Concerts, Festivals, Plays, Free Events and Other Things to See and Do in June

Columbus Pride, Picnic with the Pops, Columbus Arts Festival, boygenius and more can’t-miss happenings

Columbus Monthly
Ne-Yo will perform With the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Picnic with the Pops series on June 17.

Summer in Central Ohio brings a nearly endless variety of things to see and do. Here are our top picks for some of the best arts, concerts, movies and other entertainment.

But first, here’s a look at the city’s long-running classic movie series.

CAPA Summer Movie Series, June 15-July 16 

For the 54th summer, the CAPA Summer Movie Series will bring a touch of Hollywood glamour to the Ohio Theatre. Countless cinematic classics will be shown during this year’s edition of the series, which, due to being bookended by a pair of Broadway in Columbus productions, will unfold over the course of an abbreviated schedule from June 15 through July 16. 

“We went in and thought, ‘OK, we’ve got five weeks. Let’s try to get a really, really good mix,’ ” says CAPA vice president of programming Rich Corsi, who notes that often the series unfolds all summer long. “Usually, when you have eight weeks, you have opportunities to do stuff here, do stuff there, put a couple of cool things here. We just wanted to make sure we hit all cylinders—different films that people would want to see.” 

Jennifer Lopez stars in “Selena,” part of this year’s CAPA Summer Movie Series.

Within the condensed time frame, however, organizers have produced one of the most eclectic movie series seasons in some time. (Tickets cost $6, or $5 for senior citizens, but 10-pack ticket strips can be purchased through July 2 for $40.) Alongside long-established masterpieces such as Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” and widely beloved audience favorites, including Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” and the musical “Singin’ in the Rain,” will be a number of films reflecting diverse perspectives. The opening selection, “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” was chosen to coincide with the Stonewall Columbus Pride March and Festival. “It’s us just contributing to a great week of celebration and hopefully giving people options,” Corsi says. 

“Selena,” starring Jennifer Lopez as singer Selena Quintanilla Perez, and Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” are also series premieres. “We’re always … trying to attract folks who might not have been to the venue,” Corsi says. 

Other highlights include Fritz Lang’s science-fiction classic “Metropolis,” which will feature live accompaniment by organist Clark Wilson (who will also play prior to and following most other features shown this summer). 

Whether audiences this year are newbies or faithful, year-in and year-out attendees, they are sure to be staggered by the most majestic place to see a movie in Central Ohio. 

“When people come in,” Corsi says of the former Loew’s movie palace built in 1928, ‘you just see the look in their eyes: ‘Oh, this isn’t a movieplex.’”

Peter Tonguette 

Stonewall Columbus Pride March and Festival

More Top Entertainment Picks for June

Facing Feelings: The Art of Raina Telgemeier, May 24–Nov. 5 

Beloved by young readers—though less so by right-wing censors, who often try to ban her book “Drama” because of its LGBTQ+ themes—Telgemeier will be the subject of a career-spanning retrospective at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. The cartoonist will attend an event at the museum on June 17. 

Actors’ Theatre of Columbus, May 25–Sept. 3 

Schiller Park in German Village will play host to drama, comedy and even a bit of swashbuckling adventure when the theatrical troupe presents its annual slate of outdoor performances. On tap this summer are productions of “Robin Hood” (May 25–June 18), “Sense and Sensibility” (June 22–July 16), Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost” (July 20–Aug. 13) and “A Raisin in the Sun” (Aug. 17–Sept. 3). Free, or $20–$25 for reserved seating (options include chairs, blankets and loungers), 

Wine Down Wednesdays, May 31–Sept. 13 

One Wednesday per month starting at 5:30 p.m., the rooftop patio of the Lincoln Theatre will turn into the perfect spot to unwind. Wine and cocktails will be offered during performances by the Bobby Floyd Trio (May 31), Miles Franklin Smith (June 21), Dwight Bailey and the Midwest Modern Jazz Quartet (July 12), Kevin D. Harris (Aug. 16) and Starlit Ways (Sept. 13). $32, 

“To Kill a Mockingbird,” June 6–11 

In this Broadway in Columbus presentation, The Waltons star Richard Thomas will incarnate the immortal literary hero Atticus Finch in playwright Aaron Sorkin’s dramatization of Harper Lee’s classic novel touching on themes of racism, justice and fatherhood. $40–$100, 

Phoebe Bridgers of boygenius, which will perform June 23 at KEMBA Live.

