Philadelphia Film Festival
PHILADELPHIA April 3-15
This may not be the first city that springs to mind when thinking about film, or the second, or, let's face it, even the 10th, but Philadelphia's annual film fest screens 300 movies from 50 countries and premieres new works from the United States, France, and Italy. Past celebrity guests have included Steve Buscemi, Susan Sarandon, and, um, Patrick Swayze. The program includes documentaries, animation, independents, and Muslim cinema. Fortunately this year's gala appears to be Swayze-free. Schedules and tickets will be released on the Philadelphia Film Society website later this month.
Tempe Music Fest
TEMPE, Ariz. March 28-29
This all-ages event has yet to release its full schedule, but headliners for the spring al fresco gathering are My Chemical Romance on March 28 and Fergie on March 29. For families that may not be interested in listening to Fergie wax poetic on her lovely lady lumps, the festival also features a Lil' Rockers kids area. Although would a little rocker really refer to herself as "Lil' "? The kids area allows tykes to pretend they're pop stars while jamming on small-scale instruments up on stage. And for parents who need an adult beverage after all that noise, there are bars at the lakeside festival. A two-day pass is $65, tickets for Friday $35, Saturday $45.
Tempe Beach Park, 80 West Rio Salado Parkway, tempemusicfesti val.com, 480-663-0700.
LOS ANGELES April 17-19
It could be the nerdiest premise ever concocted for holding a musical gathering. Individuals hack open electronic toys, fiddle with circuit boards, and create musical instruments out of Furbies, ancient talking toys from the 1970s, or cheap children's keyboards. It's called bending, as in circuit bending, and the annual Bent Festival features folks with plenty of time on their hands to pass on their bending skills to others with lots of time on their hands. After creating new instruments, the evenings are given over to concerts that feature music extracted from the DIY electronics.
1 World Way, Los Angeles, bentfestival.org.
MAYRHOFEN, Austria March 31-April 6
The end of the ski season finds resorts throwing outrageous parties to lure skiers out for one more weekend on the slopes. Snowbombing, which takes place when the Mayrhofen resort is still in peak form, features live music from British new wave ska pioneers Madness and rockers Dirty Pretty Things. More than 100 DJs provide the soundtrack for parties all over the mountain, including a street party and, of course, a snowboarding party. Accommodation starts at $429 per night.
Le Printemps de Bourges
BOURGES, France April 15-20
This town south of Paris in central France plays host to an eclectic music festival with a mix of international acts (the Hives, Babyshambles, Gogol Bordello) and top French artists (Christophe Willem, Cali). The highlight of the week is a set from Thomas Dutronc, son of singers Jacques Dutronc and Françoise Hardy (so practically a musical prince) on April 17. Tickets for concerts are sold individually and range from $34 to $50.
Events are sometimes canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; call or check online to confirm. Christopher Muther can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.