From 30+ bands at the Crossroads Music Fest to the return of First Friday, Downtown KC will celebrate the changing of the seasons this week. Roll the highlight reel for what’s happening in Downtown KC this week – Labor Day Monday to Sunday, Sep. 2-8:

Crossroads KC, 417 E. 18th St. This week, featuring The Growlers with BRONCHO at 8 p.m. Wednesday; Elton Dan in a free Friday show beginning at 8 p.m.; and serving as one of six venues for the Crossroads Music Fest on Saturday.

Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear, a mother-and-son folk duo from Independence will headline the Crossroads Music Fest on Saturday at Crossroads KC.

Crossroads Music Fest – The 15th Annual KKFI Crossroads Music Fest, showcasing a wide variety of bands and drumlines from the KC area and beyond, will take center stage on Saturday. Madisen Ward & The Mama Bear and Split Lip Rayfield will headline more than 20 bands performing at six Crossroads’ venues, including CrossroadsKC (2 Stages) from 7 p.m.-midnight; The Brick from 7 p.m.-2 a.m.; The Parlor 7 p.m.-midnight; the all-new 18th Street Union 7 p.m.-1 a.m.; Josey Records noon-5 p.m. (free day party) & 7 p.m.-midnight; and Brewery Imperial noon-5 p.m. (free day party). For complete information, visit

The KC Chalk & Walk Festival returns to the pavement in Crown Center Square this weekend.

Crown Center, 2405 Grand – This week, showcasing the free KC Chalk & Wall Festival from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday in Crown Center Square. The festival celebrates the art of street painting, born in Italy centuries ago and brought to life by artists using pastel chalks as their medium and pavement/brick as their canvas. You are invited to experience the creation of street paintings, interact with artists, enjoy street performers and children’s activities.

First Friday – KC’s harbinger of autumn – is set for this Friday, featuring a cool collection of arts and cultural experiences throughout Downtown, including:

  • City Market presents Be a Part of the Art, showcasing local artists who will demo their techniques and exhibit their works from 6-9 p.m. in Pavilion 1 in City Market Square.
  • Crossroads Arts District featuring arts organizations, galleries, studios, and a wide variety of local businesses in a celebration of local, regional and national artists and live entertainment from 5-9 p.m. Take a peek at the district’s galleries and studios at
  • 18th & Vine delivers a cultural experience of music, art, food and shopping on First Fridays year ’round. Shop local artists and diverse food trucks from 4-9 p.m. in and around the Museums of 18th & Vine.
  • Film Festival – A free, short film festival is on tap at 7 p.m. Friday in the MTH Theater at Crown Center. The venue opens at 6:30, and the screening begins at 7:30 p.m.
  • POP Social – pop-up party featuring local flavors in the heart of KC every Friday from 5-9 pm! This Friday, POP Social will feature Tom’s Town Distilling Co., live music by A La Mode and yard games in the PNC Plaza, outside of Chipotle in the Power & Light District.
  • Urbana First Friday – Come eat, drink, hear live music, see public art displays and more during this uniquely Kansas City experience beginning at 5 p.m. Friday at in the heart of the Power & Light District, including the Two Light Luxury Apartments.
  • Warehouse Weekends – one of the finest vintage marketplaces in the country – flourishes every First Friday weekend (Friday through Sunday) in the West Bottoms.

Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. – Next up, The SteelDrivers, the innovative, soulful bluegrass band, will light up the Big Town at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, as part of the Americana Series, presented by The Folly and 90.9 The Bridge.

A retrospective on the art of Ralph Steadman runs through Sunday at the Central Library. Approximately 100 of Steadman’s original works are featured.

KC Public Library, 14 W. 10th St. This week, the wild, crazy and popular exhibition, Ralph Steadman: A Retrospective, begins its final week in Downtown. Exclusive to its stay in Kansas City: more than a dozen of Steadman’s images from his coverage of the 1976 Republican Convention in KC, where he worked with former White House counsel and key Watergate figure John Dean for Rolling Stone magazine. Approximately 100 of Steadman’s original works are featured in the exhibition that continues through Sunday at the Central Library.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts1601 Broadway. This week, five blockbuster events are on the docket, including:

Hot Tuna to celebrate 50 years of rockin’ America this week at Knuckleheads.

