This week, we’re dancing downtown, celebrating summer with a pair of events in Santa Monica, checking out a wine festival in Glendale geared toward micro-production, getting in some laughs at love at a rom-com festival in DTLA and trying out some vegan foods and drinks at the Rose Bowl.

Dance DTLA

The Music Center’s annual Dance DTLA series starts with Bollywood night at 7 p.m., June 21 at Grand Park’s performance lawn, 135 N. Grand Ave.

Dance DTLA is a free night of dancing, featuring a live band or DJ and top L.A. dance instructors providing beginner dance lessons for a different genre each Friday. Among the dance styles featured in the series are line dance, hip hop, Argentine Tango and Salsa.

Grand Park will host most of the series, but there will also be nights at the Disney Concert Hall (July 5) and three (Aug. 9, 16, and 30) at the The Music Center Plaza, now in the final stages of renovation.

The Music Center will also provide voter registration booths at select events in partnership with the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office.

The series runs through Aug. 30.

The Garagiste Festival

USA Today calls the Garagiste Festival the best wine festival in the U.S. It will be held June 21-22 at the Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N. Verdugo Road.

What is garagiste? According to the event organizers, it was a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their garage, who refused to follow the “rules.” Now, it’s a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world.

The event is described as the “only wine festival dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized American artisan ‘garagiste’ producers who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot production wines in the world.” The Garagiste Festivals are committed to discovering the best and most innovative limited-production wine makers and promoting and showcasing them to a broad audience of discerning wine consumers.

The event will feature wines from over 50 micro-production commercial wine makers from throughout California.

There’s a kick-off party on Friday, with tickets going for $75. There’s a two-day tasting pass for $124 and Saturday-only passes ranging from $69 to $119.

Summer in

Santa Monica

Santa Monica is celebrating the official start of summer with a pair of events.

The first is Pier 360, two days of ocean sports, volleyball and music, being held from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 22-23 at the Santa Monica Pier.

There will be a lifeguard competition and swim and paddleboard races. There will be skateboard demonstrations, a  “museum of beach life” featuring boards from surf legends and live Polynesian music and dance demonstrations, as well as a performance by slack key guitarist Kimo Williams.

See for details.

The second event is “Summer Soulstice,” being held from 1-7 p.m., June 23 on Main Street between Pico Boulevard and Marine Street.

This event features six stages of entertainment, including one featuring acts curated by McCabe’s Guitar Shop (if you haven’t been to a concert at McCabe’s, you’re missing out). There will be more than 100 vendors on hand and beer and wine gardens.

There will be games for kids, a rock wall to climb, a petting zoo and musical performances geared for children.

For more information, visit


The Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main St. in DTLA, is hosting Rom Com Fest from June 21-23.

“Routinely dismissed by film critics as a lesser genre artistically, romantic comedies aren’t simply traditionally beloved, but also a true art form which has produced some of the most classic and enduring films we know today,” organizers say. “These films should receive the recognition they deserve along with an experience to bring together a community of film fans that flock to them. Thus, we created Rom Com Fest.”

The festival will feature some well-known films, including “His Girl Friday,” “Never Been Kissed” and “10 Things I Hate about You,” as well as new films, including “Summer Nights,” “Tracks” and “Two in the Bush.”

Tickets are $15 each or two for $25 for the classic films and $12 for single tickets, $20 for two to the new films.

Check out for details.

Eat Drink Vegan

The annual Eat Drink Vegan festival returns from 2-7 p.m., June 22 to the Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive.

The event features curated restaurants and food vendors, 250-plus vegan beverages and a plant-based marketplace that showcases everything from clothing and candles to packaged foods and skin care.

Tickets are $55 and include a 4 oz. glass, unlimited pours of craft beer, kombucha, wine and soda.

See for tickets and details.

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