10 things you have to do this weekend


1. Indy Film Fest

Through July 25, times vary. Over 100 films in 10 days is no small feat. The Indy Film Fest has been going strong for 12 years now and hopes to “create shared experiences around film.” And they do it well. This year's fest hopes to inspire more local pride than ever before. “The number of films submitted and ultimately programmed with ties to Indiana was the highest it’s ever been,” said Craig Mince, the executive director of the festival.

Reviews of all six feature films with Indiana ties

2. Indiana Black Expo's Summer Celebration

July 17-19, times vary. There's too much happening to list everything so we'll highlight some of our favorites. Blackstreet, Al Hudson & One Way, The Original Lakeside perform Friday night in part one of the Music Heritage Festival. And on Saturday, two-time Grammy winner (plus 11 other Grammy noms) Patti Labelle will headline part two at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Other great events include a Reggie Wayne Celebrity Basketball Game, many cultural art exhibits and IBE's Fashion Show.

Head here for a full list of events.

3. Dave Matthews Band

July 17-18, 7 p.m. It will be weird when Dave stops making his yearly stop at Klipsch, luckily for fans, that time has yet to arrive. He'll be supporting the local food scene this year: “The band will dine on local products from BeeFree Gluten Free Bakery in Noblesville; Feel Good Farm in Sheridan; Smoking Goose Meatery in Indianapolis; and Waterman’s Family Farm in Greenwood." You rock Dave.

4. Nerdgasm V

July 17-18, 10 p.m. Angel Burlesque leader Katie Angel says nerdy topics give no end of new material for their annual Nerdgasm shows. “Everyone picks characters from references they love, so the variety is amazing,” she says. “Video games, comic books, television, movies and card games. Inspiration comes from everywhere! Burlesque and nerdy themes are a match made in geeky heaven, to the point that people even refer to nerdy burlesque specifically as ‘nerdlesque.’ What can I say — nerdy people love sexy fun times! Every routine this year is brand new! We’re expanding our nerd universe to some genres that haven’t been covered before."

More burlesque shows you should attend

5. Cartoon Research Laboratory

July 18, 11 a.m. Cartoon Research Lab is an opportunity for scholars of the medium to study "classic" cartoons alongside contemporary animation bearing its influence. Local savants will guide you through blocks of vintage animation and contemporary toons selected to illuminate intriguing motifs. Cool, right?

6. Indiana Microbrewers Festival

July 18, 3 p.m. For the first time in 20 years, the Annual Indiana Microbrewers Fest will be held at Historic Military Park. But it won't affect the high quality of beer that will be present. More than 100 craft breweries will be present with many of those being from the good 'ole Hoosier state. Have fun, drink responsibly, and support Indiana breweries.

Winners at Indiana State Brewers Cup

7. Indiana Derby Day

July 18, 6 p.m. Having post Triple Crown withdrawals? Head down to Shelbyville for the 21st running of the Indiana Derby. This year's purse is a whopping $1 million — that's a lot of gum balls. There's plenty of racing before the big event as well as appearance by Indiana Pacers Legends Bobby “Slick” Leonard, Darnell Hillman, Mel Daniels, Billy Keller, Don Buse, George McGinnis and Bob Netolicky. And Playboy Playmate of the Year Dani Mathers makes a special appearance — Ooh La La.

8. Jazz On Canvas

July 19, 5 p.m. Nine local visual artists (Constance Edwards Scopelitis, Chris Pyle, Greg Huebner, Mark Sheldon, Rita Spalding, Jay Parnell, Kyle Ragsdale, Shawn Causey, and Turner Woodward) and five local jazz composers/performers (Steve Allee, Rob Dixon, Kenny Phelps, Nick Tucker and Marlin McKay) will collaborate at this Sunday event that includes an art display and a performance of original compositions inspired by that art. All funds raised from the event benefit this year’s Jazz Fest.

9. Hail Seitan, Vegetarians!

July 19, 5:30, 7 p.m. Once in a while, our friends at Chefs Night Off will forgo the usually scoffing at vegetarian fare and actually offer up a fabulous coursed dinner for our meat-avoidant friends. This is almost always their most packed dinner as well, so get on the stick if you want to chow down on the greens. Offerings this time come from Audrey Barron, Josh Baker, Chris Blinde and Billy Margrave. If you’ve got babies, you can bring them with a $15 kids plate option. Organic and biodynamic wine pairings will be done by Bill Kennedy with Crossroads Vintners.

Check out The Mouthful podcast

10. AWOLnation

July 19, 6:30 p.m. Sailing into Indy this Sunday are alt-rock radio superstars AWOLnation. If you're keeping score, that's two corny jokes in as many weeks. The group released their second studio album Run in March and embarked on the Run Tour shortly after with K.Flay and Irontom joining along for the boat ride. That's enough "Sail" jokes to last you a lifetime.


Engagement Editor

Former NUVO Engagement Editor. Proud cat dad. Fan of craft beer, parks and Indy's sports teams.