Fortress Festival | April 27 & 28 | Will Rogers Memorial Center
This is only its third edition, but Fort Worth’s Fortress Festival has established itself as a cornerstone of North Texas’ music festival circuit. The lineup is more intriguing than ever, with headliners Rae Sremmurd, Tinashe, and Chvrches joining a roster of local and regional talent that includes Bobby Sessions, Cardiac the Ghost, and Medicine Man Revival. And that’s just on Saturday. Sunday brings an eclectic, soulful group of artists like Khruangbin, Tank and the Bangas, Superorganism, The Bright Light Social Hour, Blackillac, and more. With this installment, Fortress looks to have pulled off a neat trick, stepping up a level without leaving behind its “boutique” sensibilities or commitment to local and indie music. The best part? On Sunday, newly minted Grammy winner and Fort Worth native Leon Bridges will give his first major concert in his hometown, capping off two days of festivities with a once-in-a-lifetime kind of show.
Yellow Rose Gala | April 13, 6 p.m. | Renaissance Dallas Hotel
After the passing of Dee Wynne, the Yellow Rose Gala Foundation’s founder, in 2014, her children reestablished this beloved black-tie event to honor her memory and continue the family’s legacy of supporting multiple sclerosis research in partnership with the National MS Society.
Soluna International Music & Arts Festival | April 4-28 | Various locations
The fifth annual Soluna Festival spans most of April and features performances by renowned artists like Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard, improvisational musician and visual artist Lonnie Holley, and the debut of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s new music director designate, Fabio Luisi.
Art Ball | April 27, 6 p.m. | Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art’s annual fundraising gala is one of the priciest soirées in town, but it’s also one of the swankiest (Anne Hathaway went once). This year, the theme of Form + Function is inspired by craftsmanship in the museum’s robust collection.
John Cena | April 25, 7:30 p.m. | Winspear Opera House
He may be an unexpected choice for the AT&T Performing Arts Center and KERA’s #hearhere series, but if anyone is qualified to be a motivational speaker, it’s John Cena. The 16-time world champion wrestler, actor, producer, and philanthropist certainly has an interesting story to tell.
Teatro en Fuga: A Festival of New Works | April 12-28 | Latino Cultural Center
This unique Latinx theater festival allows the audience to peek inside the creative process of Dallas’ Cara Mía Theatre Co., as it features an array of works in progress by members of the company’s resident ensemble. They will be staged in full in future seasons.
Chelsea Handler | April 18, 8 p.m. | Majestic Theatre
Hot off releasing her first memoir, Life Will Be the Death of Me, Handler is on a “sit-down” comedy tour. The outspoken and often outrageous actress, writer, and TV personality chronicles a year of self-discovery in the new book.
Dallas Art Fair | April 11-14 | Fashion Industry Gallery
For a few days each April, the Dallas Arts District seems to multiply in size with the arrival of dozens of international and national galleries exhibiting for the Dallas Art Fair. If you’re not in the market, it’s still worth visiting just for window-shopping and people-watching.
Beach Fossils | April 26, 8 p.m. | Gas Monkey Live!
There are few bands who sound exactly like their name and somehow Beach Fossils is definitely one of them. Imagine peppy ’60s surf tunes mixed with strung-out chillwave to create something you’d hear in the dressing room of Urban Outfitters. It’s easy listening.
Trevor Noah | April 19 & 20 | The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Noah—Africa’s most successful comedian, bestselling author of Born a Crime, and host of The Daily Show—is touring North American arenas for the first time. He’ll be serving up his signature witty political and social commentary on what he has dubbed the Loud & Clear Tour.
Turtle Creek Tour of Homes | April 7, 1 p.m. | 3811 Turtle Creek Blvd.
The Turtle Creek Association’s 18th annual home tour will let you step into four of the neighborhood’s most beautiful abodes to explore their interior design, art collections, and architectural details. Proceeds go toward maintaining the Turtle Creek Corridor.
Smino | April 25, 7:30 p.m. | Trees
St. Louis rapper Smino straddles the line between hip-hop and R&B with Southern finesse. He’s in the same realm as artists like Sango, Saba, and GoldLink. SZA even brought him on tour after hearing his debut album in 2017. Now he’s headlining on his own with Atlanta rap duo EarthGang.
Homegrown Music and Arts Festival | April 13, 11:30 a.m. | Main Street Garden Park
Homegrown is revisiting its greatest hits this spring as it celebrates 10 years as Dallas’ premier locally (or regionally, at least) focused music festival. The Toadies co-headline the concert, along with a special reunion of Tripping Daisy. Denton’s Seryn also will reunite and appear with returnees like Texas Piano Man Robert Ellis and Gulf Coast soul band The Suffers.
Eric Church | April 12 & 13, 8 p.m. | American Airlines Center
Even if you’re an anything-but-country kind of music fan, it’s hard not to love Eric Church. He’s been putting out consistently solid music for a decade and a half, ranging from sentimental ballads like “Springsteen” to rowdy hits like 2018’s “Desperate Man.” His Double Down tour will cover it all.
Deep Ellum Arts Festival | April 5-7 | 2900-3400 Main Street
Now in its 25th year, the Deep Ellum Arts Festival has grown from a humble block party to one of the neighborhood’s biggest blowouts. More than 100 musical acts, 200 visual artists, and 30 restaurants bring their A-game to the weekendlong festival.
DMX–20 Year Anniversary Tour | April 15, 8:30 p.m. | House of Blues
Two decades after arriving on the scene with the release of It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, and after various brushes with the law, DMX has maintained his status as an icon of hard-core rap. He’s celebrating the anniversary by touring ahead of the release of a long-awaited eighth album, which is rumored to feature Dr. Dre and Kanye West.
Maren Morris | April 19, 8 p.m. | The Bomb Factory
With Morris’ quick rise to stardom following the release of her debut album Hero, some might say that the country-pop star came out of nowhere. Arlington is more accurate. She is touring in support of her second album, Girl, along with another native Texan, singer RaeLynn (born in Baytown).
Hamilton | April 2 – May 5 | Music Hall at Fair Park
The biggest Broadway hit of the decade is coming to Dallas Summer Musicals at Fair Park, and securing tickets may be a challenge. Luckily, the beloved musical—a hip-hop retelling of the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton—is in town for more than a month.
Klyde Warren Park Food Truck Rally | April 13, noon-8 p.m.
Downtown Dallas’ favorite park is having its second annual Food Truck Rally, featuring pop-up cuisine from 25 local trucks and carts. The daylong party (free to attend) will also offer live music, family-friendly activities, and lawn games.
AWARE Affair | April 5, 6:30 p.m. | Sixty Five Hundred
Dance, dine, and get in a bidding war for a good cause. AWARE Affair 2019: Blooms of Hope is the biggest event for the organization, which helps fund nonprofits in Dallas that provide support to those living with Alzheimer’s disease.