Welcome to the dog days of summer. It’s hot, most of your colleagues are on vacation and you’re stuck wondering what to do with August. Have your best August. What follows are 31+ recommendations to have the best possible August. Our #1 pick is our August 9 party at the brand new International Spy Museum but we’re giving you more than one option because that’s the nice thing to do.
Phillips After 5 events are a great excuse to kick it in one of our favorite museums in the city, while sipping on good drinks and snacking on good food. This months event is Night Market themed, so you can expect a variety of street food options including pupusas, banh mis, tacos and more. After your done eating and drinking and wallowing in all of the amazing art, make your way to the dance floor and spend the rest of your night getting down to DJ Muath’s slick beats. It’s the chill art party that never disappoints. -Kaylee Dugan
Jia Tolentino is a total wizard when it comes to cultural commentary, and we are not worthy of her words! I am beyond stoked for this collection of essays to hit shelves, and for my feels to inevitably spill out as soon as that spine is cracked. -Megan Burns
Obreht’s Balkan set The Tiger’s Wife was a novel in the purest form of literary pleasure: a transportative, gut wrenching, visceral journey through uncertain times. Now, she turns from war torn Yugoslavia to America’s old west, with a tale that involves clairvoyant pioneers, mixing the history and mythology for the one guaranteed prestige read of the summer. Having a chance to see her speak about it should be pretty unmissable. -Svetlana Legetic
We know you love reading. So, aren’t we lucky that our D.C. is the home of The Library of Congress, the largest library in the world and that this year it is hosting its 19th National Book Festival at the Convention Center. It is one of our favorite events of every year, basically the Olympics of reading. The guests look great: from the bold named heroes: Ruth Bader Ginsburg! José Andrés! Barbara Kingsolver! James Ellroy! Joyce Carol Oates!) to more recent luminaries (Sigrid Nunez! Susan Choi! R.O. Kwon! Rebecca Makkai!). It is also FREE so you have no excuse to miss it. -Svetlana Legetic
It has been four whole years since DC Brau and the Pietasters united for a Braustomp, but this weekend the brewery and ska band get back on track with the third iteration of the fabled music festival. The nine-hour outdoor party will feature live performances from the hometown heroes in addition to eight other bands and three DJs, and you can attend for the super reasonable cost of $30.
The beer is on you, but oh what choices you’ll have. On Friday, DC Brau will be releasing Stand & Deliver, its latest collaboration with Jameson, a 11% “barleywine-inspired” imperial IPA aged in whiskey barrels. (Pretty sure a “barleywine-inspired” imperial IPA is just hoppy barelywine, but I will keep an open mind.) On the more sessionable side, the brewery dropped a Cherry Lime Rickey gose last month. And, of course, there’s the relatively new flagship IPA Joint Resolution, which I wrote about (tangentially) a month ago. -Phil Runco
You’ve spent most of the summer drinking outside (except for that one week where the entire East Coast became hell on Earth). Now make sure that what you do so well also does good, and swing by The Midlands on August 7. A percentage of drink sales will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night. You can read more about it here. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez
Richmond, Virginia is about 100 miles from D.C. On a good day, you can get there in less than two hours.
So, if you really wanted cans from The Veil, you could drive down pretty much any day of the week to get them. You probably won’t even have to wait in line. After all, the region’s premier hype monster produces a lot of beer.
But, look, you’re lazy. You want The Veil to come to you. And I can respect that. Luckily, it appears The Veil is willing to send a boatload of beer to DC every once in a while (in addition to the kegs it sends to Neighborhood Restaurant Group on the reg).
In March, the brewery hosted a pop-up bar at Dock 5 (that relatively bare space atop Union Market) and it sent four-packs to The Bruery Store essentially across the parking lot. According to print god Fritz Hahn, there was copious beer and not much in the way of lines at the pop-up bar.
