How do you know it’s summer? Well, for starters, yesterday we published our big cheatsheet of free summer concerts in L.A., giving you a roadmap to gratis entertainment over the next three months. But let’s take a step back for a quick sec and key in on just this weekend.
From June 23-25 in Los Angeles, you’ll find KCRW’s Summer Nights in Chinatown, Venice Fest, the Santa Monica Pier 360 Festival, Dance DTLA at The Music Center, an Out Block Party in the Arts District, Off the 405 at The Getty, Delicious Little Tokyo, Mapping Performance at Union Station, and MUCH more. Enjoy the list, your weekend, and all the fun summer to-dos on the way!
Make Metro Part of Your Weekend
Per usual, we start with a couple of solid recommendations for free events that you access by Metro bus and rail. And remember if you want more car-free ideas, head over to our full list of weekend freebies.
Chinatown Summer Nights -> KCRW Summer Nights returns for a new season of summer programming this Saturday in Chinatown. Expect a packed Central Plaza where KCRW DJs Anthony Valadez and Jason Bentley will spin tunes as guests dance, hang out, and explore local vendors, stores, and activations. Gets started at 8 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.
Go Metro: Take the A line to Chinatown station.
Mapping Performance -> This Saturday and Sunday, Metro Art Presents commemorates 10 years of L.A.-inspired arts and cultural programming with weekend-long celebration at at the heart of the LA Metro transit system. Hosted at Los Angeles Union Station, MAPPING Performance will offer back-to-back days of with percussion-driven music and dance performances drawing from Southeast Asian and Afro-Brazilian traditions, Free to attend. No ticket necessary. More info here.
Go Metro: Take the A, B or D Lines to Union Station.
More Things To Do This Weekend
M = Less than .5 miles from an L.A. Metro Station, FA = Free Admission, TP = Top Pick
LA Design Festival – FA > Los Angeles Design Festival (LADF) returns this Thursday through Sunday with a slate of events – open to the public and mostly free unless noted. The public can participate in studio tours, listen in on panel discussions, view experiential installations and enjoy a block party. This year’s theme, “Design for the People,” will highlight the voices of creatives and designers from all backgrounds and practices. More info here.
Shakespeare By the Sea – FA TP > The 26th anniversary season of Shakespeare By the Sea kicks off with performances of Twelfth Night at Point Fermin Park in San Pedro this Thursday to Saturday. All shows are free to attend, but donations are gladly accepted. SBTS performances continue at locations throughout L.A. and Orange County through August 5. More info here.
The Music Center’s Dance DTLA – M FA TP > Free evening dance parties return to The Music Center’s Jerry Moss Plaza every week throughout the summer, staring this Friday with Hip-Hop instruction led Brandon “BeastBoi” Juezan. For each event, dance instructors will be on hand to teach guests easy-to-follow steps, allowing everyone to get into the groove right from the jump. Runs 7 to 11 p.m. More info here.
Jazz at LACMA – FA > This Friday at 6 p.m., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art hosts the Highland Park House Band at Smidt Welcome Plaza as part of the ongoing Jazz at LACMA series, which continues every Friday evening through November. Admission is free, however seating is limited and first come, first served. More info here.
Scooby-Doo at Petersen – FA > On Friday, Petersen Automotive Museum hosts a free screening of Scooby-Doo (2002) with special pre-screening activities, including a costume contest with prizes. Event gets going around 7 p.m. More info here.
Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles Concerts – M FA > The Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles annual summer-long series of free concerts features acclaimed and emerging talent from a broad range of musical genres. Events continue this Friday to Sunday, including Boleros de Noches, 40 Years of Radiotron celebrating 50 years of Hip-Hop, and Banda Las Angelinas. All free to attend. No reservation required. Get more info here.
Public Star Party at Griffith Observatory – FA > Every month, Griffith Observatory hosts a free public star party with the help of volunteers from the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers, and The Planetary Society. Catch the next edition of the series this Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m. More info here.
JOHN REED Santa Monica Open Studios – FA > JOHN REED, the international workout brand with a nightclub vibe, is opening a brand new 45,000 square-foot space in Santa Monica this weekend. To celebrate they’ll be offering free access to the gym all weekend long, plus a day-long set of activities on Saturday (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) that includes classes, DJ sets, and activations such as Cupping Therapy by Myodetox and a piercing station. Stop by and get in a workout! More info here.
Grand Performances – M FA > The free summer concert series at California Plaza continues this Saturday with a performance by Gambian multi-instrumentalist Sona Jobarteh, to be preceded by The Nubian Sound Group. A DJ starts things out at 6 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.
Imagined Wests Opening -> The Autry celebrates the opening of their newest exhibition, Imagined Wests, with a special day of early access followed by a concert featuring Guatemalan singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno. The ticketed event offers museum access from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the concert at 3 p.m. and a reception to follow at 5 p.m. Imagined Wests includes over 250 objects from The Autry collection, all woven together to explore the mythology of the American West and its influences on pop culture, toys, games, and other media. Tickets for the opening event run $25 per person. More info here.
Venice Fest – FA > On Saturday, Venice Fest takes over a multi-block stretch of Venice Blvd in Mar Vista (between Centinela Ave and Inglewood Blvd) for a day of all-ages fun featuring local bands, yoga, games, and classic cars on display. Expect two stages of music, a beer garden, dozens of local artists and vendors, and more. Runs noon to 8 p.m. Free and open to the public. More info here.
