Greek Fest, Taylor Swift Wrestling, and More Weekend Events

No weekend plans? We have some suggestions.

Photo by Christer Ehrling via Unsplash

“Carros y Cultura: Lowriding Legacies in Texas”

Through Sept. 2, Bullock Museum

Thanks to Seventies funk band War, the word “lowrider” often calls to mind the unforgettable sax riff of the band’s 1975 No. 1 single. But lowrider can mean a snazzy customized car with hydraulics or a person who works on such a vehicle, and the culture around these cars has strengthened Mexican American communities in the Southwest since the Forties. Learn more about them at this exhibit featuring an interactive touchscreen mural, cars and bikes on display, and stories about the people who make lowriding a community.   – Kat McNevins

Spend Time Zine Mart: AAPI Heritage Month Zine Party

Thursday 23, Community Garden

Have you found yourself thumbing through your zine library in search of new Asian American voices among the little paper creations? You’re in luck, girly: Local zine curators and general good-taste aficionados Spend Time collab once more with music/wine/acai-bowl spot Community Garden for an all-Asian lineup of artists. That means all-Asian zines available, too, along with portraits done by artist – who makes just the cutest egg lighters on Earth – stand-up from Yola Lu, music by Honey Son, live readings by Sandy Lam and Stephanie Yue Duhem, and munchables via Andrew’s Tiny Bakehouse. Plus: a DJ set by stargirl.   – James Scott

Photo by Tyler Whitman

Ventana Ballet & Austin Camerata Present: Kaleidoscope

Thursday 23 - Saturday 25, Draylen Mason Music Studio

Classical music is not a stuffy relic of the past, and ballet is more than inflexible tutus and dead composers. That’s the ethos behind “Kaleidoscope,” a collaboration between Austin Camerata and Ventana Ballet. Four local choreographers and seven living composers assemble their own musical Avengers team, fighting against boring stereotypes with an exhilarating mélange of movement and sound. There will be five performances over Memorial weekend, each one opening their doors early to offer a kaleidoscope of colorful cocktails at the KMFA bar. Get swept away with this spectacular showcase.   – Cat McCarrey

Hot Luck

Thursday 23 - Sunday 26, multiple locations

Memorial Day weekend’s hottest ticket, Hot Luck 2024 promises yet another heady blend of live music and top-shelf eats. Highlights for those coming hungry include exclusive bites from the Taco Mafia at Thursday’s Giddy Up, comfort food from fest founder Aaron Franklin and others at Friday’s Supper Club, cheffy backyard eats at Al Fuego, and a camp-themed brunch at Sunday’s Camp Sunnyside. Those looking to nourish their eardrums can enjoy the spicy sounds of Calexico, Mind Spiders, Big Business, and more. As ever, Hot Luck Fest benefits the Southern Smoke Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping connect service industry workers to health care and relief funds in times of crisis.   – Melanie Haupt

Winnebago Man

Friday 24, Cloud Tree Studios

Do yourself a kindness and grab the chance to watch this Rocket Cinema screening under the stars at Cloud Tree Studios. Austinite Ben Steinbauer’s 2009 documentary tracks down Jack Rebney, who became an early internet sensation when outtakes were leaked of his profanity-laced on-camera meltdown shooting an industrial film. (“My mind is just a piece of shit this morning,” he memorably groused.) When Steinbauer meets Rebney in the flesh, the doc zags in startling, deeply poignant ways. Also screening: the first episode of Steinbauer’s new Hulu docuseries, High Hopes, about a cannabis shop in L.A.   – Kimberley Jones

Wild and Precious, digital collage, 2024, by Amanda McInerney and Lana Waldrep-Appl

“Wild and Precious” by Amanda McInerney & Lana Waldrep Appl Opening

Friday 24, ICOSA Collective

“What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” asks the poet Mary Oliver. So do the artists Amanda McInerney and Lana Waldrep Appl, taking inspiration from Oliver’s question to create works highlighting the small but important beauties in our lives. McInerney’s work presents bold, botanical elements through mediums from print to stitched mixed-media art, confident graphics speaking against the unknowns in the world. Appl is a perfect highlight with that, her object-based work (showing plants, toys, ceramics) begging us to consider what is useful and actually important in the small moments.   – Cat McCarrey

