addition to desserts and beverages. Participating chefs include Alvin Cailan & Johnny Lee of Eggslut, Craft’s Ray England and Kris Morningstar. Cocktails will be crafted by Jason Bran and Damian Windsor and desserts by Valerie’s Confections and others. Tickets: $65 general admission, $90 VIP.

Aug. 21-24

FOOD & WINE FEST: The 4th annualLos Angeles Food & Wine Festival returns to L.A. featuring star chefs including Scott Conant, Michael Chiarello, Michael Mina, Ben Ford, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Nancy Silverton, Graham Elliott, Michelle Bernstein, Ricardo Zarate, Fabio Viviani and others. There are events planned for Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Hollywood as well. In addition to cooking demos, book signings, mixology seminars and discussions, the Grand Tasting is being held at L.A. Center Studios this year. Tickets for individual events start at $50. Grand Tasting tickets are $150-$195.

Aug. 23

OPERA: With a score by John Adams and a libretto by the late poet June Jordan, the opera I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky comes to the Ford Amphitheater for one night only. Produced by the Long Beach opera, the work is a “modern day Threepenny Opera that weds blues, gospel, minimalism, funk and pop.” The opera follows the lives of seven individuals after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Tickets: $60-$125 (VIP).

Aug. 23-24

MUSIC: FYF Fest moves to the L.A. Sports Arena & Exposition Park in its 11th year. Headliners include The Strokes, Phoenix, Interpol, plus other acts Haim, Presidents of the United States of America, Chet Faker and more. Passes and day passes are technically sold out, so find your tickets through alternative means. Music from 2:30 pm to midnight each day.

Aug. 24

BIKE + ARTS FESTIVAL: The Santa Monica Museum of Art’s Tour da Arts (Vol. 6) is a free cultural bike tour through the city of Santa Monica. The nine-mile ride, held from noon to 9 pm, is filled with art, music and theater, including performances by Anna Oxygen and Bicycle Odyssey LA. Art exhibitions on view: Robert Swain: The Form of Color and Nonfictions: Jeremiah Day/Simone Forti/Fred Dewey. Stops include SMMoA at Bergamot Station, the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club, and John Adams Middle School.

Aug. 29-31

FOOD & WINE FEST: The Taste is the L.A. Times’ food and wine festival that celebrates Southern California cuisine. The Taste takes over Paramount Pictures Studios’ backlot with a number of themed tasting nights, cooking demos and other events throughout the weekend. Tickets for opening night are $150. Tickets for each of the Saturday and Sunday events range from $100 to $125.

Aug. 29-Sept. 28

FAIR: The Fairplex in Pomona plays host to the Los Angeles County Fair. In addition to the animals and all the deep-fried goodness you can think of, there are a couple new attractions this year, including a Steampunk-themed Grinding Gears nightclub. The end of summer concert series features a number of diverse performers; ticket holders get free admission to the fair, too. Acts include: Neon Trees, War, Pentatonix, Jennifer Nettles, George Benson & Chaka Khan, and more. Concert ticket prices vary. L.A. County Fair adult admission is $12-$19.

Aug. 30-31

MUSIC FEST: Jay Z’s Made in America Festival comes to DTLA’s Grand Park over two days with a diverse lineup including Cypress Hill, Capital Cities, Juanes, Dr. Dog, Iggy Azalea, Weezer, Imagine Dragons, Mutemath, Kendrick Lamar, Steve Aoki and many more. Dozens of food trucks, including the Grilled Cheese Truck, Kogi, Vizzi Truck, Rice Balls of Fire, will be onsite to feed the masses. Two-day passes: $200. Day pass: $99.50-$314.

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

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