The Pitch’s 2022 summer guide to the best of KC events
Welcome to the wonderful world of pandemic recovery. Since we’ve all been reeling from hand sanitizer stress, face mask maintenance, and vaccine vendors, it’s time to bring some fun back to our, now greatly appreciated, lives.
Despite all, never fear gentle readers, for The Pitch is here. Now, get out of this introduction and check out all of the cool events, exhibits, shows, and media spectaculars in the Summer Guide. Let’s go hard in the paint, together.
Sugar Creek Slavic Fest
Sugar Creek, MO
Kandy Land Car Show
1800 Genessee Street
International Make Music Day
Oddities & Curiosities Expo
Kansas City Convention Center
Kansas City Storm Championship Weekend
Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair
Kansas City Museum
Crossroads Art District
The art-focused gathering takes place on the first Friday of every month. Highlighting up-and-coming artists, installations, and galleries, First Friday is a great opportunity to dive into local art demographics. Not going for just the art? That’s fine. Enjoy some local eats and drinks during your visit. With all your basic human needs fulfilled, First Friday is never an event to miss.
Kansas City’s National WWI Museum and Memorial KCMO
Although the skies are typically inhabited by jets coming in and out of KCI Airport, on Aug. 22 hot air balloons will be taking priority. The National WWI Museum and Memorial will be hosting its annual Great Balloon Glow. Even with the main attraction in the air, there will be plenty of activities down on the ground. With local food vendors and live music, the affair will cater to all age groups.
Chiefs First Regular Season Home Game
Juneteenth KC First Friday Celebration
18th & Vine
Begins at Benton and 18th Street
Juneteenth KC Heritage Festival
18th & Vine
Juneteenth Celebration with BlaKCK Market
Lewis and Clark Park at Kaw Point
Lawrence Juneteenth Celebration
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is opening its doors to celebrate Juneteenth, and it isn’t letting a second go to waste. The event is poised to be an all-out examination of art and culture that holds a lens to work like Charles White’s Goodnight Irene.
Artist Anthony High will also be on location to discuss the artistic process as others create Juneteenth crafts and explore additional related resources.
The top-level activities are appetizers for a main course of performances from the likes of Shinique Smith and the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey. The latter will perform I Want to Testify, an act choreographed in part by Tyrone Aiken, while the former has created a performance comprised of local talent.
**Admission to the Nelson-Atkins Museum is free of charge, but non-members must reserve tickets in advance.
Queer Bar Takeover
J. Rieger & Co.
June 4 – Aug. 21
Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights – an Exhibit and a Response
Kansas City Public Library
Pride Youth Mixer
The Black Box
Plymouth Pride Party
Plymouth Congregational Church (UCC), Lawrence, KS
Out With the Royals
Pride Night W/ DJ Carma
KC PrideFest Parade
Pride Bar Crawl
Begins at John’s Big Deck
The 5th annual Pride Crawl is sponsored by Crawl With US. Check-in is at 4 p.m. at John’s Big Deck, where participants will receive vouchers for free drinks, shots, food, limited souvenir cups, and more. Venue stops include Double Tap KC, Grinder’s Pizza, KC Wineworks, Lifted Spirits Distillery, Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen, and Up-Down KC. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ people.
KCCI’s Queer & Bazaar
Kansas City Public Library North East Branch
Pride in the Park
Sar Ko Par Trails, Lenexa, KS
4th OF JULY – INDEPENDENCE DAY
Osawatomie’s Lights on the Lake
Greenwood Freedom Fest
Legacy Blast 2022
Lee’s Summit, MO
1860s Independence Day Celebration
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Olathe, KS
Independence Day Celebration and Parade
Flags for Freedom
Stars and Stripes Picnic
National WWI Museum and Memorial KCMO
Liberty 4th Fest
Capitol Federal Sports Complex of Liberty Liberty, MO
Old Fashioned July 3rd Picnic at the Mission
Shawnee Indian Mission Fairway, KS
Lenexa Freedom Run
Community Days Parade
Louisburg Freedom Fest
4th of July Celebration
Platte City, MO
Parkville 4th of July Parade
Beach Fest: Olathe
Parkville 4th of July Celebration
Prairie Village, KS
4th of July Celebration at Worlds of Fun
Red, White & Blue Springs
Blue Springs High School Blue Springs, MO
Independence Day Festival: Gardner
Olathe’s July 4th Fireworks
Family Fun Nights – Fireworks: 1860s Style
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm, Olathe, KS
Bon Iver, Starlight
The Creepy Jingles, recordBar
Three years ago, Kansas City garage rockers The Creepy Jingles released its self-titled debut EP with local label High Dive Records. In the intervening time, the band has become a staple of live shows around the region, playing on bills with artists as disparate as rapper Cuee and country singer-songwriter Jenna Rae.