Photo by Matthew Brooks

Austin Rise vs. Houston Aces

Friday 24, House Park

If you’ve been wondering what became of the players of women’s soccer club FC Austin Elite following its collapse, here’s a chance to see for yourself. Several displaced members rose from its ashes to form a new club in 2022, fittingly called Austin Rise, and are playing home matches at House Park this summer. Cheer on the fully women-owned squad at the first home game of their second season as they host fellow Women’s Premier Soccer League team Houston Aces for a Lone Star Conference face-off.   – Kat McNevins

Courtesy of Austin Greek Festival

Austin Greek Festival

Friday 24 - Sunday 26, Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church

Here in the land of tacos and margaritas, we don’t get enough chances to appreciate Greek food and culture. Rectify that at this fest with the theme “Livin’ the Greek Life,” offering live music from the Aegean Pulse, all the way from Greece, along with spirited dance groups of all ages. Frequent tours are available to showcase the gorgeous church and inform visitors about the faith, and a marketplace evokes a real Greek agora. Come hungry for spanakopita, baklava, gyros, dolmades, and more – but don’t forget your card, because the fest has adopted a cashless model this year.   – Kat McNevins

Art by Kurtkaiser

Boyz of Austin: Totally 80s


Friday 24, Elysium

Radical! Gender-diverse drag troupe Boyz of Austin promises only the most excellent drag as they time-travel back to the Eighties. Imagine: the hair! the glam! the neon! All combined with the Boyz’ usual over-the-top fun drag antics, this show’s worthy of a 10-angel air guitar chorus. Special guests Munster Mash, Thorne Hart, and Gator Gorr supplement the main cast. Boyz enjoyers will also find their $9 cover fee also includes admission to Elysium’s Eighties DJ Night on Sunday.   – James Scott

Cher Up Charlies

Friday 24, Cheer Up Charlies

“What am I supposed to do?” You may ask when considering your plans for Cher’s 78th birthday. “Sit around and wait for you to invite me to a Cher-themed drag show? Well, I can’t do that.” BUT WAIT! No waiting needed, baby, because if you believe in life after love – and the power of pop – then you’re invited to Brigitte Bandit’s annual Cher-iffic drag show. There’ll be a DJ set by Turito, drag by Brigitte, Arianna Venti, Riot Girl, Joselyn Breezy, Bubu, Jenna Talia, Miss Steelya Girl, and Flex Brojas, and a lookalike contest. Fun fact: Brigitte’s own Mama Bandit, who’ll also be performing, has won several Cher lookalike competitions including one written up in the Chronicle. Stick around post-show for Honey Baby and Lavender Thug’s inside Cher-aoke.   – James Scott

Slam Portal VIII: Swift Justice

Saturday 25, Central Machine Works

Who knew that pop princesses and ring warriors make a great combination? Slam Portal, that’s who. They’re bringing the (probably) first Taylor Swift-themed wrestling event to a beer garden near you. Watch Austin’s premier intergalactic pro wrestlers tackle the Swifties in the “Blank Space” between the ropes. You’ll know you’re in for trouble the moment the wrestlers walk into the ring. It’s the Tortured Wrestling Society, heavy emphasis on physical torture. Swift smackdowns guaranteed, this Saturday, Saturday, Saturday!   – Cat McCarrey

Midsommar Party

Saturday 25, Swan Dive

OK, we realize the summer solstice is still a month off, but who wants to wait? Kick off summer with “a celebration of life and love” – and hopefully no Swedish cult weirdness like in Ari Aster’s unsettling follow-up to Hereditary. No no, what we have here is all the pretty floral fun such as maypole dancing, flower crowns, and prize packages on a Midsommar theme. VIP tables get Swedish bites and champagne included with a decorated table for five besties. Dressing on theme is highly encouraged!   – Kat McNevins

¡BAILE! Queer Night on the Ranch!