On August 10, they’ll look to rekindle that magic by doing the same thing at each space. That morning, head to The Bruery to score some 16oz haze and sorta literally juice bombs. The Veil promises “even more cans than last time,” but it’s too early to enumerate on what exactly those will be. (There will definitely be a line for that part.)
Or swing by Dock 5 for a few full pours. -Phil Runco
For the past six years, August has reliably brought D.C. residents two presents: suffocating humidity and a 3 Stars’ anniversary party.
The agony and the ecstasy.
And while I can’t say for sure whether this August will be just as sticky (jk, it will probably be worse), I can report another 3 Stars anniversary party is all-systems-go.
This year’s birthday fete will go down on Sunday, August 11. You should know what to expect at this point: new beers, commemorative glassware, DJs, live music, local vendors slinging their #ultrafresh wares, and a mild Monday hangover.
The imbibable headliners are two new collabs with Burnish Beer Co., the forthcoming project of RAR and Evolution vet Randy Mills. One is a 8.5% double IPA called …And Hazy For All, the other is an as-yet-untitled sweet stout. (Mills and 3 Stars are old friends with a history of joint projects, like RAR’s DoCo District and 3 Stars’ Funky Boss. The name is a callback to one of Mills’ favorite 3 Stars’ beers, Harvester of Sorrow, another Metallica reference.)
In addition to those brews, 3 Stars will once again be releasing cans of its anniversary double IPA, the Mosaic showcase Technicolor Life. (I wrote about the beer in 2017.) Oh, and there will be 23 other taps pouring the brewery’s beer, plus bottle pours of barrel-aged rarities.
Tickets run $15 for normies and $50 for the VIP Jackpot Experience. The latter option gets you early access to the brewery, a four-pack of …And Hazy for All, a handful of drink tickets, exclusive bottle pours, and a competitive slapping duel with co-founder Dave Coleman. Everyone gets to enjoy a performance from School of Rock and several DJs.
“People have essentially two weeks to decide whether or not they want to miss the best party of the year,” Coleman told me last week. “Probably 98% of the market will never see these beers.” -Phil Runco
Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling on Netflix August 9
In the age of endless reboots, here is one I can actually get behind! The classic Nick cartoon special is set to hit Netflix on August 9th, and I can’t wait to see if it lives up to how good the show was in its heyday; 90s Nickelodeon was truly a golden era that has (in my opinion) yet to be matched. I love that the vibe (from the trailer, anyway) appears relatively unchanged, but even if this particular riff ends up being a flop, I think it’ll be a worthwhile watch for the nostalgic value alone. -Megan Burns
Dora and the Lost City of Gold in theaters August 9
I took a five-year-old and a seven-year-old to see The Secret Life of Pets 2 at the theater a few weeks ago, and the only good parts were when 1. a lamb named Cotton with questionable cognitive abilities got stuck in a tree, and 2. the trailer for Dora and the Lost City of Gold came on before the movie started. I’m too old to have watched the Nick Jr. program as a kid, but that doesn’t make Dora the Explorer any less culturally relevant to me, and I think this Dora-in-high-school vibe could be a genuinely entertaining spin on the cartoon. -Megan Burns
I’m a person who just learned what Swiss National Day means! It’s a celebration of booze and cheese and more booze and more cheese! If you don’t know a Swiss person and don’t have an in at the embassy, Stable is hosting a celebration that includes all of the traditional elements (which are, again, booze and cheese.) Swing by to stuff your face with raclette, drink all of the Swiss cocktails and dance to some Swiss tunes. -Kaylee Dugan
The newest addition to our Outdoor Drinking Guide may be the best. The Kennedy Center, not exactly a new space, is about to open the massive new buildings, but that’s not what we’re writing about. Their summer happy hour rooftop series is what’s going to make this month better. Well curated music, reasonably priced local beer and some of the best views anywhere in the District make this series an August must. -Brandon Wetherbee
I last saw Tame Impala braving the elements at Merriweather Post Pavilion in June 2016, riding out a torrential downpour to play one of the most impressive live sets I’ve ever witnessed, period. In the intervening years, principal songwriter and frontman Kevin Parker has risen to the top of the music world, transcending boundaries of genre to move beyond psychedelic rock and becoming a key collaborator and inspiration to Kanye West, Travis Scott, and Rihanna. The Australian multi-instrumentalist continues to surprise us, and there are great expectations for the next album, the follow up to 2015’s critically acclaimed Currents.