They even opened the release show for Frogpond’s comeback album, TimeThief. Now, The Creepy Jingles have put out its debut full-length album, entitled Take Me at My Wordplay, also on High Dive, and it’s a massive step forward from the band’s first recordings.
Both the band—Nick Robertson on drums, Travis McKenzie on guitar, and Andrew Woody on bass guitar—and frontwoman singer-songwriter Jocelyn Olivia Nixon’s music and lyrics sound bigger and more confident.
Candlelight: From Bach to The Beatles, The Gem Theater
CHVRCHES, Uptown Theater
Welcome to Night Vale, Liberty Hall
The desert horror fiction podcast, boasting millions of listeners and 10 years of successful broadcasting, is coming to KC for a live show at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 18 at Liberty Hall. Fear is a reasonable response to life, but not a reasonable response to waiting until the last minute to buy tickets.
Fitz & the Tantrums / St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Grinder’s KC
Third Eye Blind / Taking Back Sunday, Starlight Theater
All of July
Alice in Wonderland, The Coterie
Bright Eyes, Uptown Theater
Chris Isaak / Lyle Lovett, Starlight Theater
Machine Gun Kelly / Avril Lavigne, T-Mobile Center
Mandy Moore, Uptown Theater
Drive-By Truckers, Knuckleheads
Def Leppard / Mötley Crüe / Poison / Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Kauffman
Sheryl Crow, Grinder’s
Josh Groban, Starlight Theater
Andrew Dice Clay, The Comedy Club of Kansas City
Anthrax / Black Label Society / Hatebreed, Arvest at Midland
Breakaway Festival, Azura Amphitheater
Father John Misty / Suki Waterhouse, Arvest at Midland
Murder By Death / Amigo the Devil, Lemonade Park
Murder By Death and Amigo The Devil are coming to Lemonade Park Aug. 9 for an evening of music that will shake your soul and push you through the rest of the week. On one hand there’s the former—a sextet of musicians dedicated to earth-moving rock and Americana that’s carried on the back of low vocals.
Murder By Death postures itself as a band for people who like “eerie, old things,” but that has never stopped it from attempting to push its preferred genres forward.
Then there’s Amigo The Devil, a project that has metal and country holding hands in a way that perfectly complements Murder By Death’s atmosphere. The artist—driven solely by the twisted mind of Danny Kiranos—brings tantalizing tunes that often border on downright spooky, but they remain as foot-tappers all the same.
Tickets start at $32. The “doors” open at 7 p.m., with the show set to follow 30 minutes later at 7:30 p.m.
Sleigh Bells, The Truman
Ron Funches, The Comedy Club of Kansas City
From live-action appearances in shows like A.P. Bio and Black-ish to lending his voice talents in Bob’s Burgers and Adventure Time, Ron Funches has built a comedic career strong enough to make his upcoming weekend at The Comedy Club of Kansas City a must-see.
His stand-up performance is scheduled to keep things light with shows starting Aug. 11 and ending Aug. 13. Funches offers more than a pretty face (and voice), though. With writing credits on The Eric Andre Show and Nick Kroll’s Kroll Show, Funches’ comedic talents have been more than proven.
Thursday tickets start at $18, with Friday and Saturday tickets starting at $22 and $25, respectively. Each night has shows at 7 p.m., while Friday and Saturday also feature shows at 9:30 p.m.
