Key L.A. Events Worth Catching Before the End of Summer

7:00 AM 7/15/2016

by THR staff

Hollywood Bowl Fireworks H 2016
Mathew Imaging/WireImage

Some of the hottest culture and entertainment events will hit Los Angeles in the next coming months. From the food festivals to the celeb-filled Comic-Con panels to performances by Coldplay and Beyonce, check out THR's complete guide to summer events in Los Angeles below.

  • Comic-Con

    The big kahuna of superhero festivals will feature exclusive sneak previews of upcoming films, tons of announcements, and some serious cosplay. Comic-Con is strictly democratic, so there aren’t any VIP experiences at the festival itself, but there are dozens of VIP, invite-only ancillary parties thrown by major studios (FOX, Warner Bros.) and media companies.

  • A Midsummer Fête: LAND’s Summer Benefit

    A great way in to hobnob with L.A.’s exclusive artsy elite, while supporting an L.A. arts non-profit. Tickets are $200 each, $350 for couples, $1750 for a bundle of 10.

  • International Champions Cup: Liverpool Vs. Chelsea

    L.A. is becoming more and more of a soccer town, with Will Ferrell as part owner of brand new Los Angeles FC planned to start in 2018. Ferrell is also a big Chelsea supporter, while Samuel L. Jackson is reportedly a fan of Liverpool. We bet they’ll be watching from the 16 – 30 person suites, with amenities like wifi, A/C, a wet bar, private bathrooms, and concierge services.

  • Crab Cake LA

    Actor Ben Feldman (Mad Men) and chefs Michael and Bryan Voltaggio and Duff Goldman are all Maryland natives, so each year, they fly in a bunch of Maryland blue crabs and host a crab fest. VIP tickets start at $225, which will get you a “crab-cracking experience” with the hosts. 100 percent of this year’s proceeds benefit Chrysalis, a non-profit that helps the homeless and low-income individuals craft a pathway to self-sufficiency.

  • Ed Ruscha: Books & Co.

    Ruscha is a major figure on the L.A. art scene, and his collectors include Owen Wilson, Jay Z and Beyonce, and Leonardo DiCaprio. The gallery holds ultra-exclusive dinners on the night of the exhibit, but you’ll have to finagle your way onto the invite list. This one with the legendary L.A. artist (he was recently honored at the MOCA Gala) should be one of the hot events of the summer.

  • Guillermo Del Toro: At Home with Monsters

    The inventive filmmaker is debuting an exhibition showcasing his extensive collection of film ephemera—from his own films (Crimson Peak, Pan’s Labrynth) and pieces of film history he’s compiled over the years. There’s an invite-only reception over the weekend for donors. Otherwise, LACMA members get a preview over the weekend. There will also be a book signing on the July 29, and screenings that haven’t yet been announced.

  • Hammer Conversations with Ryan Murphy

    A rare chance to see the creator of all your favorite TV shows on a panel. All Hammer events are free to the public, but obviously this one is going to sell out quickly, so show up a few hours early (you can take in the Hammer’s fine Made in L.A. biennial while you’re there). Hammer members get priority ticket dibs.

  • Radiohead

    Brad Pitt and Miley Cyrus are both huge Radiohead fans. The tix are completely sold out for this, and they’re being hawked for $2000 on Craigslist, but it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and company at a smaller venue.

  • Adele

    Snagging a ticket to catch Adele this summer was almost like winning the lotto. The record-shattering singer's six shows at the Staples Center are already sold out as well as her entire 2016 world tour. According to Billboard, Ticketmaster president, North America Jared Smith said he was told that over 10 million fans rushed to their site in hopes of buying tickets to see the pop star.

    Her live performance has even scored her an Emmy nomination for her NBC special, Adele Live in New York City.


  • VRLA Summer Expo (Virtual Reality Fair)

    Because it’s the future of cinema (probably), so it’s good to keep abreast of the innovations. The way to go? The $300 Pro Pass, which gets you into all events for the weekend, plus you get a coveted swag bag. Reportedly, the swag bags are worth the price of admission alone.

  • Ford Theatres Summer Season: 6th Annual Flypoet Under the Stars

    The Ford Theatre re-opened this year after extensive renovations, making it one of the most modern venues in town. This is a highlight from their Summer Season: a dynamic evening of poetry, music, and comedy Steve Connell (HBO), Malcolm Jamal-Warner, and Lalah Hathaway. The Ford offers VIP tickets for just $100, which includes a gift bag and premium seating.

  • The Return of the Trilogy

    Because the original Star Wars films — Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi — are the ones we really love, The Ace is playing them back-to-back-to-back. Contests and clips will be held between the films.

  • Coldplay

    Catch Gwyneth’s former beau rock out in front of tens of thousands. Robert Downey Jr. is a fan, as is Twilight’s Ashley Greene, Mandy Moore, JC Chasez, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Billy Crystal, Janice Dickinson, and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey. There’s a “Top 10 Party Package” available that includes seats in the first 10 rows, a pre-show lounge, a concierge, and a gift-bag.

  • Cinematic Sounds

    It’s movie night at the Hollywood Bowl when the L.A. Phil performs classic selections from Bernard Herrmann’s Vertigo soundtrack, Bernstein’s score for On the Waterfront, and Gershwin’s Shall We Dance.

