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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, so we're ready to help you plan your social calendar. Read on for all our event picks and details.

Aug. 1-Nov. 27

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters, the highly anticipated art exhibition from the acclaimed director, opens at LACMA on Aug. 1. Known for horror, fantasy and sci-fi films such as Cronos (1993), The Devil’s Backbone (2001), Hellboy (2004), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Pacific Rim (2013), and Crimson Peak (2015), the exhibition reveals del Toro’s creativity through a collection of paintings, drawings, film art and ephemera. From LACMA: “Rather than a traditional chronology or filmography, the exhibition is organized thematically, beginning with visions of death and the afterlife; continuing through explorations of magic, occultism, horror, and monsters; and concluding with representations of innocence and redemption.” General admission + specially ticketed exhibitions at LACMA are $25 for adults. Check out LAist's preview of the exhibition here.

Aug. 5

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BREW AT THE ZOO (Beer + animals)
Brew at the Zoo returns to the L.A. Zoo and Botanical Gardens from 7-11 pm on Friday, Aug. 6. Dozens of breweries are participating in the event (among them: Iron Triangle, Green Flash, Pocock, Sierra Nevada, Mother Earth, Goose Island and Golden Road). The night includes 5-oz beer samples, pub grub for purchase and live music. Tickets: $60-65 general admission (presale); $70-75 at the door (if not sold out); designated drivers: $25 (free non-alcoholic beverages in a zoo cup).

Aug. 5

LA’s own Mac Sabbath—the Black Sabbath cover band that performs as McDonald’s characters—plays the Regent Theatre on Aug. 5. The show’s a mixture of comedy, theatrics and music with the band turning 10 Black Sabbath songs into junk food-themed tunes: "More Ribs"; "Chicken For The Slaves"; "Pair-A-Buns" and more. Playing in support: PPL MVR, Haunted Garage and Radioactive Chicken Heads. 18+. Tickets: $17.50-$.21.50. 8 pm.

Aug. 5

There’s a great bill on Aug. 5 at the Greek Theatre: Ryan Adams and The Shining headlines with the new band Nice as Fuck (Jenny Lewis, Erika Forster, Tennessee Thomas) opening. Tickets: $35-$55. 7:30 pm.

Aug. 5-6

VRLA SUMMER EXPO (Virtual reality)
The VRLA Summer Expo 2016 is at the L.A. Convention Center (West Hall B) center on Aug. 5-6 from 10 am to 7 pm. There are more than 130 exhibitors dealing in virtual reality products and services as well as more than 30 panels and workshops. Reggie Watts is the keynote speaker on Saturday. Adult general admission tickets start at just $40.

Aug. 5-7

The 23rd annual Long Beach Crawfish Festival Crawfish returns from Aug. 5-7 to serve up those little crustaceans. There’s also New Orleans style jazz and R&B, entertainment and other Crescent City foods available for purchase, too. Admission to the festival-only starts at $13; add-on crawfish feast tickets start at $17 (you must purchase a festival ticket + crawfish add on). Crawfish meals include two pounds of crawfish, red baby potatoes, buttery corn on the cob and creamy and remoulade dipping sauce.

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Aug. 5-14

Universal Studios in Hollywood presents the interactive exhibition, From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical Laika Experience, from Aug. 5-28. Laika is the animation studio that created Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012) and The Boxtrolls (2014) and the upcoming epic adventure film, Kubo and the Two Strings, which opens on Aug. 19. The exhibition features an up-close look at the stop-motion artistry and visual effects that went into the films in four themed rooms that showcase original sets, puppets, props and more. Entry to the exhibition is included in the price of admission to the theme park.

Aug. 6

The Alamo Drafthouse celebrates Star Wars, which was released 39 years ago (holy crap!), with a special marathon screening on Aug. 6 at the Theater at Ace Hotel. Alamo’s screening features the 1997 special edition versions of Star Wars: A New Hope; The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi. Tickets: $40-$75.

Aug. 6-7

SCARELA (Scare Fair)
ScareLA, a Halloween convention, is at the Pasadena Convention Center on Aug. 6-7. Teaming up with Elvira, Queen of Halloween this year, the convention marks an early kick-off to the scare season and features exclusive tidbits from the top theme park attractions, haunted houses and cosplay groups in the area. Throughout the weekend there will be classes, presentations, interactive experiences, demos, contests, screenings haunted house walk-throughs and performances. Exclusive featured programming includes ”The Blackout Experiments,” a nightmarish tale about extreme haunts; “Tales of Halloween” short films; Rodney Ascher’s The Nightmare, a recent Sundance selection that explores sleep paralysis and more. General admission tickets start from $30-$50.