Tame Impala have garnered a reputation as an excellent festival headliner, and regularly play to crowds of over 40,000 – which makes this particular stretch of shows in New York and D.C. so special. The chance to see this band in its full glory in a relatively small space – the Anthem is only 6,000 – is one you won’t want to miss.
Last time I saw 21 Savage was at this summer’s Roots Picnic in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, the only thing I remember from that concert was a gun-scare invoked human stampede near the end of the set that caused unadulterated mayhem. But I guess that’s America in 2019 (yay second amendment). If you had asked me (or really anyone) if I thought 21 Savage would have the career he has now after the release of 2016 Savage Mode, I’d confidently say no. Between that album and his most recent album, 2018’s i am > i was, 21’s improvement as a lyricist breaking out of the niche of gore hip-hop has been amazing to witness. What once was a rapper who had seemingly reached his potential is now a rapper with no restrictions whatsoever. -Ruben Gzirian
Marika Hackman Any Human Friend available August 9
Marika Hackman’s songwriting evolution has been (to me, anyway) a fascinating one, and I’m super pumped for this latest chapter in Any Human Friend. I’ve had “I’m Not Where You Are” on heavy rotation since I first heard it a few months ago, and there is little doubt in my mind that I’ll be just as enthralled with the rest of the track list. LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN! – Megan Burns
half•alive eponymous debut album available August 9
half•alive’s first breakthrough was with their music video for their single, still feel. Their robotic dancing fits well with the electropop genre of the band, but the warm and uplifting tones of what would otherwise be a dark song and story are what singles out the band. -Lyna Bentahar
If you took me to a Jonas Brothers concert when I was 10-years-old and threw me on the stage, I would still be nowhere near as excited as I am for their Happiness Begins tour right now. There’s nothing that could’ve prepared me for their stellar comeback this year, after a series of solo careers and getting married one by one. They grew up, escaped the clutches of Disney child stardom and became artists in their own right. But if they sang “Year 3000” or “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” I wouldn’t complain. -Lyna Bentahar
Shura forevher available August 16th
I don’t think there’s a single Shura track that I’ve ever been less than obsessed with. Just so many indie pop gems! (I also really appreciate the blurring of gender/sexuality lines within the track narratives, as I’m sure many other fans do.) Feeling muy, muy excited to dance to all 11 bops in two weeks! -Megan Burns
Sleater-Kinney The Center Won’t Hold available August 16
There are a lot of shitty things about existing as a human at this exact moment of the time space continuum, but if there’s something I can genuinely get behind re: silver linings, it is that Sleater-Kinney will be putting out this new record. THANK FUCK FOR SOMETHING POSITIVE. If there were ever a more perfect outfit to soundtrack the chaos, it is most certainly this one, and I am HERE FOR IT. -Megan Burns
Taylor Swift Lover available August 23
I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t been vibing AT ALL with this latest body of work from Taylor Swift, but I am absolutely pumped for the record to come out (pun intended) JUST so I can see all the queer women dust off their detective hats and start cranking out sexuality-based conspiracy theories. If you have not witnessed what I have coined “Swifty Sleuthing” for yourself, the sheer grasping at straws is pure poetry, and it is a glorious if slightly unsettling sight to behold. Highly recommended. -Megan Burns
I’m really tired of writing the same old adage about Shy Glizzy; there are only so many words in the English language that can spell out “his time is coming, just wait.” Shy Glizzy’s time is now and it’s been now for anybody with their finger on the pulse of hip-hop in 2019. Most people point to Goldlink’s career-defining single “Crew” as Glizzy’s most notable piece of work, but that’s simply not true. In fact, if you listen (and you should) to his 2019 album Covered N Blood you’ll hear a rapper operating at a skill level most rappers (let alone D.C. rappers) can’t imagine. Few people in the industry do what he does with wordplay, emotion, and vocal fluctuation. Few people deserve your attention as much as Shy Glizzy. -Ruben Gzirian