Saturday 25, Esquina Tango

You’re a reasonable person: Every day, you refrain from knocking over items around you in a dancing frenzy. But in your soul, you wish to knock those items down. You wish so bad. Great news: Wishes do come true, if’n you’re wishing to dance the night away among queer community members. Local BIPOC community org allgo presents a night featuring food, drinks, performers, and – no doy – dance. They promise to play “the hits that stick like grits,” so grab your partners and get ready to wear your boot soles down.   – James Scott

Photo by Jana Birchum

World Dracula Night

Saturday 25, the Glass Coffin

The Glass Coffin is a bastion of the creeptastic macabre, but their coffin lid officially closes Aug. 11. Pay your respects and pour out the wine you don’t drink (Dracula reference!) at their last undead gathering, fittingly celebrating the King of Shadows – Count Dracula. Hang out with your fangs out at a bloodsoaked celebration of the greatest monster in history. Wrestle in a pool of blood, gothic groove to howls from horror band the Immortalz, and thank every angel and demon below that the Glass Coffin existed.   – Cat McCarrey

Carpet Church

Saturday 25, MASS Gallery

This ain’t a beautiful cathedral or stained-glass stations of the cross or even those c*nty little vestments priests be wearing at your grandma’s funeral. (Shout out to Father Felix!) Collaborators Elissa Ussery and Beth Schindler recreate the traditionally straight space of a church – an American, particle-board-filled church – as a continuation of their interactive art-environment series. “Acknowledging the prevalent trauma and shame associated with conventional religious and spiritual settings, especially for queer individuals,” they relate on Instagram, “Carpet Church offers a platform to rediscover and empower oneself through play.” Expect: dunking booth baptisms, Sunday school, bake sales, reconciliation, live music, a full bar, and plenty of delicious Lynny’s.   – James Scott

Courtesy of Elisabet Ney Museum

10th Annual Ney Day

Saturday 25, Elisabet Ney Museum

Elisabet Ney’s castle-like art studio perches by Waller Creek, an eccentric slice of pre-1900s Austin. Ney was a groundbreaking sculptor, one so dedicated to her craft that as a child she went on a hunger strike until she was allowed to study art. Her vividly realistic and emotional sculptures filled European castles and halls of government, with many crafted right here in Austin. Ney Day celebrates this feisty inspiration on her own creative wellspring, with food and fun celebrating the fierce independence she inspires in us all.|   – Cat McCarrey

Shop Small Sunday

Sunday 26, Central Machine Works

Oh, let me tell you how small this Sunday is: tiny! This small Sunday could get drunk off a drop of beer. It could be full from a crumb of cheese. This Sunday is so small it uses a leaf for a fan – like a little leaf, not a palm frond. This Sunday is so small that – wait. Sorry. I’m getting an incoming message that this market’s title is not, in fact, about a widdle bitty Sunday but actually all about supporting small local businesses. Businesses like ATX Organics CBD, Basil Moon, Cousin Kenny, and many more, who’ll offer their wares alongside the libations and microbrews of hosting location Central Machine Works. This’ll be the last market Eastside Pop Up holds here until the summer heat passes, so get your fill now before it all blows away – you know, because it’s so small.   – James Scott

Walking Shadow Shakespeare Presents: Troilus and Cressida

SunDAY 26, Ramsey Park

When it comes to the Trojan War, it’s always “Helen, Helen, Helen,” and never “Cressida, Cressida, Cressida.” Sadly, not even Shakespeare can really change that, as this play remains one of his hidden, partially baffling, gems. Set during the Trojan War, Troilus and Cressida veers between sweet love story, bawdy farce, and embittered revenge fantasy. The title lovers make and break promises against the bloody backdrop of the Trojan War. Our own Walking Shadow Shakespeare gamely tackles the text. Enjoy their efforts for the low, low price of free. It’s a bargain for this rare chance to witness a challenging classic.   – Cat McCarrey

Phantom of the Paradise

Sunday 26, Paramount Theatre

Get ready to enjoy a film our senior staff writer Richard Whittaker once called “okay” that also inspired the likes of Daft Punk, Kentaro Miura, and Hirohiko Araki. Phantom of the Paradise blends the talents of director Brian de Palma (Carrie, Body Double) and musical artist Paul Williams, who plays the film’s antagonist as well as providing many of the soundtrack’s vocals. This beautiful melting pot bubbles with Faustian deals, melodramatic musical moments, Eighties glam, brutal killings, and Beef. Follow tragic hero Winslow Leach (William Finley) as he attempts to gain control back over his musical opus while protecting the woman he hopes will sing it (a pre-Suspiria Jessica Harper). This movie represents one of the first in the summer-long film series that is Paramount Summer Classics, so make sure to check their calendar for even more cinematic enjoyment.   – James Scott

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