Just because Daddy isn’t paying for that trip around Europe doesn’t mean your summer plans should solely be spent sitting around on your ass all day, especially since summertime is a season packed full of art, music and events no matter where your summer plans have you spending your days and nights.
Artsweek has taken the liberty to search out some must-see summer events in some of the areas most likely to see an influx of UCSB students during summertime – L.A., San Diego, San Francisco and of course, Santa Barbara – and we’ve come up with enough stuff to keep you entertained and engaged for at least as much time as it takes to work up your excitement about summertime TV reruns.
Although Los Angeles might have the nation’s most polluted air, the city offers plenty of fun to those willing to brave the heat and traffic. If you thought Extravaganza was entertaining, then make sure to score some tickets to the Rock the Bells music festival – happening on Aug. 11 in San Bernardino. The festival has been offering fans a quality hip hop line-up since 2004, and this year’s show will also include a touch of rock as well, as Rage Against the Machine, the Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Public Enemy, the Roots, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and more take the stage. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster for around $100.
For those interested in a less expensive, more visually stimulating experience, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has got just the thing. Running until Aug. 12, a new exhibit titled “Dan Flavin: A Retrospective,” will satisfy anyone looking to engage their eyeballs. Considered one of the founders of minimalism and the inventor of installation art, Flavin has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “flat out thrilling” in his use color and art to make luminous, architectural showpieces.
If you’re going to be in the Bay Area and want to enjoy the sounds of one of the world’s premiere house musicians, then get out and see Daft Punk on July 27 at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. Get tickets through Ticketmaster for roughly $50. Or, if electronica isn’t your thing, head on down to the Fillmore where the Smashing Pumpkins will be setting up shop for an unprecedented eight performances. Catch them on July 22, 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31, or Aug. 1.
For those NorCal residents wishing to get a taste of Broadway, the smash hit musical, Avenue Q, will be making its way to the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco. Running from Aug. to Sept. 2, this puppetry-based comedy show features enough brow-raising laughs to keep any college student glued to their cozy, plush seats.
As much fun as the shows in Tijuana are, San Diegans looking for a more refined experience should stop by the San Diego Museum of Art. Offering a taste of European high culture, the museum is running an Impressionist exhibit featuring the works of Claude Monet. It opens July 21. If Impressionism is a bit too heavy for you, but you are still craving that art fix, Comic-Con 2007 is the place to be. This annual convention showcases everything from comic books and video games to anime and film. Expected to draw in over 100,000 fans, this year’s convention brings big names like legendary zombie film director George A. Romero, sci-fi author Ray Bradbury, and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe writer, Michael Straczynski. Plus plenty of anime girls and nerd boys to get your Buffy trivia on with.
If you’re planning on sticking around Santa Barbara, here are a few events that should make for a good break away from the Isla Vista scene. On July 12, Incubus will be playing at the Santa Barbara Bowl, with tickets going for around $50 on Ticketmaster. Understandably, not all UCSB students have that kind of money to throw around. For those looking for something more affordable, there is the French Festival held in Oak Park, Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15. Bringing together French cuisine, music and memories of revolution, this celebration of Bastille Day is sure to be saucy. Oak Park might be a cheap substitute to Paris, but it’s a lot closer. And free. Tres bien.