We found 20 awesome events happening in Los Angeles, and around Southern California in March to help you plan your social calendar. Read on for all our event picks and details.
FOOD BOOK FAIR LA (Food + culture)
The Food Book Fair comes to Los Angeles for the first time from March 2-4. It’s part conference, part festival and all about food and culture. There are a number of workshops, panels and discussions at the Ace Hotel, including Food Media: Where Do We Go From Here? and The Food Hustle. On Sunday, Smorgasburg LA hosts #Foodieodicals—an indie food magazine festival—featuring periodicals and makers from Mexico City to Tokyo. Most events are free with RSVP; all tickets are à la carte.
AIR + STYLE (Sports + music)
Shaun White, Olympic snowboarding champion, brings his Air + Style festival back to Los Angeles’ EXPO Park on March 3 and 4. The two-day action sports competition (snowboarding and skating) and music fest features performances by Zedd, Cashmere Cat, Cut Copy and others on Saturday; and Phoenix, Gucci Mane, GRiz, Phantogram and others on Sunday. Tickets/passes run between $79-$239 + fees.
March 3-4, 10-11
DANA POINT FESTIVAL OF WHALES (Nature)
Dana Point’s Festival of Whales marks the return of the migratory gray whale on our Pacific shores. Events—many of them free—take place during the first two weekends in March. The fun includes a street fair, a sand sculpting competition, music, movies, lectures, and … whale watching. There are extra fees involved for whale watching excursions.
ORANGE COUNTY RESTAURANT WEEK (Food)
Taste what Orange County has to offer, food-wise, during OC Restaurant Week, held March 4-10. Dozens of participating restaurants are offering special prix fixe menus for $10, $15 and $20 per person for lunch, and $20, $30, $40 and $50 per person for dinner. There’s a launch party at the Marriott Irvine Spectrum on March 3, from 2-5 p.m or 1-5 p.m. with a VIP ticket (available only on the website). Party tickets: $100.
LIVE TALKS LOS ANGELES: PATTON OSWALT (Book talk)
Live Talks LA presents comedian and actor Patton Oswalt who’ll discuss a more serious topic: his late wife Michelle McNamara’s new book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. On March 5 at 8 p.m. at The Writers Guild Theatre, Oswalt will talk about McNamara’s dogged pursuit of the Golden State Killer, and how her lead researcher, and a close colleague ultimately finished the book. Tickets: $55 reserved seat and book; $45 general admission and book; $20 general admission. A book signing follows the event.
BNP PARIBAS OPEN (Tennis)
The BNP Paribas Open returns to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells for two weeks of tennis, featuring veterans, and up-and-comers alike. Among the highlights: Serena Williams returns to tennis, hoping for her third BNP Paribas Title, and Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic return to play for their sixth title. Individual day tickets, and packages are available.
ALL-STAR CHEF CLASSIC (Food)
Dozens of award-winning and in-demand chefs from around the world will descend on L.A. Live from March 7-10 to share their foods with the public (for a price). The classic also offers smaller events through its Master Dinner series, in which specialized food and wine pairing dinners will be available. In addition to the tastings, chefs come together in the Chefs’ Tasting Arena—and Restaurant Stadium—showing off their skills in the round and before a live audience. Tickets for the All-Star Chef Classic start at $125.
SMORGASBURG: POP-UP ON THE PIER (Eats)
Smorgasburg LA holds its second annual pop-up event on the Santa Monica Pier from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 10. Westsiders and tourists will get a chance to experience the food extravaganza with more than 70 vendors like Shrimp Daddy, Amazebowls, Sticky Rice on Wheels, and Lobsterdamus. In addition, 10 Smorgasburg vendors will create custom California Avocado specials for the day, including Nashville Hot Fried California Avocado from Rooster Republic, California Avocado Halo Halo Ice Cream from Wanderlust Creamery, and more.
OC BEER FESTIVAL (Libations)
The 10th annual OC Beer Festival takes place on Saturday, March 10, at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim from noon to 4 p.m. Nearly 50 breweries, including Ballast Point, Inland Empire, Indie Brewing and others, are serving up 100 different beers. There’s a food truck alley, too, featuring various cuisines (but food sold separately). General admission ($40) includes unlimited samples from over 50 breweries, plus live music and access to food truck alley with entry at 1 p.m. VIP admission ($55) includes all the benefits of general admission, plus an additional hour with special beers poured during the first hour. Entry at noon.
GLEN HANSARD (Music)
Glen Hansard, the Irish troubadour known for his music with The Frames, The Swell Season, and the movie Once, plays March 10-11 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. On March 10, he performs with his band, but on Sunday, March 11, he performs a special concert with the LA Phil. There are a handful of tickets left for both of these shows. (Hansard also plays Largo on March 8, but that show is waaaaay sold out.)
CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP! SPRING 2018 (Art party)
The California African American Museum (CAAM) celebrates the openings of its winter/spring 2018 exhibitions: How Sweet the Sound: Gospel in Los Angeles; Adler Guerrier: Conditions and Forms for blck Longevity; Shinique Smith: Refuge; Charting the Terrain: Eric Mack and Pamela Smith Hudson; and Nicole Miller: Athens, California on March 14. The party, which runs from 7-9 p.m. on March 14, features food trucks and DJ sets by Huneycut and Suga Shay. It’s free and open to the public. Get to CAAM early that night for Artists + Curatorial Walkthroughs beginning at 6 p.m.