Aug. 13

Cinespia presents its 6th Annual Movies All Night Slumber Party on Saturday, Aug. 13 at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. On the triple bill: Heathers, Edward Scissorhands and Cry Baby. Doors at 7:15, screenings begin at 9 pm. Tickets: $18. Parking extra. Bring a blanket, pillows, low chairs and a picnic. While wine and beer are permitted, no spirits are allowed (they’re already at Hollywood Forever!).

Aug. 12-14

NEXT FEST (Film + music)
Sundance Next Fest is an offshoot of the Sundance Film Festival’s NEXT section and brings a weekend of film, music, conversation and comedy to the Theatre at Ace Hotel. The mini-fest opens on Aug. 12 with a screening of So Yong Kim’s Lovesong, followed by a concert by Shamir. Individual tickets: $15-$25.

Aug. 13-21

NISEI WEEK (Festival)
Nisei Week (August 13-21) is Little Tokyo’s largest annual festival that celebrates Japanese culture. Highlights of the festival include: a Grand Parade at 4 pm on Aug. 14; a Nisei Week Car Show and the Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship at 2 pm on Aug. 20; and more.

Aug. 14

CICLAVIA (Biking etc.)
CicLAvia returns to its Iconic Wilshire Boulevard route and closes off 3.5 miles of Wilshire Boulevard starting on Sunday (Aug. 14) between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The route runs between One Wilshire in DTLA and Koreatown. These two hubs will also be walking-only zones with special programming, food trucks and more. Free.

Aug. 14

BrunchCon—the convention for people who love to brunch—takes place at Magic Box at the Reef on Aug. 14. With 50 market vendors and 50 drink vendors to choose from, guests can sip and munch while shopping for brunch-related merchandise, playing (indoor) yard games, lounging in the hangover lounge and more. There are two sessions: 9:30 am-12 pm and 12:30-3 pm. VIP session is from 9-9:30 am. Tickets: $45 (includes 15 tickets for food and/or drink); $69 (includes 15 tickets for food and unlimited drink); VIP $99 (20 tickets, unlimited beverages and includes 9 am entry); and DD tickets: $29 (10 tickets for food and/or nonalcoholic drinks).

Aug. 14-20

More than 200 emerging and established comedians head to Burbank from Aug. 14-20 for the 3rd Annual Burbank Comedy Festival. The lineup includes Tom Segura, Christopher Titus, Kate Flannery, Jimmy Dore, Drew Lynch, Jimmy Pardo, Andy Dick, Tom Green. In addition to the more than 50 shows, the festival includes podcast tapings, showcases, workshops, panels and parties in venues throughout Downtown Burbank (though Flappers Comedy Club & Restaurant serves as the festival’s home base.) Festival passes: VIP $350 (access to all events); $250 (excludes special events). Individual show prices vary with two-item minimum per person.

Aug. 18-21

The sixth annual Echo Park Rising—the free, all ages festival—takes places at various venues throughout Echo Park from Aug. 18-21. The 2016 lineup includes: Chicano Batman, Egyptian Lover and the Weirdos as well as a focus on women-fronted bands like, La Luz, Dorothy, Feels, Sex Stains, Shannon Lay and Jaime Wyatt. The outdoor main stage at the intersection of Liberty and Reservoir will turn into a street fest with viewing areas, craft beer gardens, vendors and food trucks. VIP tickets ($21-$30) include VIP viewing areas, line-hopping, easy bar access and a goodie bag (while supplies last).

Aug. 20

The 2016 LA Taco Festivalreturns to Grand Park on Aug. 20. The festival admission is free, and proceeds from taco sales will benefit Jovenes, Inc., a nonprofit that supports homeless youth. Vendors will be accepting cash only.

Aug. 20-21

ADELE (Music)
Adele has added two more dates (Aug. 20-21) in case you didn’t get tickets to one of her SIX other sold-out dates (Aug. 5-6, 9-10, 12-13) this month at the Staples Center. Tickets: $39.95 - $149.50. Doors at 6 pm.

Aug. 25-28

The 6th annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival runs Aug. 25-28 with the festival’s main events happening in front of Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Broad museum; other tastings, dinners, lunches, cooking demonstrations taking place in DTLA, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Hollywood. While Grand Tastings take place on Aug. 27-28, other major events include: Amazon Presents Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse; Grand Avenue Night Market hosted by Jet Tila and Brian Malarkey; and LIVE on Grand Avenue with Tyler Florence. Tickets for individual events start at $105-300. Grand Tasting tickets are $125-$175.

Aug. 27-28

FYF FEST (Music)
FYF Fest takes over Exposition Park on Aug. 27-28. Saturday headliners are Kendrick Lamar and Tame Impala; Sunday headliners are LCD Soundsystem and Grace Jones. General admission two-day passes are left at $199. Gates at 2 pm each day.

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

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