As another summer fades into hazy half-memories, a new semester of possibilities (and even more wild times to not entirely recall is looming just on the other side of Labor Day weekend.
The fact that school’s out and most businesses are shut down this coming Monday pretty much automatically moves the weekend in a direction away from general suckiness. Add to that the usual Labor Day barbecues, beer bashes, and last big beach blowouts and the three days ahead are loaded with promise and potential. The following sixteen farewell-to-hot-weather-fun events are also on hand to make this a Labor Day you’ll especially love.
As Above So Below
The only big movie slipping into theaters this weekend is this found footage fright fest filmed in the multiple miles of catacombs beneath the streets of Paris, France. Aside from the naturally creepy locations, As Above So Below packs sleeper hit potential as its the latest from documentary-style horror experts the Dowdle brothers, director John Erick and producer Drew. Check out their 2007 cult hair-raiser The Poughkeepsie Tapes and 2008’s terrifying Quarantine for a warm-up of what these guys can do with cheap cameras and eerily cramped spaces.
Electric Zoo Festival
Randall’s Island Park just off the coast of New York City is set to get lit up and pounded hard during the sixth annual Electric Zoo Festival, in which 100,000 EDM enthusiasts converge to uncage their beat-pumping inner animals. Headliners include sonic laptop wizards on the order of Alesso, David Guetta, Dada Life, Laidback Luke, Knife Party, and Zedd. Also, following some chemical mishaps of note last year, 75 uniformed “Zookeepers”, most of whom are medically trained, will wander the crowd to function as human freak-out tents. So good golly, go easy with Molly.
Yankees at Blue Jays
Toronto’s Roger Centre hosts New York’s pinstriped AL East second-placers for a three-game series as they attempt to widen the pre-playoff gap between the third-ranked Blue Jays. For Friday’s opener, Mark Buerhle starts on the mound against the Yanks’ Chris Capuano. On Saturday, it’s Blue Jay Drew Hutchinson against a very strong Michael Pineda. Wrapping up on Sunday afternoon, J.A. Happ pitches against Brandon McCarthy. Big wins on either side could definitely impact each team’s post-season potential.
First Weekend of College Football
If you had absolutely nothing planned for Labor Day Weekend, you’d be the smartest man in the world because of all the college football that’s going down. We suggest you check out our Week 1 College Football Preview here (featuring the lovely cheerleaders of each team), but make sure that no matter what you don’t miss the FSU game–Famous Jameis will be taking on Pistol Pete and the OSU Cowboys.
Budweiser Made in America Festival
Mounted in Philadelphia since 2012 by hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, the two-day Budweiser Made in America Festival is adding a simultaneous Los Angeles wing to its proceedings this year, bringing rap, indie rock, electronica, pop, and experimental music to a whole new coast of revelers. Kanye West and Kings of Leon top the bill in Philly on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, while Imagine Dragons and John Mayer close the fest in L.A. Dozens of acts, both top-tier and up-and-coming, fill out the rosters in each city.
(Aug 29-Sept 1)
Atlanta, Georgia gets overrun every Labor Day with geeks, gamers, LARPers, comic book nerds, cartoon freaks, sci-fi fanatics, and, ever increasingly, a shocking amount of knockout female “nerd” cosplayers. The occasion is the annual Dragon Con gathering, that’s centered at the Hyatt Regency but that also sprawls out all over Atlanta, particularly during a Saturday morning parade downtown. This year’s Dragon Con celebrity guests include Patrick Stewart, Lou Ferrigno, Walter Koenig, Ralph Macchio, and Mary McDonnell. Those are just the Hollywood names; when it comes to hardcore geek stars, the cadre of performers, speakers, and bait for autograph-seekers extends into the hundreds. Plus you’ll never be too far removed from the sight of dozens of slave girl Princess Leias, hordes of body-painted X-Women, and even the odd freakishly sexy She-Hulk.
