The year reaches its halfway point this weekend, and it brings with it a nice variety of events. Among your choices will be six separate concerts that span the musical spectrum, your annual chance to support kids and win a cool playhouse, films from an under-covered part of the world, a nationally known comedian, and two early Fourth of July events.
Below are the best ways to spend your free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, June 28
Kathleen Battle: "Underground Railroad — A Spiritual Journey"
Since her student years, singer Kathleen Battle has collaborated with colleagues who rank among the world’s most talented musicians. She has been a favorite soloist with the world’s leading orchestras and esteemed conductors. She will explore traditional spirituals and writings by Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass through songs and readings in this event at Winspear Opera House.
Dallas Arboretum presents Cool Thursdays Concert Series summer finale
After three months of performances, the spring/summer portion of the Cool Thursdays Concert Series at the Dallas Arboretum will come to a close with a performance by, appropriately enough, Sounds of Summer, a Beach Boys tribute band. The series will avoid the worst heat of the summer until it picks up again on September 6 with The Wildflowers, a Tom Petty tribute band.
Friday, June 29
Dallas CASA presents Parade of Playhouses
Every year, NorthPark Center hosts Dallas CASA's Parade of Playhouses, which features custom-built children's playhouses that are available to win by purchasing raffle tickets. The annual event raises awareness and funds for the abused and neglected children Dallas CASA volunteers serve. The playhouses will be on display through July 15, with winning tickets announced that day.
The African Film Festival
The African Film Festival, taking place through July 3, will showcase one-of-a-kind African independent films that either promote African culture; address issues affecting Africa; or explore African landmarks and historic leaders. The festival will also feature storytelling, acting workshops, a symposium, and an Awards Gala night. Events June 29-July 1 will be at the African American Museum, events on July 2 will be at SMU, and events on July 3 will be at Moody Performance Hall.
Chicago and REO Speedwagon in concert
Critically acclaimed rock bands REO Speedwagon and Chicago will co-headline this concert at Dos Equis Pavilion. Chicago will perform their historic album, Chicago II, in its entirety followed by the “world’s longest encore,” as the band jokingly refers to it, filled with their greatest hits. REO Speedwagon will play hits and fan-favorites such as “In Your Letter,” “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” “Time For Me To Fly,” “Roll With The Changes,” “Keep On Loving You,” “Take It On the Run,” and more.
The O's in concert
Over the last decade, The O's have become one of the favorite bands in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, no surprise since they're a product of other local bands, including The Polyphonic Spree. They have released four albums in their career, including 2016's Honeycomb. They'll perform at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts in Arlington.
Anthony Jeselnik: "Funny Games"
Comedian Anthony Jeselnik comes to Dallas as part of his "Funny Games" tour. The tour will feature new material from the comedy industry veteran known for his former Comedy Central show, The Jeselnik Offensive, as well as his appearances on The Roast of Donald Trump and The Roast of Charlie Sheen. He'll perform at House of Blues Dallas.
Saturday, June 30
Outlaw Music Festival
The Outlaw Music Festival has spent the past month touring around the country, and will finally make its way to Dos Equis Pavilion. It will feature performances by Willie Nelson & Family, Sturgill Simpson, Ryan Bingham, The Head and the Heart, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, The Wild Feathers, Lukas Nelson + Promise of the Real, Particle Kid, and more.
Market Street Allen USA Celebration
Allen usually gets the jump on the rest of the area with their Independence Day event, and they'll still be first out of the gate on Saturday. Taking place at Celebration Park, the event will feature live music from Infinite Journey and Emerald City Band, activities like a Ninja Challenge obstacle course and football Combine Challenge, with fireworks set to music to finish the night.
Sunday, July 1
Viridian DFW presents Stars and Stripes Celebration
Another Fourth of July event will take place early at Viridian in Arlington with their Stars and Stripes Independence Day Celebration. The event at Lake Viridian includes live music by Shotgun Rider, food, adult-sized inflatables, a giant slide for children’s activities, and fireworks.
Chris Brown in concert with 6lack, H.E.R., and Rich the Kid
Despite pleading guilty to assaulting Rihanna in 2009, Chris Brown has maintained his musical popularity over the last decade. He's released five albums in that time, with each of them reaching No. 1 on the Billboard R&B charts and top three on the Billboard 200 chart. Brown will be joined by 6lack, H.E.R., and Rich the Kid at this concert at Dos Equis Pavilion.