Cabaret, Music Theater Heritage
Incubus / Sublime with Rome / The Aquadolls, Azura Amphitheater
Alice In Chains / Breaking Benjamin / Bush, Azura Amphitheater
Alicia Keys, Starlight Theater
Jack White, Starlight Theater
IDLES, The Truman
“Weird Al” Yankovic, Muriel Kauffman Theatre
Roger Waters, T-Mobile Center
Toni Stone, Unicorn Theatre
Kansas City Symphony performs Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Kauffman Center
Twenty One Pilots, T-Mobile Center
Wet Leg, The Truman
Soft-spoken indie rock duo Wet Leg is hopping across the pond to pay a visit to The Truman September 9. If you’re unfamiliar with Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers’ off-kilter act of fun jams, it might be because their first single, the muffin-buttering “Chaise Longue,” is just barely a year old.
A full-on, 12-track, self-titled album eventually launched in April of this year, revealing the group’s audacity to the world. Every song is its own peek into the minds of two England artists bonded together by the very friendship that graces the record’s cover.
Later this year, Kansas City has a chance to join in on Wet Leg’s introduction to the world. Tickets start at $22 if bought beforehand but cost at least $25 the day of the show. The doors open at 7 p.m., with Wet Leg set to take the stage at 8 p.m.
The National, Grinder’s KC
Next of Kin, Screenland Armour Theatre
Starship Troopers, Screenland Armour Theatre
Memoria, Screenland Armour Theatre
Crimes of the Future, Screenland Armour Theatre
Pink Flamingos 4K 50th Anniversary, Screenland Armour Theatre
You I Knew Yesterday, Stray Cat Film Center
David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, Screenland Armour Theatre
Ms. Marvel, Disney+
Jurassic World Dominion, Theatrical
Poltergeist 40th Anniversary, Screenland Armour Theatre
Neon Demon, Screenland Armour Theatre
After Blue: Dirty Paradise, Stray Cat Film Center
Daisies, Stray Cat Film Center
Bargain Bin Film School’s relative claim to fame is that it’s the only non-accredited film school in the Greater Kansas City area and it is led by someone who has taken a singular film class. What better way to explore the absurdist Daisies than alongside a class of amateur film students? The showing is at 7 p.m. June 15 and proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test within the past 48 hours is required.
Father of the Bride, HBO Max
The Lost Girls, Theatrical
Official Competition, Theatrical
Brian and Charles, Theatrical
Polyester, Stray Cat Film Center
Tampopo, Stray Cat Film Center
G.I. Joe: The Movie 35th Anniversary, Regal Southwind
Menudo: Forever Young, HBO Max
The Black Phone, Theatrical
Marcel the Shell with the Shoes On, Theatrical
All right hound dogs, throw on your blue suede shoes, and mentally prepare for burning love. In this upcoming biopic, the King will finally make his return to Hollywood and our ear canals.
Also making his return is Baz Luhrmann, director of The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge! Actors Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, are sure to garner even more attention for the film as if the title Elvis wasn’t enough. Covering Elvis’ rise to fame, the film will hit theatres on June 24.
Minions: The Rise of Gru, Theatrical
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between, Netflix
Thor: Love and Thunder, Theatrical
The Sea Beast, Netflix
Jordan Peele is up to his directing mastery once again with the upcoming release of Nope. Better known for cinematic greats like Get Out and Us, Peele has yet to disappoint theatres. On July 22, viewers will be thrown into a mix of sinister cinematography, as the movie follows the caretakers of a house and their devious discoveries. For some, the movie might really make you say nope however the director’s fans are already screaming hell yeah.
The Gray Man, Netflix
House Party, HBO Max
DC League of Super-Pets, Theatrical
Bullet Train, Theatrical
Secret Headquarters, Theatrical
Day Shift, Netflix
Me Time, Netflix
ARTS & EXHIBITS
Buttonwood Art Space
“Rhythm and Reveal,” July 1-Sept. 22
MAYA: The Exhibition, Opening July 13
Union Station hosts MAYA: The Exhibition. Opening July 13, the collection highlights the innovations and legacy of the ancient civilization. Starting daily at 10 a.m., visitors are free to immerse themselves in the artifacts and their history, well at least until 5 p.m. While boasting over 300 items, almost any object is more than likely to pique interest. Adult tickets start at $19.50, while children’s are $14.50, and group admission ticket prices can be found on Union Station’s website.
Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium: June
Magic Tree House: Space Mission
Seasonal Star Tours
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
The Regional, June 3-Sept. 11
A New World—Women to Watch 2024, June 24-Oct. 16
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Signs: Photographs by Jim Downs, May 7-Oct. 9
Kansas City Arts Coalition
Carolina Cuevas, July 8-29
Sumer Brooks, July 8-29
Adam Crowley, Aug. 5-26
Elizabeth Moore, Aug. 5-26
Pre-College ArtLab (PCAL), July 17-29 (for high school students)
Educators ArtLab (EAL), July 10-15 (for art educators)
Johnson County Museum
Redlined Exhibit, now until Jan. 7, 2023
The Johnson County Museum’s latest special exhibition, Redlined, offers an in-depth analysis of a 90 year-old racist practice and how it still affects Kansas Citians today. Johnson County Museum Director and Historian Mary McMurray says Redlined’s message is crucial for those who hope to have a better grasp on the history that surrounds us.
“Our dream for the museum is to spark an interest in any part of our history and leave people inspired to want to learn more,” McMurray says.
Redlined is available to experience until Jan. 7, 2023. Adult tickets start at $6. The Johnson County Museum will also soon host several “free days,” where anyone is welcome to visit at no cost. The currently scheduled 2022 free days are June 11, Sept. 17, and Nov. 23.
Kansas City Public Library
Evicted, May 7-July 17
‘Nearest by Air to Everywhere’: A Tour of Kansas City’s Aviation History, June 22-June 1 2023
Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit
(now until Sept. 5), Lighthouse ArtSpace
Featuring an artist who has become so beloved he’s now considered “mainstream,” the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit uses colored lights and a swelling soundtrack to walk viewers through some of the artist’s most impressive paintings during its approximately 35-minute runtime.
Hospital Hill Run, Hospital Hill
Will You Walk With Me, WWI Memorial
This is a 5K marathon from Caregivers on the Homefront, and it has one primary goal: raise awareness of veteran and first responder suicide. The fourth annual walk takes place June 18 both in person at the WWI Memorial and virtually, with those who sign up receiving a race t-shirt, race bib, and medal.
Free HIV & Hep C Testing,
Kansas City Center for Inclusion
WIN for KC Try-athalon, Sailboat Cove
Spencer C. Duncan 5K benefiting The Battle Within, New Century Airport
Cowboy Up Triathlon,
Smithville Lake, MO
Exploring Roots Summer Adventure Challenge, Heartland Conversation
FOOD & DRINK
Kansas City BrunchFest, Berkley Riverfront
Everbody’s Favorite BBQ & Hot Sauce Festival, E. H. Riverfront Park
The Flavor of Lee’s Summit, Crestview Dairy
KC Charcuterie Fest, KC Wine Co
Boulevardia, Boulevard Brewing Co.
Still grooving seven years later, with craft beers and delectable food sampling, Boulevardia will celebrate its annual event throughout downtown Kansas City from June 17-18. With over 60 performers, headliners will hit the main stage and consist of singer and songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff, Dashboard Confessional, Jenny Lewis, and Dayglow.
Additionally, a number of local beloved acts like Hembree and Blackstarkids also have prime placements in the daily lineups. And even if you’re not much of a music lover, Boulevardia will feature an array of foods and beverages to enjoy.
With a variety of different packages to choose from, two-day passes begin at $60, and individual day admission starts at $35.
Great Lenexa BBQ Battle, Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park
Kansas City’s Lawn Party 2022, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Hot Dog Festival, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Smoke n Seoul, KC Wine Co
BBQ & Fly-in on the River, Excelsior Springs, MO
Reggae Fest KC: Whine & Vibe After Party, Soiree Steak & Oyster House