Weekend Event Planner

ACM Awards mania tops best weekend events in Dallas-Fort Worth

ACM Awards mania tops best weekend events in Dallas-Fort Worth

Blake Shelton at Houston Rodeo March 2015
Blake Shelton co-hosts the annual ACM Awards, which celebrates its 50th anniversary at AT&T Stadium on April 19. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Asleep at the Wheel
Asleep at the Wheel plays at the Dallas Arboretum on April 16. Asleep at the Wheel/Facebook
Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman
Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman perform at the Majestic Theatre on April 16. Photo courtesy of Live Nation
ARTsPARK
ArtsPark takes place at NorthPark Center on April 18. Photo courtesy of NorthPark Center
Al Pacino in Manglehorn
Manglehorn, starring Al Pacino, plays at Angelika Film Center as part of the final day of the Dallas International Film Festival. Photo courtesy of Dallas International Film Festival
Blake Shelton at Houston Rodeo March 2015
Asleep at the Wheel
Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman
ARTsPARK
Al Pacino in Manglehorn

Similar to when the Super Bowl, the Final Four and the College Football Championship came to AT&T Stadium, the arrival of the Academy of Country Music Awards and the myriad country stars participating in it overshadows everything else going on in Dallas-Fort Worth this weekend.

But there are still other great events happening, especially if country music isn't your thing. Below are the best options for your precious free time Thursday through Sunday. Don't like what you see? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, April 16

2015 Cool Thursdays Series: Asleep at the Wheel
Fresh off their latest — and last — appearance on Late Show with David Letterman, Texas country/Western swing legends Asleep at the Wheel make another appearance at the Dallas Arboretum as part of the garden's Cool Thursdays series. The forecast calls for rain, so the concert may be moved inside, but that just means a more intimate time with Ray Benson and the rest of the band.

Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally — Summer of 69: No Apostrophe
Anyone missing their Parks & Recreation fix can find a little bit of that magic with this appearance by husband and wife team Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally. Expect lots of comedy, some songs and, judging by the title, more than a little risqué material. They perform at Majestic Theatre.

Sleater-Kinney in concert with THEESatisfaction
Indie rockers Sleater-Kinney were a big deal in certain circles in the late '90s and early 2000s, so the resumption of the band after eight years apart was greeted with glee around the country. The band fronted by Carrie Brownstein, now known for Portlandia, plays at the Granada Theater in support of their new album, No Cities to Love, with THEESatisfaction as opening act.

Friday, April 17

ACM Lifting Lives Gala
Given the high cost for attending this event — $1,250 per seat — it is most certainly not for everybody. But because it's essentially the kick-off for the ACM Awards weekend and because of the talent involved, we'd be remiss if we didn't include it. Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood alternate hosting the events at both the Fort Worth Zoo and Omni Dallas, while acts like Keith Urban, Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum perform —‚ all in the name of raising money for a great cause.

Stone Temple Pilots in concert with Dreamers
A band losing their lead singer can often be the death knell, but the remaining members of Stone Temple Pilots have refused to let the forced departure of Scott Weiland keep them down. They have yet to release a new full album since bringing Chester Bennington on a lead singer, but STP performs songs from throughout their career at this concert at House of Blues Dallas, with Dreamers as opening act..

Saturday, April 18

ACM Charity Motorcycle Ride and Concert
Another, perhaps more accessible, charity event in conjunction with the ACM Awards is this motorcycle ride and concert. It kicks off with a couple of performances at Strokers Dallas and Longhorn Harley-Davidson in Grand Prairie before riders trek up to Maverick Harley Davidson in Carrollton, where guests are treated to performances by Dierks Bentley, Will Hoge, Montgomery Gentry and more.

Design District Market
The monthly Design District Market has become a reliable source of designer goods, antiques and other goodies for visitors to peruse. This one, hosted by Stag Provisions, takes place at 960 Dragon St. and features such stores and brands as American Trench, Ernest Supplies, Joy Macarons, Mizzen + Main and Tradition Creek.

2015 ArtsPark
Though not as big as the arts extravaganzas the last two weekends, ArtsPark at NorthPark Center is a chance to get up close and personal with variety of arts organizations from around Dallas-Fort Worth. At this free daylong event, expect performances by dance, theater and music groups; exhibits from art galleries; and other demonstrations.

Sunday, April 19

2015 Academy of Country Music Awards
This is the big event of ACM Awards weekend, and if you can still find tickets, you can witness one of the biggest country music parties of all time. To celebrate the awards' 50th anniversary, everybody who's anybody in the industry is performing or appearing at the awards at AT&T Stadium, which are hosted once again by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan. 

Final day of Dallas International Film Festival
If you somehow missed the previous 10 days of the Dallas International Film Festival, you have one final day to see what it has to offer. In a way, it might be one of the best days to go, as the festival presents encore screenings of the Audience Award winners for narrative feature and documentary feature, along with a screening of David Gordon Green's Manglehorn​ starring Al Pacino.