Our picks for the best local concerts, festivals and events in October 2021

Oktoberfest Kansas City
Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest.


October 1

Tradition and authenticity. For KC Bier Co., these are the central components of their annual Oktoberfest, which, after a brief hiatus last year, is back with all the schnickschnackthat we’ve come to expect.

For a native-born Bavarian, many American Oktoberfests may seem a far cry from the traditional revelry that they’re accustomed to—there are no pee troughs, giant wreaths hung from the rafters or rival beer tents. But KC Bier Co. aims to produce a fest that would make any German transplant feel right at home.

GO: Oktoberfest is October 1-2 at Crown Center. General admission tickets are $10, VIP is $55. Small mugs are $3. All attendees will be required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test.

Photo courtesy of Deanna Rose Farmstead

Deanna Rose Farmstead

October 1-31

Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s Ghost Light: A Haunted Night of Songs and Stories from KC’s Cultural Crossroads

October 2

After selling out during its debut season last fall, Ghost Light will be back this year with ten outdoor shows on the South Lawn of the Nelson-Atkins. The hybrid concert and ghost-story performances are quickly becoming a Kansas City annual tradition. This year, Ghost Light will feature Latinx rock ‘n’ rollers Enrique Chi and Juan-Carlos Chaurand of Making Movies. Plus, KC Rep is partnering with Lifted Spirits Distillery to offer signature cocktails for the event. Thursday, September 30-Sunday, October 17. 7pm. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St., KCMO. $30. kcrep.org.

Blackhawks vs. Blues at Cable Dahmer

October 2

It’s been forty-five years since KC lost its NHL franchise, which moved to Denver and then to New Jersey, where it became the Devils. But we get a little taste at the home of the Mavericks minor league club, as bitter rivals from Chicago and St. Louis face off in an exhibition game on intimate ice in Independence. Saturday, October 2. 7 pm. Cable Dahmer Arena, 19100 E. Valley View Parkway, Independence. $50–$175. kcmavericks.com.

Royals vs. Twins

October 3

It’s been a season of disappointment for both the Royals and the Twins, who expected to be contending for the division title in this series and instead look extremely likely to play game one hundred and sixty-two for pride. But if you’ve never been to a season-ender, you should. It tends to have a great atmosphere, as the most loyal of fans gather to celebrate the team and the sport before the winter break. Sunday, October 3. 2:10 pm. Kauffman Stadium.

Photo courtesy of The Kansas City Symphony

Ben Folds with the Kansas City Symphony

October 5 & 6

The standout rock piano man of his generation will perform both alone and with the Kansas City Symphony on the In Actual Person Live For Real Tour, one of the first large-capacity events at the Kauffman Center since the pandemic began. Folds has long been a great live act. Tuesday, October 5, and Wednesday, October 6, 7 pm. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd., KCMO. $70–$160.

Pitbull and Iggy Azalea

October 6

For elder millennial clubgoers, this show on the I Feel Good tour is sure to be a therapeutic night. It’s been about a decade since the Miami and Australian pop-rappers were at their peak, but both seem eager to get back on the road. Wednesday, October 6. Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road, KCMO. $40–$150.

Photo courtesy of the Renaissance Festival

Renaissance Festival

Now-October 17

Doth thee liketh turkey forks and elab’rate costumes? Well, thou art in luck. The Renaissance festival in the springs of Bonn’r hast a few Octob’r weekends with jousts, dirt cakes, coney dogs the length of the king’s foot, and daily maypole dances and parades. Weekends through Saturday, October 17, plus Monday, October 11. kcrenfest.com.

Legends of Hip Hop

October 15

There was a time when Bun B had Bobby by the pound, Whitney by the key and DJ Screw by the gallon. It all ended with the passing of his UGK running mate, the sweetest of Joneses. But did it? Game never die, and this tour takes you straight back to that drank-fueled and all-too-brief micro golden era of Gulf Coast hip-hop. If even half the references above made sense to you, don’t miss the chance to see Mystikal, Juvenile, Scarface and Bun B on one bill, on this tour finally rescheduled from its early pandemic cancelation. One day you’re here, baby, and the next day you’re gone. Legends of Hip Hop. Friday, October 15, 8 pm. Municipal Auditorium, 301 W. 13th St., KCMO.

Judas Priest

October 19

After postponing their fiftieth-anniversary tour due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Judas Priest is back, sporting most of their definitive lineup (as well as a lot of leather and studs). Tuesday, October 19. 7:30 pm. Cable Dahmer Arena, 19100 E., Valley View Parkway, Independence. $39–$294. cabledahmerarena.com.

Matt Braunger

October 21-23

The actor/comedian will be bringing his situational and, at times, self-deprecating humor to the stage at the Comedy Club of KC. Braunger’s comedic legacy stretches all the way back to his days on Mad TV and, more recently, his Netflix special Big Dumb Animal, where he gives everyone a glimpse of what it’s like to be six-foot-four with an anger problem. As a standup, Braunger likes to draw from his own life, so prepare for tales of hilariously bad decisions and strange experiences. Thursday, October 21–Saturday, October 23. Various times. The Comedy Club of Kansas City, 1130 W. 103rd St., KCMO. $18–$33. thecomedyclubkc.com.

The Music of John Williams, Kansas City Symphony at The Kauffman Center

October 22-24

Looking for a classy date-night excursion? The Kansas City Symphony will be playing the film scores of John Williams, one of the greatest film composers of all time. Williams is responsible for some of the most popular film scores in cinematic history. He wrote music for Jaws, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, to name a few. Kansas City Symphony will honor the American icon in what promises to be a captivating performance. Friday, October 22–Sunday, October 24. Various times. The Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway Blvd., KCMO. $40–$88. kcsymphony.org.

Photo courtesy of The Truman

Walk The Moon

October 25

Cincinnati-based indie band Walk The Moon brings their upbeat tunes to the Truman for their Dream Plane tour. Fans of the alternative group’s ever-so-catchy hit single “Shut Up and Dance” can look forward to more of the same with the new single “Can You Handle My Love??”, which stays true to the band’s signature energy-filled sound with yet another dance-inducing hit. Monday, October 25. 8 pm. The Truman, 601 E. Truman Road, KCMO. $38–$70. thetrumankc.com.

Shawnee Town 1929’s Historical Hauntings

October 26

Johnson County’s historic village, Shawnee Town, hosts a one-night Halloween party that has many of the same attractions you’ll find at commercial pumpkin patches, but for just one dollar per activity. Saturday, October 26. From 6 pm to 8:30 pm you can trick or treat, take a hayride or enter the costume contests. 11501 W. 57th St., Shawnee.

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