Knucklehead’s, 2715 Rochester. This week, the hottest honky tonk in KC will be swayin’ to 15 live performances this week, including Unknown Hinson at 8 p.m. Thursday; Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear at 7:30 p.m. Friday in The Gospel Lounge; 50 Years of Hot Tuna Electric at 8:30 p.m. Friday; and Making Movies Carnaval at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Garage.

Power & Light DistrictThis week, the KC Live! Block will feature the Miller Lite Mystery Show will bring a surprise country artist to the KC Live! Stage to perform at 7 p.m. Thursday; the No Other Friday Social to No Other Pub at 5 p.m. Friday; and country sensation Billy Currington will be featured in the Miller Lite Hoedown at 6 p.m. Friday; 

The Backstreet Boys will rock the Sprint Center on Saturday.

Sprint Center, 1407 Grand. This weekJohn Mayer continues his world tour with a Labor Day stop in Downtown KC at 7:30 p.m. Monday; and Backstreet Boys – in the midst of their largest tour in 18 years – will land here at 8 p.m. Saturday.

The Truman, 801 E. Truman Rd. – Next up, Whitney – the idie/alt band out of Chicago – will light up the Big Town next Monday, Sept. 11.

Union Station – 30 W. Pershing Rd. This week, featuring Stonehenge – this remarkable experience has begun its last few weeks in KC. Guests travel back in time – more than 5,000 years –  to discover remarkable stories of the prehistoric people who lived, worked and were buried in the landscape around Stonehenge.  Open daily  through Sept. 29, click here for ticket information.

The Marvelous Marilyn Maye returns home to KC next week for seven cabaret shows at Quality Hill Playhouse.

LIVE THEATER – This week, one new production opens this week, while two more will make their debut next week. A peek behind the curtain reveals…

  • DNR – This world premiere addresses the sensitive subject of DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) with warmth, wit, and bite, DNR explores the complexities of human connection and asks, what does it mean to be alone? What does it mean to be alive? Performances begin at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4 and continue through Sept. 22 at The Living Room.
  • The Marvelous Marilyn Maye returns home next week for a cabaret celebration with Kansas City’s hometown jazz legend! Tickets are now on sale for seven performances – from Sept. 11-15 – only at Quality Hill Playhouse.
  • ‘Master Harold’ …And The Boys will open Wednesday, Sept. 11 on the City Stage at Union Station. Presented by the KC Actors Theatre, the story is a surprising and subtle reflection on how institutional racism and bigotry affects all of those living within it. This production stands to be an classic in its own right. Master Harold will be performed from Sept. 11-29.

LIVE MUSIC is on tap most nights at these Downtown clubs and joints: Blue Room Jazz ClubBlack Dolphin, The Brick, Gem TheaterGreen Lady Lounge, Hush, The Majestic Jazz ClubMutual Musicians FoundationThe Phoenix, Prohibition Hall , throughout the Power & Light District, The Record Bar and The Ship.

AND, UNIQUE TREASURES are plentiful via Downtown museums and attractions, including the Airline History Museum, Downtown Airport; American Jazz Museum, 18th & Vine; Arabia Steamboat Museum, River Market; Black Archives of Mid-America, 18th & Vine; Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, Union Station District; Boulevard Beer Hall, Westside; City Market, River Market; College Basketball Experience, Sprint Center; Garment District Museum, Garment District; Kansas City Public Library, Central Business District; Hallmark Visitors Center, Crown Center; Hy-Vee Arena, West Bottoms; Kansas City Museum, Corinthian Hall; Money Museum, Federal Reserve Bank of KC; National Archives, Union Station District; National WWI Museum and Memorial, Liberty Memorial; Legoland Discovery Center, Crown Center; Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 18th & Vine; Riverfront Heritage Trail, River Market area; Science City, Union Station; Sea Life Aquarium, Crown Center; 21c Museum Hotel, Historic 9th District; TWA Museum, Downtown Airport; and Union Station, Union Station.

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out ArtsKCGo and