Your Ultimate Guide To July: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles
We found a number of notable happenings in July to help plan your social calendar. Read on for all our event picks and details. Did we miss something? Add your event in our comments section.
July 3-Oct. 2
PTEROSAURS (Science) The Natural History Museum opens Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs, the largest exhibition in the U.S. that’s dedicated to exploring the winged reptiles, on Sunday, July 3. From NHM: “These flying reptiles were the first vertebrate animals to evolve powered flight, diversifying into more than 150 species of all shapes and sizes spreading across the planet over a period of 150 million years until they went extinct 66 million years ago.” View rare pterosaur fossils and displays about discoveries in Italy, Germany, China, the U.S., U.K., and Brazil, as well as life-size models, videos and interactive exhibits. The exhibition remains on view through Oct. 2. Adult museum admission + Pterosaurs exhibition: $22.
FOURTH (Holiday shenanigans): There are so many July 4th celebrations happening throughout L.A., from the Rose Bowl to Grand Park to Culver City, the Coliseum, Marina Del Rey and more. Check out The 15 Places To See Fireworks On The Fourth Of July.
HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE (Concert): There are only a few tickets available to the Los Angeles Phil’s concert Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™ on July 6. Audiences watch the film in hi-def on a giant screen while listening to John Williams’ score performed live. Tickets: $10-$70. 8 pm.
OUTFEST (Film festival): Outfest Los Angeles, the LGBT Film Festival, runs from July 7 to 17 in several venues in L.A. screening 73 features and 89 short films. It opens with the gala screening of Clea DuVall’s relationship comedy The Intervention—starring Natasha Lyonne, Alia Shawkat, Melanie Lynskey, Cobie Smulders, Jason Ritter and Ben Schwartz—at the Orpheum. It wraps up with writer-director Chris Kelly’s semi-autobiographical film Other People, starring Jesse Plemons (Friday Night Lights) and Molly Shannon (SNL). Regular screenings start at $15, but galas and special events vary in price.
LA FOOD FEST (Food): The LA Food Fest takes over Exposition Park from July 8-10 featuring more than 100 food and beverage vendors and chefs. The weekend includes cooking demos, live podcasts, films (including a sneak peek at Sausage Party and Lights Out), music and a kids zone. Entrance starts at $15 and there are higher-ticket price options that include meals and wine and beer pairings ($95 and up).
July 8-Oct. 8
FORD THEATRE REOPENS (Music + performance): Music returns to the Ford Theatre this summer after closing last year for upgrades to the venue. The season opens on July 8 with TAIKOPROJECT & Quetzal who are blending live taiko drumming and son jarocho music. The following night, there’s an acoustic concert Aloe Blacc with Fabiano do Nascimento and ThE CoNcEnTr8s also on the bill. Ticket prices vary.
CHUNG KING ROAD OPENINGS (Art): There are two awesome shows opening next door to each other on Chinatown’s Chung King Road on July 9. Gregorio Escalante Gallery presents more than 50 original new paintings by animator, painter, writer and director Jorge Gutierrez (Book Of Life) in Border Bang. The show is a “passionate love letter to the US and Tijuana border.” DJ CHUCUCHU spins during the early hours of the reception. Coagula Curatorial presents Intimate Strokes, which features works by Mark Gash that document the 1980s LA punk scene. The opening receptions for both shows take place from 7-11 pm. Gutierrez’s show closes on Aug. 14 and Gash’s closes on Aug. 21.
July 9-Sept. 10
WOOGIE WEEKEND (Music fest): The Do LaB's Woogie Weekend festival takes place on July 8-10 at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, Calif., in Orange County (near Irvine). The house/techno fest features live music/DJ sets by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Visionquest, Mathew Jonson (live), Oliver Huntemann, TȂCHES and so many more. Passes: $70 (Sun only)-$160. Camping extra.
RBMA RADIO: LIVE FROM LOS ANGELES (Pop-up festival): Red Bull Music Academy celebrates the launch of the new RBMA Radio Platform with a number of live broadcasts / pop-up events scheduled from July 11-22. The four special events include: A Conversation with Filmmaker Gaspar Noé ($18); - United States of Bass with DJ Quik, Big Freedia, Egyptian Lover and others ($10); La Transición feat. Mexico City’s N.A.A.F.I ($10) and PC Music Presents POP CITY with A. G. Cook, Danny L Harle, GFOTY, Hannah Diamond, QT and others ($12.65).
WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE (Live podcast): The popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale will be performed/recorded at the Orpheum Theatre on July 15 at 8 pm. Like the podcast, created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, the live stage version of Night Vale tells stories from the weird town of Night Vale during a community radio show hosted by Cecil Palmer (played by Cecil Baldwin). There will be plenty of guest stars and live musical score by Disparition and featured musician Erin McKeown. Tickets: $62 & $69.July 15
BREAKING CONVENTION SUMMER SOIREE (Fundraiser): “Breaking Convention” Summer Soiree is Barnsdall Art Park’s interactive fundraising event on July 15 on Hollyhock House's West Lawn. The Soiree also kicks off LA artist Aaron Axelrod’s three-day takeover of Barnsdall's campus with a multi-media exhibition, Dark Matter. This is the first time that Barnsdall has let a single artist take over the grounds and Hollyhock House for a solo show. Axelrod’s creating 40 pieces that will incorporated into eight different bodies of work that include projection mapping, interactive sculpture, and a piece with 700,000 Swarovski Crystals. The event’s food will be provided by Terrine, Faith & Flower, Hanjip and Viviane. Tickets: $75 in advance and $100 at the door. VIP tickets are $1,000 and include a reception at Hollyhock House’s inner courtyard from 6-7 p.m. with light bites & libations, bespoke sponsor gift bags and a one-year Barnsdall Art Park Conservator Membership. Axelrod’s works will be open to the public on July 16-17.