Amason Galaxy I, out in August (exact date TBA)
Amason’s music makes my heart skip major beats. It’s been a hot minute since the Swedish band put out Sky City in 2015, but damn did that record ever get me through a rough time! I’m in a much less stressful place in my life at the moment, but new tracks are always welcome, and I will 100% be grabbing a copy of Galaxy I (the second half, Galaxy II, will be out in 2020) on release day. -Megan Burns
Our next party happens to be at the brand new International Spy Museum, which gives you a chance to enjoy all of the things that make BYT parties great and a chance to check out somewhere that should be on your must see list. Open bar, real life spies, real life drag queens, real fake IDs and more…
US Open 2019 starts August 26
Few things (especially summertime things) bring me more joy than sipping on a Honey Deuce at Flushing Meadows whilst watching some of my favorite athletes play one of my favorite sports. And while not everyone will be able to take the time (or scrape together the funds) to scope the US Open tennis action IRL, there will always be the beauty of television (presumably near air conditioning) to fall back on. (Thank god for that.) -Megan Burns
Worst Cooks in America season 17 begins August 4
Season 17 of one of my favorite Food Network shows, Worst Cooks in America, sees the return of co-host/chef coach Bobby Flay. Flay’s well-documented love of competition (see: the endless variations on the Beat Bobby Flay-type shows that have aired on Food Network over the last two decades) and Ann Burrell’s steady presence and kindhearted approach to guiding godawful cooks is sure to make this another enjoyable season. Sometimes you just want to watch people accidentally burn stuff and misuse kitchen tools, you know? -Matt Byrne
Listen to our recent BYT Radio episode about shows like Worst Cooks in America: Indifference TV.
Beverly Hills 90210 returns to Fox August 7
The sun. The beach. The hanging out at a diner inexplicably turned into a nightclub. The Shannen Doherty of it all. Beverly Hills 90210 is back baby but it’s not quite what it seems. The new show is taking a very meta approach by reuniting the cast as….themselves! At a 30th anniversary fan convention in Vegas the original cast decides to do a reboot but old rivalries are brought back to the surface. Same fights! Same drama! No Peach Pit? Only one way to find out. Also, RIP Luke Perry. Also, wanna catch up on the first 10 years? The original show is streaming on Hulu but due to music licensing issues you’ll have to use Wikipedia to fill in a few blanks. I know this because 3 years ago I binged the entire series. -Jenn Tisdale
Manson: The Women premieres on Oxygen August 10
We’ve finally reached August and the impending 50th anniversary of the Manson Murders. But what of the women? Won’t someone think of the women? Oxygen did. On August 10 tune into Oxygen for Manson: The Women featuring Dianne Lake (whose book Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson is one of my fave on the subject), Sandra Good, Catherine Share and Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme who doubled down on true crime infamy when she attempted to assassinate Gerald Ford. Now that Manson is dead it’s finally time to hear from his followers. The traditional gift for a 50th anniversary is gold and I’m sure we’re gonna get more than our fair share from this show. -Jenn Tisdale
Lodge 49 season 2 on AMC begins August 12
Look I get that Peak TV is super overwhelming and all that, but you seriously should be watching Lodge 49. A shaggy dog story full of conspiracy theories and opaque mysteries that’s halfway between Inherent Vice and The Big Lebowski with a cast stacked with character actors and a perfectly meandering hangout vibe. What’s not to love?? -Matt Byrne
The Terror season 2 begins on AMC August 12