TAYLOR MAC (Performance)
Theater and performance artist Taylor Mac presents A 24-Decade History of Popular Music over several nights this month at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. Mac charts the history of popular music and activism in America, from the nation’s founding in 1776 to today. With special guests expected for the performances, he begins the journey on March 15 with Chapter I: 1776-1836; followed by Chapter II: 1836-1896 on March 17; Chapter III: 1896-1956 on March 22; and Chapter IV: 1956-present on March 24. Performances run around six hours each. Individual tickets: $45-$250 for each night. Ticket packages for all four chapters run between $165-$935.
LA BIG 5K / LA MARATHON (Running)
The LA Big 5k is a 3.1-mile race that begins and ends right outside of Dodger Stadium on St. Patrick’s Day 2018. The family friendly race is held the day before the LA Marathon; registration for the 5K is $55. Participants receive an official race shirt, finishers medal, race bib with chip timing technology, post-race refreshments, entertainment, and more. The LA Marathon, held on Sunday, March 18, is a 26.2 mile jaunt from DTLA to Santa Monica, and crowds are encouraged to watch the feats of endurance from along the course.
BACH IN THE SUBWAYS (Classical music)
Bach in the Subways returns to L.A. from March 21-25 to celebrate the 333rd birthday of composer Johann Sebastian Bach, with free pop-up performances of the composer’s music in North Hollywood, Glendale and Union Station in DTLA. The annual 10-hour Bach Marathon at Union Station takes place on Saturday, March 24 from 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
JASPER JOHNS | UNFOLDING LANGUAGE LITERARY SERIES (Readings)
In conjunction with The Broad’s current exhibition, Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth, ALOUD presents Jasper Johns | Unfolding Language Literary Series, a two-part series that explores the importance of writers to Johns’ creative practice. ALOUD presents two evenings of readings by contemporary authors presenting texts from Johns’ literary muses: Samuel Beckett, Ted Berrigan, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Hart Crane, Frank O’Hara and Herman Melville. On March 22 at 7:30 p.m. at The Broad, Rigoberto González, Douglas Kearney and Chris Kraus reflect on Crane, Beckett and Céline, respectively. The second part of this series takes place on April 12. Tickets: $15 (reading only); $30 (includes poetry reading and one-time return to Jasper Johns exhibition.
WONDERCON (Comic books)
WonderCon—a smaller version of Comic-Con—takes over the Anaheim Convention Center from March 23-25. There’s something for all geeks: Comics, movies, TV, animation, exhibitors and programming. Adult single day tickets are $35 for Friday and Saturday, $20 for Sunday; three-day adult badges are $75. No badges will be sold at the convention center.
PALM DESERT FOOD & WINE (Festival)
Palm Desert Food & Wine takes over El Paseo shopping district in downtown Palm Desert from March 23-25. There are food tasting booths, celebrity chefs on three stages, demos, talks and Grand Tastings (admission: $100-$160) scheduled throughout the weekend. Other events include a James Beard Gourmet Four-Course Luncheon on Friday, and pre-festival events on Thursday such as An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul Chef Experience with author and Aarti Party host Aarti Sequeira, and lead judge on Guy’s Grocery Games, Eric Wadlund.
WAFFLES & BEER FESTIVAL (Food fest)
Waffle Day is celebrated in Sweden every March 25, and this year LA is joining in the fun with a Waffles & Beer Festival in Pershing Square (DTLA) March 24-25. Held from noon to 8 p.m. both days, there will be waffles and beer (natch), as well as mimosas, live music and more. Entrance fee: $5 early bird and $7 at the door. Purchase food and drinks separately.
SELECTED SHORTS: A FEAST OF FICTION (Readings):
The Selected Shorts radio show/podcast returns to the Getty Center for three performances on March 24 and 25, hosted by Jane Kaczmarek. Under the theme, A Feast of Fiction, actors including Shohreh Aghdashloo, Hope Davis, Tate Donovan, Diane Guerrero, Stana Katic, Linda Lavin, Anika Noni Rose and Stephen Tobolowsky, read stories related to edible feasts and food. There are different readers for each performance, which begin at 4 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 24; and 4 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets: $20.
JUBILEE – A CELEBRATION OF JERRY GARCIA (Music)
The Bluegrass Situation, Jerry Garcia Family and Goldenvoice team up to present, Jubilee – A Celebration of Jerry Garcia, the late singer/guitarist of The Grateful Dead, on March 30 at 8 p.m. Performers include: Josh Ritter, Amos Lee, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, Molly Tuttle, Willie Watson, Hiss Golden Messenger, Jamie Drake, Banditos and Billy Strings, all led by the Jubilee House Band featuring Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), Sean Watkins, Tyler Chester and Jay Bellerose. Tickets: $50-$300.
Christine N. Ziemba is a Los Angeles-based arts and culture writer who loves to tell people what to do (and where to go). Check out her events columns and other musings on PopRadarLA.com, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.