Your Ultimate Guide To June: 20 Cool Events in SoCal

We found a number of notable happenings and events in June to help plan your social calendar. Read on for all our picks and details.

All summer

LEVITT PAVILION’S 2019 SUMMER SEASON

Your Ultimate Guide To June: 20 Cool Events in SoCal
Western Standard Time Ska Orchestra, Photo by Lino Peña via Facebook

This free concert series returns to LA’s MacArthur Park, featuring musical genres from around the world and right here at home. There are 50 concerts scheduled for the season, including Tijuana No! Con Ceci Bastida with Dub 8 & Blanco Y Negro on June 1; DJs spinning hip hop tunes and breakdancers performing at the 36th annual Radiotron on June 22; and the Western Standard Time Ska Orchestra With Nina Cole on Aug. 23. The concerts are free and open to the public.

All summer

SUMMER NIGHTS
KCRW celebrates the 10th anniversary of its Summer Nights series, which features all-ages outdoor performances from bands and DJs. Events take place throughout SoCal, including One Colorado in Pasadena, Chinatown in DTLA, the Hammer Museum and KCRW HQ in Santa Monica. The series kickoff is on June 1 in Old Pasadena with Harriet Brown + KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad, followed by Travis Holcombe + Novena Carmel kicking off the Chinatown nights on June 8. The concerts are free.

All summer

HOLLYWOOD BOWL
You know it’s summer when the Hollywood Bowl’s half-shell heats up. The season unofficially opens with the annual Playboy Jazz Festival on June 8-9 featuring Kool & the Gang, Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, Angélique Kidjo, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Boz Scaggs and Maceo Parker. The Bowl opens officially on June 15 with John Legend and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, followed by a fireworks show. Great acts perform throughout the summer, including Nile Rogers and Chic, Hugh Jackman, Lord Huron, Death Cab for Cutie, Café Tacvba, and The Roots.

June 1-29

LAST REMAINING SEATS

The LA Conservancy’s Last Remaining Seats series screens classic films in historic theaters throughout LA. The screenings kick off on Saturday, June 1 with the Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert romantic comedy It Happened One Night (1934) and wraps on June 29 with a matinee of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and an evening screening of Network (1976) at The Wiltern in Koreatown. Tickets: $16 – $22.

June 7-9

L.A. PRIDE FESTIVAL

LA Pride Festival weekend takes place from June 7-9 where thousands and thousands of revelers—gay, bi, trans, questioning and straight allies—take to the streets of WeHo for one of the largest celebrations of LGBTQ communities. Music headliners for the festival are Meghan Trainor on Saturday and Years & Years on Sunday. Paula Abdul performs at the opening ceremony on Friday night. The annual LA Pride Parade takes place on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. down Santa Monica Boulevard. The parade is free, although tickets are required for the festival on Saturday and Sunday. This is an all-ages event, but certain exhibitions are 18+. Festival admission starts at $30.

June 8

DTLA DONUT FEST
The festival that honors the deep-fried deliciousness of donuts returns to Union Station’s South Patio on June 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Participants include: Voodoo Doughnut, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, Dōnatsu, Dot & Dough, DK’s Donuts & Bakery, Fat Uncle Farms, Dream Donut Truck and others. For those who prefer the savory, The Rooster Truck will also serve up breakfast burritos, tacos, and breakfast sandwiches. Other activities include baking demos and donut-themed arts and crafts. Admission: $5-$7 (donuts extra).

June 9-Sept. 22

AZIZ ANSARI

The comedian brings his Road to Nowhere Tour to Southern California with four shows. He performs June 23 at the Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside; June 24 at Long Beach Convention Center; June 25 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium; and June 26 at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center. Tickets start at $30 – $39.

June 11-Oct. 13

BAUHAUS BEGINNINGS

Your Ultimate Guide To June: 20 Cool Events in SoCal
Image credit: Paul Häberer (German, 1902 – 1978) Postcard for the Bauhaus Exhibition of 1923 Lithograph Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (850513) ©Ute Menke

The influential German school of art and design, the Bauhaus, was established a century ago. The school sought to “erode distinctions between crafts and the fine arts through a program of study centered on theory and practical experience.” The Getty exhibition, drawn primarily from the Getty Research Institute’s collections, presents more than 250 objects including woodcut prints, drawings, collage, photography, textile samples, artists’ books, student notebooks, masters’ teaching aids and notes, letters and ephemera from the school’s early years. It’s accompanied by the online exhibition Bauhaus: Building the New Artist. Admission to the Getty Center is free.

June 13-AUG. 17

SHAKESPEARE BY THE SEA
Shakespeare By The Sea (SBTS) runs June 13-Aug 17 with the company performing 42 shows in nearly two dozen locations in LA and Orange Counties, from Encino to Whittier. This season, SBTS presents William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors and Henry V on alternating dates throughout the run. All performances are free and open to the public.

June 13-30

HOLLYWOOD FRINGE
The Hollywood Fringe theater festival presents more than 2,000 performances of 400 shows, in various theaters and spaces across the city. There’s comedy, drama, experimental theater, cabaret, dance, solo shows and more. Previews of many shows run June 6-11, and the Fringe Opening Night Party will take place at the LGBT Center in Hollywood on June 12. Opening party tickets: $5. Performance prices vary.

