You will rarely see a weekend of events in and around Fort Worth that offers more variety than this one. On the docket are two opera-related events, a big gymnastics competition, a classical piano concert, a tattoo festival, a neighborhood celebration, a trio of country concerts, a new local theater production, big doings at the botanic garden, two festivals with music and more, and a big name comedian.
Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, April 13
Fort Worth Opera presents Symposium | RACE. EQUITY. ARTS: Addressing Racial Equity in the Arts
In conjunction with AIDA and on theme due to the company's intentional and authentic casting choices for the production, Fort Worth Opera will present Symposium | RACE.EQUITY. ARTS: Addressing Racial Equity in the Arts, hosted by Fort Worth natives and creative artisans Jessica Fuentes and Johnica Rivers. They will lead a discussion addressing race, equitable art, intentional casting, stage diversity, and racial injustice. The event takes place on Thursday and Saturday at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
2023 NCAA Women’s National Collegiate Gymnastics Championship
The NCAA Women’s National Collegiate Gymnastics Championship is in Fort Worth for the sixth year. The event will will feature the top eight NCAA Women’s Gymnastics teams - Denver, UCLA, LSU, Utah, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Cal, and Florida - and numerous individual competitors as they vie for the title of National Champion. There will be two sessions on Thursday and a final session on Saturday at Dickies Arena.
The Cliburn presents Alim Besisembayev
Alim Beisembayev first caught international attention when he took first prize at the inaugural Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival in 2015, the first Kazakhstan-born pianist to win a Cliburn competition. Since then, the now 24-year-old London-based artist has debuted with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart, and has released his debut album on Warner Classics. He'll play at Kimbell Art Museum.
Friday, April 14
Fort Worth Tattoo Arts Festival
The Fort Worth Tattoo Arts Festival will feature dozens of tattoo artists and tattoo contests, as well as entertainment from Olde City Sideshow Reggie Bügmüncher, Cenobyte Suspension, Verona Fink, James Maltman, and Captain & Maybelle. There will also be special guests like Trocon Talhouk and Charles Whitfield from VH1 and various Ink Master contestants. The festival takes place at Fort Worth Convention Center through Sunday.
Near Southside Inc. presents Friday on the Green
Friday on the Green is a free monthly concert series at Magnolia Green Park presented by Near Southside, Inc. The event features live music, food, and drinks from Near Southside eateries, and the fun and relaxed atmosphere of a big neighborhood picnic. Performers this month include Pablo and the Hemphill 7, Cameron Smith and the Slings, and more.
Fort Worth Opera presents AIDA
First presented by Fort Worth Opera in 1958, and last seen in 1999, Giuseppe Verdi’s grandest opera AIDA will be performed as a concert production with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Set in the Old Kingdom of Egypt, AIDA tells the fateful story of forbidden love between an enslaved Ethiopian princess and an Egyptian military commander. There will be two performances - one Friday and one Sunday - at Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU.
Jo Dee Messina in concert
Like many other country stars, Jo Dee Messina shot off like a rocket at the beginning of her career, scoring hits like "Heads Carolina, Tails California," "Bye Bye," "I'm Alright," and "Stand Beside Me" in just her first three years. But after the release of her third album, her career slowed down, and she's only released two albums of new songs since, most recently 2014's Me. She'll play at Tannahill's Tavern & Music Hall.
Stolen Shakespeare Guild presents Harvey
Elwood P. Dowd insists on including his friend Harvey in all of his sister Veta’s social gatherings. Trouble is, Harvey is an imaginary six-and-a-half-foot-tall rabbit. A mix-up at a sanitarium causes doctors to mistakenly commit her instead of her mild-mannered brother. But the truth will eventually come out. The production runs through April 30 at Arts Fort Worth.
Randy Houser in concert
Mississippi country singer Randy Houser may not be a household name for fans of the genre, but he's had a more than respectable career. He had three top 10 albums on the Billboard Country charts in the early-to-mid-2010s, scoring with hits like "How Country Feels," "Runnin' Outta Moonlight," and "We Went." He'll play at Billy Bob's Texas in support of his 2022 album, Note to Self.
Saturday, April 15
Fort Worth Botanic Garden comings and goings
This weekend will be a busy one at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Opening is "ZimSculpt," which features more than 100 sculptures by several dozen contemporary Zimbabwean artists. As part of the exhibit, running through July 30, onsite sculptors will demonstrate their artistry by carving statues using chisels, hammers, files, and sandpaper. Closing on Sunday after an extra week due to its popularity is "World of Orchids,"an indoor exhibit dedicated to the largest family of flowering plants in the world.
The Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate's 2nd annual Smokedown features a music festival and BBQ competition. Visitors can indulge in some of the best barbecue the city has to offer while listening to performers like Josh Abbott Band, Kevin Fowler, Bri Bagwell, Jacob Stelly, Randy Brown, and Clayton Mullen.
FuelFest will return to Texas Motor Speedway for its second year. Hosted by Cody Walker, brother of the late actor Paul Walker of Fast & Furious fame, FuelFest blends the enthusiast’s passion for the automotive world with live music, drifting with ride alongs, guest pro drivers, VIP access, and art showcases, giving fans the most premier car show, race day, and music festival experiences all at once.
Lewis Black: Off The Rails
Lewis Black's live performances provide a cathartic release of anger and disillusionment for his audience. He is a passionate performer who is a more pissed-off optimist than a mean-spirited curmudgeon. Black is the rare comic who can cause an audience to laugh themselves into incontinence while making compelling points about the absurdity of the world. He'll perform at Bass Performance Hall.
Drake Milligan in concert
Viewers of America's Got Talent are already intimately familiar with country singer Drake Milligan, as he came in third place in his season after being dubbed "the new Elvis of country" by judge Howie Mandel. His audition song, "Sounds Like Something I'd Do," is off his debut album, Dallas/Fort Worth, showing the Arlington native hasn't forgotten where he came from. He'll play at Billy Bob's Texas.