Columbus Arts Festival, June 9–11 

A huge array of art to look at, listen to and (if you wish) take home will be presented in the 61st edition of the annual arts festival held in the riverfront area of Downtown. Many of the 225-plus artists to show or sell pieces hail from Ohio, including photographer Jeff Kuhlman, ceramicist Rebecca Rea and painter Matt Tisdale. Ghost Shirt, Dehd and the Oyo Dance Company will be among those to perform. Free, 

Columbus Summer Wine Festival, Downtown Edition, June 10 

Oenophiles can sip and stroll through McFerson Commons in the Arena District at this first installment of the Columbus Summer Wine Festival. The event will feature vino from 25 brands—both well-known national labels and up-and-comers—as well as food trucks, music, and arts and crafts vendors. The “Whitehall Edition” is scheduled July 15. 

“Summer in Germany” concert, June 10 

Although the New Albany Symphony Orchestra will travel no further than the Hinson Amphitheater in New Albany for its latest concert, audience members may find themselves carried away to Germany with selections of works by Beethoven and Brahms. $20–$25, or $55–$400 for table seating, 

Pixies, June 12 

While the Pixies’ lineup no longer includes Dayton native Kim Deal, the long-running alt-rock act can still crank out classics like “Where is My Mind?” and “Here Comes Your Man,” along with newer songs. This outdoor show at KEMBA Live is also worth the price of admission ($50) for openers Franz Ferdinand and Bully. 

Stonewall Columbus Pride March and Festival, June 16–17 

Live performances, a community wellness area, a dancing pad with DJ and numerous vendors are among the features of the annual event celebrating Central Ohio’s LGBTQ+ community. Don’t miss the Pride March, which will step off at 10:30 a.m. June 17 at Broad and High streets. Free, 

Creekside Blues and Jazz Festival, June 16–18 

Each summer, the Creekside District in Gahanna beckons blues and jazz artists from Central Ohio and around the country, and this year is no different. While sampling an array of food and drinks, attendees can listen to artists such as Erin Coburn, Marion Meadows with the Urban Jazz Coalition and Lil’ Jimmy Reed with Ben Levin. Weekend passes $20–$30, single-day tickets $10–$15, or free for ages 10 and younger and military personnel, 

Juneteenth Ohio Festival, June 17–18 

Musicians Jimmy McGee, Flex Crew and Lungu Vybz will be among the artists to perform at this festival honoring Juneteenth, the federal holiday created to acknowledge the day in 1865 on which Black people in Texas were freed. A classic car show, college career fair and wellness pavilion are also part of the event. $5–$20, 

Worthington Arts Festival, June 17–18 

The creativity always on view inside the McConnell Arts Center will spill out onto the Worthington complex’s front lawn with this two-day arts-and-crafts showcase. Free, 

Picnic With the Pops, June 17–July 29 

Come summertime, odds are that the Columbus Symphony can be found not in its usual home of the Ohio Theatre but outside in the John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons. This year’s outdoor music series will include the symphony supporting R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo (June 17), Ben Folds (July 22) and, of course, the Ohio State University marching band (July 28–29). $10–$35 for lawn seating, $300–$850 for tables, 

Cirque du Soleil, June 22–25 

The dazzling Canadian circus makes its way to the Schottenstein Center to perform “Corteo,” a program that comes with a synopsis typical of the adventuresome troupe: the show is said to envision a clown’s funeral. $54–$116, 

boygenius, June 23 

Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker are three of the best songwriters working today, and when they join forces as rock band boygenius, it’s sublime. This outdoor KEMBA Live show is part of the three-day Re:Set Festival, which also includes LCD Soundsystem, Jamie xx, Steve Lacy, James Blake and more. 

ComFest, June 23–25 

Live music, spoken-word artists, community organizations and arts and crafts vendors will be on hand in the festival in Goodale Park, which is not only organized by an all-volunteer force but encourages attendees to use bicycles to get to the event by offering a bike corral. Free, 

Thao Thai, June 26 

The Central Ohio writer, an occasional Columbus Monthly contributor, will join novelist Lee Martin for a discussion at Gramercy Books about her debut novel, “Banyan Moon,” which Elle magazine declared one of the summer’s best new reads. 

Give Back 

Bexley House & Garden Tour, June 4 

The Bexley Women’s Club will host its 16th annual tour, with advance tickets going for $25 and day-of tickets costing $30. Proceeds support a college scholarship program for graduating Bexley high school seniors. 

Volunteer at the Columbus Arts Festival, June 9–11 

The three-day event is looking for volunteers to help with hands-on art projects, staff booths while artists take short breaks, and support painters making murals, among other jobs. Volunteers will receive T-shirts, snacks and bottled water. 

Woody Hayes Celebrity Classic, June 12 

Tee off with former Ohio State athletes and local celebrities at this New Albany Country Club golf fundraiser, which supports Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

This story is a combination of our Summer Entertainment Guide and the Datebook feature from the June 2023 issue of Columbus Monthly.