It’s a sure sign of summer — and that we’re safely moving out of the pandemic — when we can start gathering, eating, drinking, and enjoying everything that Los Angeles has to offer again. With June 15 as the “official” reopening date in California, some of the biggest Los Angeles outdoor venues are ramping up summer and fall schedules, events are getting planned, and there are more places to dance, sing, shop, and breathe fresh air all at the same time again.
Be sure to check websites for COVID rules, i.e. mask wearing, social distancing, and maybe even proof of vaccination. But don’t let it stop you from having a great time. Here’s where to get your swing on this summer around DTLA and beyond!
You know things are right with the world when the feeding frenzy behind Row DTLA is back in business. Come July 4, Smorgasburg is back with its dozens of food vendors, crafts, a beer garden, and more — all always outdoors. And even if you don’t feel like waiting in (probably socially distanced) lines, you can always order Smorg Delivered via Grubhub.
It feels great to get back into the art scene, and this time, you can pick up something for your amazing new 1133 Hope apartment. This showcase of independent and emerging artists takes place at the Row DTLA from June 24-27. Browse thousands of original artworks across various mediums — painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, and more — with prices ranging from $100 to baller-status $10,000. Timed-entry tickets are now on sale with limited capacity. Bonus: All of the great restaurants back open at the Row, including Pukinico and Rappahannock Oyster Bar.
While this is really a dance performance, there’s still music. The American Ballet Theatre brings its dancers to The Music Center for this ongoing summer series. Featuring both classical and contemporary dance, plus music by Benjamin Britten, all events are held outdoors. Socially distanced pods for watching are located on Jerry Moss Plaza at the center.
The funk outfit livens up an Arts District parking lot Saturday nights throughout the summer, starting in July. Expect a full immersive experience, right down to wearing your grooviest threads and leaving that newfangled cellphone in the car. Just trying to keep it 1970s real, y’all. Get ticket info here.
Personal headphones, comfy chairs, great views of the city, iconic movies, and awesome food and drink. What more do you need? The Rooftop Cinema Club has been offering some of the best outdoor movie experiences 10 years ago, and it’s still going strong. Currently screenings and drive-in experiences take place in El Segundo or the Santa Monica Airport. Just one more reason to head to the beach!
One of the best things about summer in L.A. is a night at the iconic outdoor venue. Not having the Hollywood Bowl in 2020 was a blow as big as any shutdown news, but it’s back for 2021 and beyond. The announcement that it’s back at full capacity this summer is just the icing, too. The calendar is filling up with some amazing performances, from annual celebrations like the July 4 firework spectacular (this year with Kool & the Gang) and the Sing-a-Long Sound of Music, to Yo-Yo Ma performing Bach, St. Vincent and more. Dudamel and the L.A. Philharmonic will be there, along with special guests like Christina Aguilara and H.E.R. There’s really something for everyone. Don’t forget your picnic!
The intimate theatre cut into the hillside across from The Hollywood Bowl, The Ford offers opportunities to hear and see smaller acts and performances from local to international touring artists. The 2021 season opens with two weeks of free concerts — the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, The Improvised Shakespeare Company, and Taikoproject are just a few — beginning July 30. And with a newly minted partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, expect a stellar lineup with Patti Smith, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Father John Misty, and so many more, into the fall.
After turning 90 last year, the Griffith Park theatre welcomes more musical acts this year, beginning in August. Think: Local Natives with Cherry Glazer, Los Lobos with Ozomatli, and King Crimson. Smaller than the Bowl, but equally as wonderful as a must-do summer experience, it’s an easy up-the-hill trek from the restaurants and bars around Los Feliz.