If you're going to an event this weekend, chances are it's going to have something to do with music, because there are a ton of high-profile concerts and festivals taking place. If for some reason you're not singing along to some of the biggest names in music, you can hob-knob with TV and movie celebrities at a great horror movie convention, enjoy a unique opera encore, or revel in the work of a theater master.
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. (UPDATE: This list previously included the inaugural aTrolla Music Festival, which has been canceled due to poor ticket sales).
Thursday, May 4
Kings of Leon in concert with Deerhunter
Tennessee rockers Kings of Leon are the kings of alternative charts, as they've had five songs, including their recent single "Waste a Moment," go to No. 1 on the Billboard Alternative charts even though only one of those, "Use Somebody," made any kind of dent on the Hot 100 charts. They play the first concert of the season at Starplex Pavilion in support of their new album, WALLS, along with opening act Deerhunter.
The Weeknd in concert
There have been few musicians more tapped into the public consciousness the past few years than The Weeknd. He got a big boost in 2014 thanks to a collaboration with Ariana Grande and a song on the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, then he followed that up with massive hits like "The Hills" and "Can't Feel My Face." He plays at American Airlines Center in support of his 2016 album, Starboy.
Friday, May 5
The JMBLYA Festival is mini Texas tour showcase for hip-hop and electronic music. It takes place at Fair Park on Friday before moving on to Austin on Saturday. The festival features performances from Chance the Rapper, Steve Aoki, Gucci Mane, Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, 6LACK, Young Dolph, Snow Tha Product, YFN Lucci, Pell, and DJ Mr. Rogers.
Texas Frightmare Weekend
The annual Texas Frightmare Weekend, taking place through Sunday at Hyatt Regency DFW Airport, is a horror convention that features celebrity appearances, autograph signings, screenings, exclusive parties, and horror memorabilia vendors from all over the country. Among the celebrities on hand are Malcolm McDowell; Bates Motel's Freddie Highmore, Nestor Carbonell, and Max Theriot; Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, and Caleb McLaughlin; The Walking Dead's Tom Payne and Austin Amelio; and many more.
Dallas Opera presents Everest in Concert
Everest in Concert is a revival of the 2015 Dallas Opera world premiere in concert form with projections by video artist Elaine J. McCarthy. This critically acclaimed opera depicts two days in 1996 that ended in a tragic loss of life on Mount Everest. The one-night-only special event at Winspear Opera House features returning original cast members Andrew Bidlack, Kevin Burdette, and Julia Rose Arduino.
Saturday, May 6
2017 Cottonwood Art Festival
The semiannual Cottonwood Art Festival is a two-day event that takes place on Saturday and Sunday and brings music, art, food, and creativity to Cottonwood Park in Richardson. The art portion of the event is a juried show featuring more than 240 artists exhibiting museum-quality work in 14 different categories — and all of it is available for purchase. There's also live music, an interactive children's area, and more.
2017 Off the Rails Country Music Fest
The second annual Off the Rails Country Music Fest is a two-day event at Toyota Stadium in Frisco featuring performances from some of the biggest names in the business. Headliners on Saturday are Miranda Lambert and Justin Moore, while Jason Aldean and Dierks Bentley lead the way on Sunday. There are also sets from Old Dominion, Tyler Farr, Rodney Atkins, CAM, William Michael Morgan, Tucker Beathard, Jessie James Decker, High Valley, and regional local artists.
Chris Brown in concert with 50 Cent, O.T. Genasis, Fabolous, and Kap G.
The various legal and personal problems of Chris Brown have overshadowed a career that most musicians would find enviable. Despite his troubles, each of his seven albums have reached the top 10 on the Billboard charts, complete with a string of hit songs. He plays at American Airlines Center in support of his forthcoming eighth album, Heartbreak on a Full Moon. He's joined by 50 Cent, O.T. Genasis, Fabolous, and Kap G.
Sunday, May 7
The Complete Works of Shakespeare: The Tempest
This is not a test, people: After almost five years, Shakespeare Dallas' mission to present staged readings of every one of William Shakespeare's works is about to come to an end. The second-to-last work is The Tempest, in which Prospero, Duke of Milan, usurped and exiled by his own brother, holds sway over an enchanted island. When Prospero raises a storm to wreck this brother and his confederates on the island, his long contemplated revenge at last seems within reach. It's being performed at Wyly Theatre on both Sunday and Monday.