The best of what to do in and around Los Angeles this month
Support L.A.’s public libraries with a night of music and comedy from names like Andrew Baird and Constance Wu. Plus, Reykjavík comes to town, and a gallery sells iconic works of one of pop art’s pioneers.
AFAR Local is our monthly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
April 1 | Literature, music & comedy
Young Literati’s Ninth Annual Toast
Arranged the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, this annual soiree brings together young book lovers for a night of literature, music, and comedy. The lineup is star studded, with performances by musician Andrew Bird, comedian Kumail Nanjiani (of Silicon Valley), and actress Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat). Plus, the event has the added benefit of supporting L.A.’s public library system.
8:00 PM | NeueHouse, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles | From $175 | website
April 1 - 2 | Art & food
Artisanal L.A. Spring Market
Over 150 makers and chefs will come out to Artisanal L.A., a celebration of artisans whose work ranges from calligraphy to beer! Spend the day eating, shopping, and participating in workshops like jam making. You can even let your inner child (or the actual child you brought along) free with the watercolors. Make sure to check out the bookshop pop-up hosted by the Last Bookstore, L.A.’s famed literary salon.
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM | California Market Center, 110 E. Ninth St., Los Angeles | $10 | website
April 1 - 2 | Comics
WonderCon started on March 31, but with the weekend, the attendees are really coming out. Drive out to the Anaheim Convention Center for a smaller, more intimate version of San Diego’s mega-sized Comic-Con. At WonderCon, you’ll have a better chance of getting your questions answered in the Q&A panels—where topics include how to break into Hollywood and how to cosplay with your kids—plus better seats at screenings of shows like Teen Titans Go! You can also learn how to build stop-motion puppets and how to perfect your cosplay makeup and find out about the latest trends in action figures.
Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles | From $30 | website
April 1 - 15 | Art
It’s your last chance to catch the graphic retrospective of pioneering pop artist Roy Lichtenstein at the Leslie Sacks Gallery. The works displayed span several decades (and several innovations in printing processes) of the artist’s prolific career. It might even inspire you to start or add to your own art collection. This is a good place to buy; many of Lichtenstein’s pieces (including his iconic Sunrise) are signed and for sale.
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM | Leslie Sacks Gallery, Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica | Free | website
April 1 - May 19 | Music & art
Coachella is the music festival everyone in L.A. can’t stop talking about come April, but you don’t have to head to the desert to get a dose of awesome music this month. Reykjavík Festival, thrown by the Walt Disney Concert Hall, will give music lovers new styles of sound to dive into that go way beyond even the least mainstream Coachella performers. The Iceland music scene is constantly evolving, as landmark artists such as Björk illustrate. Don’t miss performances by Sigur Ros and Schola Cantorum Reykjavík, and make time to appreciate the festival’s art: There will be an installation by Icelandic artist Shoplifter on display as well as a screening of Xarane Eskandar’s film Driving at the Speed of the Nordic Sun.
111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles | From $79 | website
April 3 | Music
Welcome! A Fundraising Concert for the ACLU
This impressive festival came together in the 72 hours after President Trump’s first travel ban was announced. The mastermind behind the event is Grammy-winning producer Zedd, who was born in Russia, raised in Germany, and now calls Los Angeles home. All proceeds from his Welcome! concert will go to benefit the ACLU, an organization that does important and difficult work in preserving the liberties of every person. The lineup's famous names include Skrillex, Mackelmore, and Imagine Dragons.
7:00 PM | Staples Center, 9635 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles | From $50 | website
April 13 | Film
Rooftop Cinema Club presents “Jackie”
One of the hottest movie tickets in town is on the rooftop of the Montalban Theatre. The annual Rooftop Cinema Club returns with the warmer weather, and all summer you’ll have the chance to see films with a view of Hollywood as the literal backdrop. Sit in a deck chair, sip a cocktail from the theater’s rooftop bar, and enjoy Natalie Portman’s stunning portrayal of First Lady Jackie Kennedy in Jackie, which The New York Times called “intensely affecting.” Don’t worry about background chatter: You’ll have wireless headphones to keep out the noisy distractions of your neighbors and the street.
8:00 PM | Montalban Theatre, 1615 Vine St., Los Angeles | From $19 | website
April 16 | Arts festival
DTLA Arts Festival Hosted by DJ Swan
This free arts festival hosted by DJ Swan will take over Downtown L.A. for the day with a giant stage, music, food trucks, and other vendors. The official roster of artists and vendors hasn’t been released yet, but you can expect a highly curated selection of the city’s finest musicians, chefs, and entertainers to be in attendance. The secret location will be announced closer to event time, but RSVP now before the tickets are gone.
11:00 AM - 8:30 PM | Location TBD | Free | website
April 20 - 30 | Food festival
Carlsbad Petal-to-Plate Food Festival
The seaside town of Carlsbad—located about 90 minutes south of Los Angeles and 40 minutes north of San Diego—is famous for its flower fields and picturesque lagoons. The inaugural Petal-to-Plate Food Festival, happening throughout Carlsbad, is a celebration of those flowers in conjunction with some of the region’s choicest dining establishments. Expect floral-inspired menus at local restaurants and flower aromatherapy and massages at local spas.
Times, locations & prices vary | website
May 8 | Book ahead: Podcasts
A good podcast can save a long road trip, teach you something new, and make you think or laugh. Find a new favorite at Radiotopia LIVE, where podcast distributor Radiotopia will bring some of its most popular podcasters (including the folks from 99% Invisible, Criminal, and Mortified) to the stage with live conversations and music.
8:00 PM | The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 933 S. Broadway, Los Angeles | From $29 | website
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.