July 15-Aug. 14
OC FAIR (Food + music + carnival): This year OC Fair is themed “Get Your Fair Face On!” (whatever that means). But we do know that there will be plenty of music, exhibits, action, carnival rides and games and plenty of the best unhealthy food around. The Pacific Amphitheatre’s concert series features Empire of the Sun, The Psychedelic Furs, Andy Grammer, Jim Gaffigan, Hunter Hayes and Michael Franti & Spearhead. The Fair is open Wednesday-Sunday. Single-day admission runs $7-$12 with concerts, parking and other events extra.
HOT SAUCE EXPO (Sauce): High River Sauces presents the 2nd Annual California Hot Sauce Expo 2016 at Rainbow Lagoon on July 16-17. Hot sauce companies from the U.S. and around the world are on hand to set your palate on fire. The Guinness Book of Records reps will be onsite to host and judge "The Smokin' Ed's Carolina Reaper Eating Challenge" (which sounds like a whole hell of a lot of fun to watch, amirite?). There will also be a Bloody Mary and Margarita Mix-down during the festival. The fest runs from 10 am to 6 pm on both days. Tickets: Tickets: $10/$15 general admission, $50 craft brew package and $100 VIP.
COMIC-CON 2016 (Comic books + more): Are you ready for the lines in Hall H? Comic-Con 2016 is at the San Diego Convention Center from July 21-24 (with a preview night on July 20). Expect a mass exodus of industry and press from LA to SD for workshops, panels and exhibitors on films, TV shows, manga, anime, games and … comic books. A sampling of the shows presenting at Comic-Con include 24: Legacy, Bob’s Burgers, The Exorcist, Rocky Horror Picture Show, The 100, American Gods and so many more.
LOS ANGELES RECORD STORE CRAWL (Music): Join other record and vinyl collectors for a day of crate hunting, where you’ll be bussed from record store to record store with music, beer and other surprises in between for Los Angeles Record Store Crawl. Providing music on the bus is LA’s Nico Yaryan, whose new album What a Tease just came out last month. Beer and food included at The York in Highland Park. This event is 21+ (sorry kids!). A confirmation email will be sent to with meeting location and itinerary information. Tickets: $59.95.
VANS U.S. OPEN OF SURFING (Surfing): The Vans U.S. Open of Surfing returns on July 23 to the Huntington Beach Pier for a competition the world’s elite surfers. The event is also a celebration of surf culture with movie screenings, art installations and music. There are also BMX and skate competitions running throughout the week as well. Free admission.
WEIRD AL (Music): Weird Al Takes The Bowl (the Hollywood Bowl) on July 22-23 at 8 pm. Who knows what will happen when "Weird Al" Yankovic plays the Bowl with the backing of a full orchestra. He’s bringing more than “30 years of pop culture parodies and original satire,” which should make for a fun and interesting night. The vocal group Straight No Chaser opens the shows. Tickets: $14-$182.
DELICIOUS LITTLE TOKYO (Food): Go Little Tokyo presents the food and drink fest Delicious Little Tokyo from July 29-31. Explore the Little Tokyo neighborhood of DTLA and sample the area’s culinary delights. Things kick off on Friday from 7-10 pm with the Little Tokyo Service Center’s 10th Annual Sake & Food Tasting Event, Starry Night in Little Tokyo. Sample sake and culinary pairings from more than 15 restaurants and specialty vendors. On Saturday, there’s a walking tour of culinary food landmarks as well as a free, after-hours tasting at Chado Tea Room. On Sunday, the Wolf & Crane presents a mixology class that helps perfect cocktails like the O’Shito, Tokyo Express and a classic Old Fashioned from Japanese whisky experts. Check out the website for the full details on this awesome sounding event.
CENTRAL AVENUE JAZZ FESTIVAL (Music): The 21st edition of the Central Avenue Jazz Festival takes place on July 30-31 from 11 am to 7 pm in South Los Angeles on Central Avenue and at the Dunbar Hotel. Performances by Justo Almario Afro-Colombian Jazz Ensemble, The Clayton Family Jam Band, Ernie Andrews, Bobby Matos Latin Jazz Ensemble, Nedra Wheeler, Sweet Baby J’ai and others.
CRAB CAKE LA (Food): Maryland natives Ben Feldman, Michael and Bryan Voltaggio, and Duff Goldman present the 4th Annual Crab Cake LA on July 31 at the Maple Block Meat Co. in Culver City from 2-6pm. The West Coast version of a Maryland crab fest, the event features classic East coast food and drinks. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the nonprofit Chrysalis, which helps create pathways to self-sufficiency for homeless and low-income individuals. Tickets: $150. VIP tickets start at $250.