Comeback Fest – M FA > On Saturday, Art Share L.A. hosts Comeback Fest, an all-ages community festival celebrating Los Angeles creatives through art, music, poetry, film and food. Expect 40+ vendors, live painting, two performance stages, and open studios to explore all day long. Runs 3 to 8 p.m. Free and open to the public. More info here.
Compton Pride –FA > This Saturday, The Compton Pride Festival brings live performances and all-ages entertainment to Compton College, all taking place from noon to 8 p.m. Free and open to the public. More info here.
Delicious Little Tokyo – M > On Saturday, Delicious Little Tokyo returns for a culinary journey through the historic neighborhood. Activities include a History of Little Tokyo Food Tour, emoji-pan decorating workshop and a self guided food tasting tour. More info here.
Off The 405 – FA > Live outdoor music is back at The Getty this summer with the annual Off the 405 concerts. This Saturday, the museum hosts a performance by drummer, composer, and producer Makaya McCraven. DJ set at 6 p.m., with main act to begin at 7:30 p.m. Free to attend with reservation. More info here.
Santa Monica Pier 360 Beach Festival – M FA TP > Summer time means beach time, and there’s no better weekend to hit than sand than than during Pier 360, a beach life festival offering back-to-back days (this Saturday and Sunday) of ocean sports competitions, live music, food, drinks, games, brand activations, and more, all adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier. Free to attend and family-friendly. Get more info here.
Day Trip Festival – M > Day Trip is a two-day (Saturday and Sunday) house music festival taking over the Queen Mary Waterfront with acts that include Dombresky, Claptone, Meduza and Dom Dolla. Tickets start at $129. More info here.
Out Block Party – M FA TP > On Sunday, Angel City Brewery teams up with GLAAD, Makeshift Muse, and Truly LA for a Pride-focused afternoon block party featuring unique vendors and performers. Portions of Traction Ave and Rose St will be shut down to vehicular traffic for the event, which runs from noon to 6 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.
Game Awards 10-Year Concert -> If video game soundtracks are your jam, you’ll love this Sunday’s Game Awards 10–Year Concert experience (with fireworks!) at the Hollywood Bowl. Scottish composer Lorne Balfe leads the Bowl Orchestra in music selections and suites from Arcane, Diablo, Elden Ring, Final Fantasy XVI, God of War, Hades, Hogwarts Legacy, League of Legends, Marvel’s Spider-Man The Last of Us, and more, plus you can catch special live performances by Gustavo Santaolalla and Tenacious D. Tickets available for as low as $15. More info here.
Long Beach Cultural Dance Festival -> The first-ever Long Beach Cultural Dance Festival comes to the Museum of Latin American Art this Sunday, offering a day of performances and competitions, onsite food trucks, and special workshops. GA tickets to watch the performances start at $10, with workshops available for an additional fee of $15 per class. Runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. More info here.
Valley Cultural Foundation Concerts – FA > Live music comes to Warner Ranch Park in Woodland Hills all summer long as part of the Valley Cultural Foundation’s seasonal concert series. This Sunday,, catch a performance by Doctor Wu (an 11-piece Steely Dan cover band) along with an emerging artist showcase featuring The Living Strange. Event runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.
Dining & Drinking
Rooftop Drag Brunch -> This Saturday, Bar Clara on the rooftop of Hotel Per La in Downtown will host a Drag Brunch featuring Butter McGhee and friends. The drag show runs from 2-4 p.m. and doors open at noon welcoming guests to enjoy Bar Clara’s new summer cocktail menu alongside small bites. General admission tickets cost $10. More info here.
Flamin’ Hot Irv’s Burgers -> This Friday, Irv’s Burgers is collaborating with Searchlight Pictures recently-released movie, Flamin’ Hot, on a “Flamin’ Hot Combo” that consists of an Irv’s Double Cheeseburger with grilled onions, pickles, Irv’s sauce, and Flamin’ Hot seasoning, served with a side of Flamin’ Hot Fries and a soft drink for $14. The combo is available at both Irv’s Burgers locations (La Brea and West Hollywood) and online via UberEats and Postmates. But wait, it gets spicier, stop by Irv’s Burgers La Brea spot on Friday starting at 10:45 a.m. where a Tapatio mascot will be giving away custom Tapatio bottles to the first 50 customers who buy the Flamin’ Hot Combo.
Red Room -> Starting this Friday, Coffee MCO in Koreatown will transform into a natural wine bar in the evening called Red Room. Guests can stop in from 6 p.m. to midnight for rotating selections of natural wines, beers, and soju cocktails from beverage director Emily Ko. Small bites from a rotation of pop-up chefs are slated for the future and this opening weekend will feature a tapas menu by Chef Jorge Serrano from the Serrano Experience. Red Room runs this Friday and Saturday and will be open from Thursdays through Saturdays the following week.
Levain Bakery -> New York-founded Levain Bakery is ready to open bright and early in Larchmont Village this Saturday, June 24, at 8 a.m. The grand opening will include a ribbon cutting, fun activities for families and the first 100 people in line will receive a special Levain Bakery Larchmont Village tote with bakery swag. Proceeds from Levain Bakery Larchmont’s opening day will be donated to Alexandria House – a transitional home for women and children located in Wilshire Center. More info here.
Gracias Madre Sip & Sashay Sundays -> West Hollywood’s Gracias Madre is hosting Sip & Sashay Sundays this week featuring performers Miss Kendoll, Marta Beatchu and host Annie Biotixx. Taking place from 10 a.m. to noon, the event will feature live drag performances, Pride cocktail specials and Gracias Madres’ signature plant-based brunch menu. More info here.
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