  • Ohana Festival

    There couldn’t be a better setting to see Lana Del Ray, Eddie Vedder, Elvis Costello, Cat Power, and more perform than on the sandy beaches of Dana Point. VIP Day Passes are available at $499 (+$40 fee) per day and includes expedited entry to the festival and entrance to the VIP lounge (think private restrooms and lots of shade).

  • The Black Movie Soundtrack II

    Producer Reginald Hudlin’s (Django Unchained, The 88th Academy Awards) variety show was a hit in its first iteration in 2014, so he’s brought it back for a new night of music and comedy. Performers will include host Craig Robinson, rapper/actor Common, and members of Earth, Wind, & Fire.

  • John Williams: Maestro of the Movies

    The Hollywood Bowl celebrates John Williams’ contributions in film scoring with an evening showcasing Williams’ iconic compositions. The first half of the program will feature classic film scores with video accompaniment. Later on, Williams himself will conduct the L.A. Phil through his soundtrack to last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

  • An Evening with Molly Ringwald

    The former '80s child star has turned to music in the past few years with great success. The best way to watch is at a four-person table upstairs along the railing, which runs for $500.

  • LA Times’ The Taste (Food Festival)

    A weekend of panels and tastings for the food lover, featuring The Times’ esteemed food staff. The $300 weekend pass gets you admission to all the good stuff: the Opening Night, as well as tastings co-hosted by celebrity L.A. chefs Michael Cimarusti (Providence), Ray Garcia (Broken Spanish), Kris Yenbamroong (NIGHT + MARKET) and more.

  • LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade (Food Festival)

    Celeb chefs Suzanne Goin, Caroline Styne, and David Lentz have put together a fabulous foodie fest. Actors Camilla Belle and Timothy Olyphant are on the honorary committee. Beyond the food, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation raises money for childhood cancer research projects, and supports family’s dealing with childhood cancer. The Meet-and-Greet ticket runs you $1200, but gets you a behind-the-scenes look as the chefs prepare their dishes, as well as exclusive access to the welcome dinner on Sept. 9.

  • Beyoncé: Formation World Tour

    Everyone loves Beyoncé, including celebrities like Chris Rock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rihanna, Blake Lively, and Chrissy Teigen. For the VIP experience, there’s a Beyfirst Package, which includes front row center seats, priority check-in, and a pre-show reception in the VIP lounge.

  • KAABOO Del Mar: The Ultimate Mixperience

    A primo mix of music (Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, Steve Aoki); comedy (the Silicon Valley cast, Cheech & Chong, Janeane Garofalo); and chefs. The $2500 Hang Ten experience is sold out, but the $780 Hang Fives are still up for grabs, and include access to the lounges, and an invite to the Thursday night preview party.

  • Los Angeles Podcast Festival

    If you live in L.A., and you commute, you probably listen to podcasts. The hosts of popular podcasts like Girl on Guy, Criminal, and Road Stories will come together for panels, labs, and live podcasting.

  • Doug Aitken: Electric Earth

    Aitken has been one of L.A.’s most prolific artists ever since he burst into the public eye when his sleepwalkers films — starring Tilda Swinton, Donald Sutherland and Cat Power — debuted on the façade of the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2007. His 2013 project, Station to Station, was a concert series that culminated with a Beck concert in Union Station. MOCA will survey Aitken career until now. There will be a private member’s opening, and knowing Aitken’s event-based oeuvre, there’s sure to be some exciting happenings going on around the exhibition.

  • '80s Weekend

    Pretend you’re in a John Hughes film with all the best bands from the '80s, including The Human League, Eddie Money, A Flock of Seagulls, and many more. VIP Experience ($255 per night) includes Front Orchestra seats, VIP Lounge access, and VIP restroom access.

  • Billings Fall Auction of Modern Art and Design

    Billings is one of the best houses on the West Coast. Their fall sale will be sure to have some fine museum quality furniture, art and design objects. The VIP preview takes place on Sept 9, and the bidding begins the next day.

  • Sexy Beast (Benefit for Planned Parenthood)

    An artsy benefit for Planned Parenthood L.A. features Andy Richter as this year’s host, along there will be plenty of other celebs and performances. Viveca Paulin-Ferrell will lead the auction, and filmmaker Dawn Porter will be awarded for her documentary Trapped. Jack Black hosted last year, Jenny Slate received the Sexy Beast award, and Diane Keaton and Marisa Tomei attended. As always, there will be tons of art to bid on, with the proceeds going to support PPLA.

  • Frédérick Gautier, 'Eat the River'

    The French artist will debut a series of 100 ceramic objects inspired by the L.A. River, made while in residency in Frogtown. Please Do Not Enter is a beautiful gallery/boutique that is a favorite of the film industry. Arik Levy, whom Please Do Not Enter represent, had his work featured on several episodes of American Horror Story last season.

  • James Beard Foundation’s Taste America

    The culinary stars will be out for an evening of food and fun. The meal will be prepared by a formidable lineup of chefs including James Beard Award winner Scott Conant. A VIP All-Star Ticket is $350, which gets you into the exclusive cocktail reception, preferred seating, and a meet-and-greet with the chefs. A VIP All-Star table is also available for a party of 10 at $3250.