Music is the theme of the first weekend in May, as there are multiple opportunities to catch big name acts. A certain first time festival in Plano is the headliner, but if you feel like staying inside as the temperatures edge toward 90, we've got you covered as well.
Below are your 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, May 1
Dallas Museum of Art presents Jellyfish Eyes screening
The Dallas Museum of Art is one of only nine stops for Takashi Murakami's first-ever film, Jellyfish Eyes. The film utilizes Murakami's unique artistic style to tell the story of a boy who loses his father and moves with his mother to a new city, only to discover their new home is inhabited by a pint-sized, gravity-defying creature. Murakami will be in attendance for this free screening.
Alamo Drafthouse presents Dawn of the Dead with George A. Romero in attendance
Zombies may once again be all the rage thanks the popularity of The Walking Dead, but the genre had its coming out party in the 1970s thanks to director George A. Romero. Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson will screen what's considered to be Romero's best film, Dawn of the Dead, with Romero, special effects artist Tom Savini and key cast members in attendance.
Friday, May 2
2014 Dallas International Guitar Festival
Guitar lovers will unite at Fair Park for three days of music and shopping to appreciate one of the most simple and yet complex musical instruments there is. The festival, taking place through Sunday, will take over three different buildings to showcase over 800 booths and 60 performers, including Johnny Winter, George Lynch and Andy Timmons.
Gavin Degraw in concert with Parachute and Nick Gardner
Gavin Degraw broke out in a big way with his 2003 debut album Chariot and its hit single, "Don't Wanna Be." Since then he's maintained a steady profile in the music business, never becoming a superstar but also never fading into the background thanks to songs like "Not Over You." He'll play at the House of Blues Dallas alongside opening acts Parachute and Nick Gardner.
Saturday, May 3
2014 Kentucky Derby Day at Lone Star Park
The 140th annual Kentucky Derby takes place in Louisville on Saturday and there are multiple ways to enjoy the event with other people locally. The most obvious is to go to Lone Star Park to enjoy some live horse racing before watching the Derby on the big screen and perhaps bet a few dollars on your favorite.
On the society side of things, you can also go to events like Polo on the Lawn at Prestonwood Polo & Country Club in Oak Point, Hats & Horses: A Texas Derby Day Soiree at Southfork Ranch in Parker or Lee Park Junior Conservancy presents A Day at the Races at Arlington Hall in Lee Park in Dallas.
2014 Suburbia Music Festival
The city of Plano wanted to make a bang with the inaugural Suburbia Music Festival, and they've certainly succeeded in doing that. The festival, going on Saturday and Sunday, takes over an under-appreciated part of Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, presenting multiple acts on three separate stages. The headliners are acts like Alabama Shakes, Third Eye Blind, Violent Femmes, Tegan and Sara and David Guetta, but there will be great music all weekend long.
Tom Jones in concert
One of Tom Jones' biggest songs is "It's Not Unusual," but it is unusual to see a legendary singer like him playing in a relatively small venue like the Granada Theater. But then he's always been a bigger star in his native U.K. than here in the States. Jones, who's touring in support of his 2013 album, Spirit in the Room, will surely also delve into his vast catalog of nearly 50 years.
Sunday, May 4
Fair Park presents 2014 Dog Bowl
Dogs and dog lovers of all shapes and sizes will flock to Cotton Bowl Stadium on Sunday as the hallowed field that has hosted innumerable great college football games is once again turned into the world's largest dog park. Dogs are free to run about unleashed as well as participate in activities like the dog/owner look-alike contest, pooch portraits and more.
Itzhak Perlman in concert
There are very few classical musicians whose names are known to even non-aficionados, but Itzhak Perlman is one of those people. The virtuoso violinist has been a brand name since appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show at the tender age of 13 and the intervening years have done nothing to diminish his celebrity. He'll play at Winspear Opera House as part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center's new Winspear Recital Series.
The Wanted in concert with Cassio Monroe and Midnight Red
One Direction may gobble up the lion's share of boy band-related headlines coming out of the U.K., but the members of The Wanted are no slouches. Best known for their hit "Glad You Came," they're in the midst of a North America tour in support of their third album, Word of Mouth. They'll play at the House of Blues Dallas alongside opening acts Cassio Monroe and Midnight Red.