June 16

EL GRAN FESTIVAL DE MUSICA CUBANA

Your Ultimate Guide To June: 20 Cool Events in SoCal
Your Ultimate Guide To June: 20 Cool Events in SoCal

Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa presents El Gran Festival de Musica Cubana, featuring traditional Cuban music and culture. Taking place on Sunday, June 16 at 2:00 p.m., the program includes four former members of the Buena Vista Social Club: Juan De Marcos, Barbarito Torres, Jesus Aguaje Ramos and Eliades Ochoa; the group ¡Cubanismo!; singers Ibrahim Ferrer Jr., Luis Frank and Pedrito Calvo; and the band Los Soneros de Verdad. Tickets start at $69.

June 16

BLOOMSDAY 2019
The Hammer Museum’s annual Bloomsday commemorates the characters and events from James Joyce’s Ulysses, which takes place over the course of an ordinary day: June 16, 1904. The Wandering Rocks episode, which features the city of Dublin and many of the major and minor characters of the book, will be given a dramatic reading from veteran actors. The festivities then move to the courtyard for Guinness (for those 21+) and live music. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

June 20-23

BET EXPERIENCE
The BET Awards take place on Sunday, June 23 at the Microsoft Theater in DTLA. The BET Experience is a weekend of music and entertainment for fans preceding the awards. The Fan Fest features a Celebrity Dodgeball Game, Celebrity Basketball Game, Genius Talks and parties. The music lineup at Staples Center includes Mary J. Blige, Meek Mill, Cardi B, Lil Yachty, Migos and others in three separate shows. Concert tickets start at $30; other activity prices vary.

June 21-Aug. 30

DANCE DTLA

The Music Center’s popular series returns for its 15th season of dancing under the stars. Each Friday night features a different dance style and beginner dance lessons, accompanied by a live band or DJ. The dancing starts on June 21 with Bollywood night at Grand Park Performance Lawn. These events are free and open to the public.

June 28-30

DEL CLOSE MARATHON
The Del Close Marathon (DCM) is 72 hours of nonstop improv which the Upright Citizens Brigade founders (Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh) started in 1999 to honor their late teacher, Del Close. It’s the largest improv festival in the world, and will be hosted in LA for the first time ever this year. Confirmed talent includes: Ben Schwartz, Bobby Moynihan, Horatio Sanz, Jack McBrayer, Jason Mantzoukas, Lauren Lapkus, Paul F. Tompkins, Paul Scheer, Rachel Bloom, Sasheer Zamata and Thomas Middleditch. Ticket prices will be announced when the schedule is finalized.

June 28-30

A TASTE OF GREECE
Opa! The family-friendly festival takes place at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine. Sample Greek foods like Dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves), Spanokopita (Spinach pie), Loukoumathes (donuts); take part in Greek folk dancing or let the young ones play in the free children’s zone. Admission: $3 per person; children 10 and younger are free.

June 29-30

CATCON

Your Ultimate Guide To June: 20 Cool Events in SoCal
Jessica Louise and Scarlett River, two of the 200 exhibitors to be found at CatCon 2019.

If you’re a cat lover, then head to the Pasadena Convention Center June 29 and/or 30 for the fifth annual CatCon — a convention dedicated to felines in pop culture. There will be more than 200 vendors selling cat-themed merchandise as well as merchandise for cats. The weekend also features talks, workshops, more than 20 experiential activations and 200+ kittens onsite for adoption. Tickets: $10 – $75. Meet and greets with celebrities (humans and felines) cost extra.

June 29-30

CALIFORNIA WATERMELON FESTIVAL
This fruit-forward fest takes over the Hansen Dam fields, bringing in more than 50,000 pounds of watermelon. Food vendors will be serving up both sweet and savory watermelon dishes and drinks. The festival also features melon carvers, cooking demos and plenty of entertainment—from music to lawn games, a petting zoo, BMX riders and carnival rides. All attendees get free watermelon slices all day. Admission: $10-$15.

June 29-Aug. 3

HELLO KITTY 45TH ANNIVERSARY GROUP SHOW
Corey Helford Gallery and Sanrio team up for an art exhibition that honors Hello Kitty, a symbol of friendship and kindness for 45 years, with a rabid fan base that spans generations. This special group show features 100 artists from all over the world who have re-interpreted the iconic image of Hello Kitty and her friends in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, and animation. The opening reception takes place on June 29 from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. in the Main Gallery.

June 30

CICLAVIA

Your Ultimate Guide To June: 20 Cool Events in SoCal
Map of route

The open-streets event returns on June 30 for the Mid City Meets Pico-Union route. Ciclavia closes down the streets to cars and opens them for biking, running, walking, strolling, skating and other modes of non-motorized transportation. Hubs in Mid-City, Pico-Union and Arlington Heights offer restrooms, free water, free basic bike repair, bike parking, and first aid. There’s a preview ride of the route on Sunday, June 2. Ciclavia is free and open to all.

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.