What to do if you’re not going to Coachella

With April comes a flurry of excitement and anticipation, not only because it signals the end of the semester, but also because of the beloved Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. For the next two weekends, campus will be relatively barren from the lack of students, and for those who are not a part of the desert festivities, it may seem like the world revolves around the event. But that said, there’s other ways to spend your weekend. Here is a comprehensive list of shows, expos and events that are much gentler on the wallet while this year’s festival season finally draws to a close.

Weekend 1:


This weekend, the Upright Citizens Brigade’s longest lasting improv comedy group, Assscat, will perform at Upright Citizen Brigade Theatre Franklin on Saturday and Upright Citizen Brigade Theatre Sunset on Sunday. Founding members Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts will take the stage, likely bringing special guests as well — previous guests have included actresses Rebel Wilson, Amy Poehler and Lena Dunham. An audience member will give the group a random word, and they and their guest will build their show around it for the rest of the night. This show is sure to be a fun night of laughs, and the program will start at 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Sundays are free, but tickets are available on a first come first serve basis. A guaranteed spot at the Saturday show will cost $10.

Following the march which will take place from 10 to 11 a.m., a series of expos will be taking place throughout Downtown L.A. Photo from Facebook.

March for Science

The annual March for Science takes place on Saturday, in support of better legislation regarding science-based issues and more diversity in STEM fields. Last year, the event drew over 50,000 people to Pershing Square, and even more are expected to show up to this year. The march will take place from 10 to 11 a.m., and for the rest of the day, there will be myriad talks on the future of STEM in Los Angeles, environmental justice and getting involved in policy making. There will also be expos set up across Downtown hosted by companies such as Rolling Robots, Science for Kids and the Columbia Science Center.

Art Up!

The Beyond the Lines Gallery, located about 10 minutes away from USC in the Fashion District of downtown Los Angeles, will close its four-weekend series of pop-up galleries this weekend. Entry is $5 and grants visitors access to the gallery for the whole night, as well as live music, vendors, food and a comedy show. Every weekend has been completely different, switching up the lineup of artists for a new experience. The pop-up opens at 6:30 p.m. and runs until 11 p.m. this Thursday through Saturday.

Weekend 2:

L.A. Times Festival of Books

Like last year, the Festival of Books will be held on USC’s campus for the entirety of next weekend. Though the sheer number of attendees is reminiscent of a Coachella crowd, this event aims to rediscover old literary favorites and help visitors find new ones. The festival brings in authors and speakers across all literary genres and cultures. There will also be plenty of musical performances from genres like jazz, R&B, opera and more.  Some of this year’s popular speakers include actresses Jenna Fischer and author Junot  Díaz, as well as various USC professors. The event is the perfect way to kill a few hours, and will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 21 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the next day. Admission is free.

Smorgasburg L.A.

Smorgasburg is a classic foodie event that occurs almost every Sunday of the year. Located in an enclave of the Arts District called ROW DTLA, Smorgasburg is a 15-minute ride from campus, and parking is free. Sweet & Hollow and Bumble Crumpets offer Instagrammable desserts, while Cena Vegan and BaoHaus are delicious lunch options. Other lifestyle vendors include Plant Puns, which sells small handcrafted pots, and Notox Life, which specializes in  sustainable, vegan skincare products. Smorgasburg runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but if you have a particular vendor in mind, visitors are advised to come early in case vendors sell out of certain items throughout the day.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the date of the L.A. Times Festival of Books. The date has been updated. The Daily Trojan regrets this error