Launched in 1971, the annual Bumbershoot festival is a massive music and arts gathering held every Labor Day weekend at the 74-acre Seattle Center. An enjoyable free-form, freak-friendly blast that, as one might expect, picked up particular steam during the grunge-heavy early 1990s, Bumbershoot is not merely a giant concert. It also showcases art, literature, comedy, and Youngershoot, which is a series of programs specifically for kids. That stated, the music stages do rock. This year’s highlights include the Wu-Tang Clan, Foster the People, Neon Trees, Capital Cities, Red Fang, Elvis Costello, and the Replacements.
Frankenstein Day honors the 1797 birth of Mary Shelly who, as a teenager, authored a scary story that forever changed the worlds of the living, the dead, and those stuck somewhere in between. Challenged by renowned poets Lord Byron and Percy Shelley (Mary’s husband) to come up with something entertaining during a rainy weekend, Mary wrote Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, which was published as a novel two years later. The book has terrified and inspired now for nearly two hundreds, in addition to launching countless films, plays, songs, TV show, parodies, and Halloween costumes variations as well. So whether you catch a Munsters rerun, watch your favorite Boris Karloff movie take on the big guy, or just lumber around moaning and hungover with your arms outstretched, do it today in the name of Frankie.
The Grilled Cheese Invitational
Nine of Portland, Oregon’s finest restaurants will put forth their tastiest toasted, melted grain-and-dairy concoctions as part of EastBurn’s first annual Grilled Cheese Invitational. Set up like a golf course, participants can roam from one sandwich station to another before voting on which establishment provides the greatest grilled cheese experience. Proceeds will benefit the Portland Women’s Crisis Line. Pro tip: pack your own thermos of tomato soup.
Fabulous Sin City Rollergirls Double Header
Las Vegas’s premiere female roller derby league is mounting two—count ‘em—two high-speed, deep impact flat-track matches between wheel-heeled warrior women this Saturday at the Riviera Hotel and Casino. Breaking in the battlefield at 6pm, it’s the Notorious VIP versus the Flying Aces. Then at 8pm, the Tommy Gun Terrors roll their thunder against the Hoover Damned.
Two Gentlemen of Lebowski
(Aug 30 | New Orleans)
A live performance mashup of The Big Lebowski and Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona, New Orleans’ Mid-City Theatre hosts this uproariously funny traveling phenomenon for a single Saturday night show. Told in iambic pentameter and awash with White Russians, no less an authority than the Dude himself, Jeff Bridges, has declared of Two Gentleman of Lebowski: “It worked, man, it really worked!”
Electronic Sriracha Festival
If you can get both your tastebuds and your earbuds to San Jose this weekend, you can say that you were part of the first annual multimedia festival to honor a brand-name spicy condiment with two city blocks of food trucks and three massive dance areas for electronic music. Sriracha plus EDM just might cause all hipsters in the region to spontaneously combust, so you’ll definitely want to be able to say you were there to witness that, too.
Heavy Blanket at Summer Thunder
This summer-spanning free music fest at Brooklyn’s Union Pool concludes its 2014 season with the water-parting power of J Mascis’s huge and hard psychedelic blues band, Heavy Blanket. Last year’s Heavy Blanket set lasted a mere fifteen minutes before police pulled the power due to noise complaints, so come early and see how long and how loud Mascis and company can keep up their racket this time.
Wild West Air Fest
The tenth annual Wild West Air Fest takes to the skies above Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Renowned German aerobatic pilot Dagmar Kressaredevil will perform daredevil flight demonstrations, and actual plane rides for are available for adventurous members of the public. Among the classic aircraft you can soar off in are a 1941 Piper J-3 Cub and a 1942 Boeing Stearman. Those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground and/or their butts behind a steering wheel can check out the classic car show that goes on at the same time.
Herry Monster’s Birthday
One of the Muppets’ most unsung hirsute heroes, the purple-nosed, furry-all-over Herry Monster celebrates his birthday on August 31st. Hulking, gravelly-voiced, and stronger than he realizes, Herry Monster is nonetheless is a sweetheart under all his heaps of gruff exterior. Celebrate Herry’s special day by doing something monstrously nice for someone—especially if it’s another big, hairy loudmouth.
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