When the weather warms up in Los Angeles, we are obsessed with that à la carte lifestyle. Everything we desire is up for enjoyment, we get to pick and choose our adventures and a lot of it is actually free. Long days in the sun at a music festival; longer nights soaking up live music. We want to do it all! And we want to dance doing it. Here are some of our picks for free music in Los Angeles this spring.
4/18: Karen O & Dangermouse
Street chic Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s fame and Brian Burton a/k/a Dangermouse have brought their musical magic together for a multi-sensory art installation. Collaborating with talented artists, the event features music from their upcoming album Lux Prima. Sounds like an amazing meeting of the minds, right? RSVP for free entry. Get more info here.
4/20: Inglewood Earth Day Music Festival
Celebrate your mama at this jazz and R&B-infused festival including neo-soul singer-songwriter Eric Benet and “modern soul man” Kenny Lattimore. Entry is free and festivities also include healthy food and booths where you can learn more about environmental issues. This is an all-day event from 10am-6pm, so you bring your reusable water bottle to sip on as your ears drink in the soulful tunes. Learn more about the festival here.
4/23: Ministry and Cold Cave
Iconic punk, new wave and industrial label Wax Trax is celebrating the release of their documentary, The Story of Wax Trax! Records, with performances from ‘80s industrial music forefathers, Ministry, and the more modern dreamy darkwave group, Cold Cave. Don your favorite black leather pants and join us for some goth dancing at the free Teragram Ballroom event. More info here.
Support up-and-coming local queer musicians with Queersound at Liberate Hollywood. Performers include Ariana Tibi, Bella Porter, Danielle Lande and Priscilla Perry. There will also be art-featured and a comedy show. $5 requested donation, but no one will be turned away from lack of funds. Find out more about the fun here.
4/27: The Eclectic: Music Festival & Arts Crawl
The Eclectic is a yearly event that draws art and music lovers by the thousands. The free and family-friendly festival is featuring a pretty huge ‘90s sensation this year: the Gin Blossoms. As well as other musicians, there will also be food trucks, a wine and beer garden and plenty of interactive activities only a few steps away from the metro stations. Get there early, enjoy the historic streets of Pasadena and come sing “Hey Jealousy” at the top of your lungs with us. Check out the full music lineup here.
5/3-5/5: Calarts World Music & Dance Festival
Tucked away in the sleepy little suburb of Valencia, Calarts produces some of the most talented and well-rounded artists, musicians and performers in the world. Over a long three-day weekend, students of the school will be performing music from around the world including North Indian, African and Javanese. There will be food trucks, instruments from around the world for sale and family-friendly activities for all. The schedule is still be developed, but check out what’s on offer so far here.
5/7: The Dream Syndicate
Over the years, Amoeba Music in Hollywood has hosted many free events from musicians that are renowned and due for a rediscovering. The Dream Syndicate is one of those bands. An alternative rock band hailing from right here in our hood, Los Angeles, The Dream Syndicate is a foundational alternative rock band likened to The Velvet Underground and Television. They released a new album last year and are ready for a resurgence. Check them out here.
5/11: Death Valley Girls, Mike Watt
The industrial port city on the edges of Los Angeles-country, San Pedro, is beginning to see its own scene resurrect from the sea of warehouses and fishmongers. Just twenty minutes from Downtown during good traffic, Brouwerij West, is a giant brew house and tasting room that features live music including the all-girl rock group from Los Angeles, Death Valley Girls. What more details? Peep them here.
5/25: Conjunto Oye
Newyorkican Latin sounds group, Conjunto Oye, is heating up Saturday night at LACMA. Come dance to this neuvo-salsa group with the Puerto Rican flair. If you can’t make it, there will be free Latin music every Saturday at LACMA throughout the summer. Learn more here.
6/7: FIGfest with Cherry Glazer & Liily
FIGat7th in Downtown is a shopping and cultural mecca smack dab in the middle of the soaring skyscrapers of DTLA. FIGfest, their annual music and arts night, takes place on four consecutive nights this late spring/early summer and it starts with a hard-rock bang thanks to the guitar-driven sounds of Cherry Glazer. Past performers have included The Internet and Hanni El Khatib. RSVP here for free entry.
6/15-6/16: Pasadena Chalk Festival
There is something so magical about seeing gorgeous art come to life with mere chunks of chalk and then watching it wash away. If you’ve never seen chalk art before, it is a sight to behold. The Pasadena Chalk Festival will feature hundreds of artists showing off their skills, family-friendly activities for that Father’s Day Weekend and live music and entertainment all day. Find more info on this two-day event here.
6/19: Olden Yolk
Psychedelic folk group, Olden Yolk, caught our attention in the search from the first strum of their dark and dulcet chords and biting lyrics. These East Coasters-turned-Angelenos have blessed our side of the country and are playing a free show at Zebulon in Atwater Village. The show is 21+. Listen to Olden Yolk here.