The best-kept secret of last year’s top-tier television was without question AMC’s stunning, better-than-the-book adaptation of The Terror. Bleak, gorgeous, and bone-chilling, this tale of an Arctic monster stalking two doomed 19th century Royal Navy ships searching for the Northwest Passage was haunting in every sense — I have the broken music box theme song playing in my head just from writing this. But, much like with The Handmaid’s Tale, season 1 burned through the novel’s story entirely, so this series is going anthology-style. Season 2 takes place largely in a Japanese internment camp (timely!), and the trailer keeps its shape-shifting creature cards close to its chest (foreboding!), while still whetting the appetite of both newcomers and veterans (fucking scary!). -Tristan Lejeune
Mindhunter season 2 available on Netflix August 16
The best live action true crime show of all time (I said it), based on our Death Becomes Us alum’s John Douglas’ book of the same name FINALLY returns for season 2. Teaser trailer just dropped (with Manson front and center) and we truly can’t wait to power through all 9 episodes in one weekend. -Svetlana Legetic
Good Eats returns to Food Network August 25
I’m thrilled to see that Alton Brown’s massively influential cooking tutorial series Good Eats is back, after nearly a decade off screen. Brown tried on a few different personas in the interim: the Bond villainesque host of Cutthroat Kitchen, the motorcycle riding cool uncle on Feasting on Asphalt, but few were more compelling (or authentic feeling) than the excitable science teacher he epitomized during the original run of Good Eats. Welcome back, Alton!!!!! -Matt Byrne
Designing Women available on Hulu August 26
Television went through this thrilling all lady older women ensemble cast phase in the 80’s, first with The Golden Girls and then with Designing Women. I love both shows. Deadline recently announced that Hulu (probably using some of that new Disney cash) acquired Designing Women and will launch the entire series on August 26, Women’s Equality Day. So grab some sweet tea and fluff up your best throw pillow…the Sugarbakers are coming to town! -Jenn Tisdale
Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance available on Netfix August 30
This looks incredible. Even just from a production standpoint, I already think we’re in for a REAL BIG TREAT with these ten episodes! So beautiful! Prequels ‘n sequels always make me nervous, (especially when, for example, Jim Henson is no longer around), but I have a good feeling about this one. (Feel free to call me out on it if I end up being wrong.) -Megan Burns
I don’t have Broadway money or Broadway friends, so I first watched Dear Evan Hansen from a bootleg online (but you didn’t hear that from me). I ended up having to pause and walk away from the screen every so often because I knew if I kept watching, I would just burst into tears. The show does not pull punches. And now it’s finally in D.C. Dear Evan Hansen is about a lonely teenager who lies about being close with a boy who recently committed suicide so that he can be close with the boy’s family. If you like crying, you’ll like the show. -Lyna Bentahar
If you haven’t seen Midsommar, Ari Aster’s 2019 ode to grief and trauma and white sundresses (unlike Hereditary, his 2018 ode to grief and trauma and Toni Collette), this party won’t sound that exciting. But if you’ve spent two hours and 27 minutes wrapped in the sun drenched, gory, pastel-hued, blood laden world that is Midsommar, you won’t want to miss it. TRADE’s Night of 1000 May Queens promises to be jam packed with rituals, ceremonies and all of the flower crowns you can think of. Lead by the lovely Summer Camp, they’re packing nine days of festival into one night and if you’ve seen the movie, you know exactly what that means. -Kaylee Dugan
The annual gaming event (consoles! arcades! more!) at one of our favorite museums in the world is a perfect chance to revisit some old and test drive some new classics all the while celebrating diversity in gaming and the beautiful, weird world of independent releases. Pair it with a visit to the Levels Unlocked pop-up bar and you are in (video game) heaven. -Svetlana Legetic