BGG Weekender: LA Greek Festival, Free Pie, & An Art Gallery Garden Party (PHOTOS)

New York Fashion Week officially starts today, but if you're the broke girl we know you are (say it loud, say it proud), your front row to the runway involves some combination of Instagram, YouTube and obsessive scouring of street style blogs. We're right there with you - but we can't endorse spending a beautiful September weekend indoors. Save the NYFW recaps for Monday morning, and check out one of the many (non-sartorial) events here in LA.

Head to Joshua Tree for the (free!) Desert Stars Music Festival, catch a buzz at the California Beer Festival, enjoy a day at the races at the L.A. County Fair, or stay local for a ton of free events, like the KCRW Good Food Pie Contest or the Helms Bakery Sunset Cinema movie screening. And don't forget to check out our schedule of LA-based yoga studios offering specials all month long for National Yoga Month. 



If your only touchpoint for Greek culture is that one movie or Westwood's Bella Pita, start your weekend at the 15th Annual Los Angeles Greek Festival. Yes, there will be gyros, phyllo, and baklava - and sweeter yet, entrance is only $5. Looking for brownie points? Bring someone along and impress them with your knowledge of the festival's historic setting (the St. Sophia Cathedral).

Once you're done there, head to the grand opening of Ebanos Crossing for cocktails and free bites at the Prohibition-style lounge. Got a good buzz going? Grab your DD, choose your neighborhood, and head to one of the following shows.

West Hollywood

We love a good band from down under, so Australia's Gold Fields at the Troubadour is our pick to kick off your night out. Think pop, plus plentiful percussion for tracks that pulse and groove. (Take it easy on the Greek if you plan to dance!) $13, tickets here. Or head to the House of Blues to catch ZZ Ward. Cover is a little higher ($20) but that's hardly a surprise to Sunset Strip familiars.

North Hollywood

We prefer our comedy the way we take our martinis: dirty and extra dry. For those of you with similar tastes, we suggest In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play, a satire of sexual enlightenment involving repressed Victorian women and a primitive form of, ahem, therapy. At the Secret Rose Theater, tickets $30.

West Adams

We may cringe at the "Burlympics" namesake, but titular awkwardness aside, it's worth checking out. The competition combines elements of vaudeville, comedy, magic, drag and of course, 'high-art' striptease - all good, and only $10. At Cafe Club Fais Do-Do.

Mid-City/La Brea

Impress a new fling by suggesting a Scarface/Carlito's Way double feature at the New Beverly Cinema. A beloved dive, the theater shows old films on the cheap -- at $8, two movies here are half the price of one at nearby ArcLight. First movie starts at 7:30 pm; tickets here.

Other Shows:

Dance Downtown at The Music Center: Samba, FREE; Anticon's 15th Anniversary Party featuring Baths, Daedalus, Why at the Echo/Echoplex, $24; Gavin Turek at the Bootleg, $10.


Mid-Wilshire/Miracle Mile

We're giving you the pass to skip spin this Saturday. Head instead to KCRW's 5th Annual Good Food Pie Contest and indulge your sweet tooth with complimentary tastings of some of the 347 entries - wear an apron and you'll snag free entry to LACMA as well. Double dipping at its best.


If you're like us, the L.A. County Fair means one thing: A Day at the Races. For $37, you too can pretend you're at The Kentucky Derby (Pomona looks like Louisville, right?) -- entrance gets you all-day track-side reserved seating, lunch, and entrance to the rest of the fair. Mint juleps not included.

San Dimas

If you're a fan of the bubbly (the other bubbly), spend the day at the California Beer Festival. $45 scores you access to over 60 brews, and if you dress up (unfortunately, this may sound more appealing after you're already inside and liquored up) you have a chance to win free tickets to next year's event.

Joshua Tree

September in LA always makes us antsy for the desert. Maybe it's the turn of the seasons or plain old big city burnout, but we're tempted to retreat to Joshua Tree for the weekend. Doesn't hurt that the Desert Stars Music Festival is happening at Pioneertown favorite Pappy & Harriet's. And, as all good things should be: it's free.

Culver City

Staying local? Helms Bakery Sunset Cinema is back with their fourth annual (free!) September outdoor movie series. The theme this year is music and it kicks off at 7:30 pm with girl comedy Pitch Perfect.

Assuming you're not heading to Rock the Bells, finish your night with one of the following shows:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer onstage at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, $12; Vintage Trouble at the El Rey, $18; End of Summer Bash with Gigamesh, Tesla Boy, Fingerpaint, and more, $5.



We love an art gallery exhibit opening as much as the next broke girl, because (a) it's often an affordable way to get your arts & culture 'fix,' and (b) free booze. Adorably, The Offramp Gallery in Pasadena opens their Fifth Anniversary Group Exhibition with a garden party. It's free to attend, and once you make it inside, you'll find a tribute to Pasadena's avant-garde past.


We're just going to go ahead and assume everyone has a fond memory of dressing up in matching outfits and performing an a cappella medley of ABBA's greatest hits with their best third grade buddies. (No? Anyone?) Relive your time as a talent show champion at the ABBA Fest at the Hollywood Bowl. Actual legit a cappella groups (from UCLA, USC, and Chapman) engage in a sing-off, and a cheap seat will only set you back twenty bones.

Echo Park

For a band known for their murder ballads, the Murder by Death show at the Echoplex hardly constitutes a fright night -- think more indie rock meets alt country. Besides, we never turn down an excuse to drink on a Sunday night. Tickets $15.

Other shows:

Megan and Liz at the El Rey Theater, $14+; Mord Fustang at The Observatory, $10.

Your Weekend, Sept. 6-8