A single tear is slowly falling down my cheek as I type, and internally force myself to acknowledge, that summer is coming to a close. Considered the official end of the season, Labor Day weekend is just around the corner, bringing with it a wild lineup of pool parties, music festivals, celebrity appearances, and urban artistic expression. Labor Day means the gradual fall into autumn has begun, but we won’t say goodbye to our favorite of seasons without a bang.
Our top picks for 2011 Labor Day weekend in San Diego include the Identity Music Festival at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, featuring Kaskade, Afrojack, and Pretty Lights, Fortune’s Labor Day Pool Party at Ivy Rooftop, the Wet Pool Party at W Hotel, and dual double-headers with Pauly D and Martin Solveig at Intervention, and Avicii and Mark Knight at Wavehouse. If you need a break from the rowdy club scene, enjoy a free concert from Ben Harper at the Del Mar Racetrack, soak up some culture during the East Village Random Acts of Art event, or upgrade your day-life and join The Local for Sing, Dance, Crawl 2.0 throughout the Gaslamp Quarter.
Discover our 2011 San Diego Labor Day entertainment guide.
Industry Mankini Contest + Champagne Spraying Party at Voyeur – 8/30
As the old saying goes, there’s no better way to kick off a holiday weekend than with an old fashioned mankini fashion show contest and champagne spray-down party. We here at DiscoverSD.com are inviting you to get weird with us on Tuesday, August 30 as we host the No Pants Dance at Voyeur, featuring DJ sets by Mr. White and Brady Spears, as well as super-cheap champagne bottle specials, to encourage excessive spraying, of course. San Diego’s bravest industry babes will walk the runway, rocking their finest mankinis as styled by Diesel Salon and iTAN Solariums, and lucky guests in the crowd will judge who is the hottest of all, while spraying them, and themselves, with ridiculous amounts of champagne. Yep, we’re actually serious. Guest list gets you no cover and hosted cocktails 9-10pm. RSVP now!
Contemporary Art Fair at Hilton San Diego Bayfront – 9/1-4
Are you craving some culture? Kicking off Arts Month, the Contemporary Art Fair is a four-day event that features works from 69 top contemporary art galleries, along with solo and collaborative exhibitions. In addition, art labs showcasing specially commissioned installations will be set up throughout the city, and several highly regarded artists will be speaking on their craft. Get started in style during the VIP Opening Night party from 7 to 9pm on September 1 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Get details here.
Primp’s Back to School Fashion Show at Bar West – 9/1
For many locals, Labor Day weekend means it’s officially time to head back to school. Keeping your studies in style, Bar West is hosting a Back to School Fashion Show on Thursday, September 1, with proceeds to benefit Girls on the Run. Show your college ID at the door for free cover before 11pm, and enjoy $5 drinks all night long. Get details here.
Identity Music Festival at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre – 9/2
The Identity Festival is taking over Cricket on September 2 with LED Presents, introducing this iconic outdoor venue to an entirely new concert experience. Similar to old Street Scene days, the Cricket campus will be divided into multiple stages, featuring over 20 performances in rotation from 1pm to 11:30pm. Identity will showcase Kaskade, Afrojack, Pretty Lights, Steve Aoki, Nero, The Crystal Method, LA Riots and many more. Get details here.
Ronnie Magro of Jersey Shore at FLUXX – 9/2
The cast of Jersey Shore is invading San Diego for Labor Day weekend! After you get your GTL in line, head to FLUXX to party with Ronnie Magro on Friday, September 2. This Labor Day kickoff party is sure to be one of the hottest Friday night spots in town, featuring beats by DJ Cobra. Get details here.
LED Presents Avicii at Wavehouse – 9/3
LED Presents is invading Wavehouse this Labor Day weekend, featuring back-to-back parties on Saturday and Sunday, from day to night. Get the party started on Saturday, September 3 with Avicii, a Swedish DJ, remixer, and record producer also known as Tim Berg, is known best for his single “Bromance” which charted in the top 20 on the national single charts of Belgium, the Netherlands, and his native Sweden. More hot Avicii tracks include “My Feelings for You,” with Sebastien Drums, “Street Dancer,” and “Tweet It,” among others. Don’t miss Avicii spinning live at Wavehouse, with opening sets from Brady Spear, Tara Brooks, Victor Dinaire, and Jay Idol. Get details here.
Wet Pool Party at W San Diego Hotel – 9/3
Release SF and HomeMade are taking over the W San Diego Hotel during Labor Day weekend to host the Wet Pool Party, all day and all night, on Saturday, September 3. The Wet Pool Party features headliner DJ and producer Mark Farina, as well as beats by Franky Boissy, Halo, Cris Herrera, Paul Najera, Jason Tokita, Jon Dadon, Drummer John and more. Get the party started at 1pm, and don’t stop ‘til 2am. Get details here.
DJ Pauly D at Intervention at Hard Rock Hotel – 9/3
The Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is celebrating Labor Day in a big way, with a double-header of Intervention madness on Saturday and Sunday, from morning ‘til night. Start the weekend off right by partying with Pauly D as he spins live at Intervention on Saturday, September 3. You know him for his dark tan, big muscles, and slick back hair, but this “Jersey Shore” stud is also an emerging star in the DJ industry. Get details here.
Seven / Ten Intermission Party at Side Bar – 9/3
Side Bar hosts the ultimate Sunday Funday intermission party from 5 to 10pm every weekend during summer. But in honor of Labor Day weekend, and all the extra poolside bashes that come with it, Side Bar presents a special Saturday edition dubbed Seven / Ten, from 7 to 10pm on September 3, with beats by Diggs and Decon. Get details here.
Sing, Dance, Crawl with The Local – 9/3
Regular bar crawls are so 2010. Thankfully, The Local’s signature Sing, Dance, Crawl event is back again for Labor Day weekend, taking your daytime drinking to an entirely new level with loads of interactive entertainment at multiple venues across town. On Saturday, September 3, head to The Local at 10am for breakfast and drink specials, before dancing and crawling your way to House of Blues, FLUXX, Stingaree, and Bootlegger ‘til 7pm. And of course, we’re hooking you up with even more party perks. Enter promo code DiscoverSD when buying your ticket to be entered to win a $60 Gift Card to The Local to be used on free food and drinks! Get details here.
East Village Random Acts of Art – 9/3
Kicking off Arts Month on September 3 from 1pm to 6pm, East Village Random Acts of Art provides a free, unique tour where local artists can gather and show off their work in East Village, connecting with restaurants, businesses and fans. Visitors will have the opportunity to see, experience, and interact with local artists who are matched with different East Village businesses, making for an interactive experience of exploring all the East Village corners and gems that might normally go unseen. The art will also be available for purchase, and for a good cause. A portion of the proceeds benefit the nonprofit East Village Association, for inner-community growth. Get details here.
The Great American Showcase in East Village - 9/4
The Great American Showcase promises to take us back to simpler days, when all you needed for a Labor Day celebration was classic food, amazing tunes, and a nice cold beer. This 21 and up event is taking place outside of the El Dorado Cocktail Lounge in East Village and will feature over a craft beer garden and 15 musical artists, with live performances spanning over two separate stages. Headline acts include The Soft Pack, The Nervous Wreckords, The Howls, The Creepy Creeps, Old English, and Grand Tarantula. Get details here.
Fortune’s Labor Day Pool Party at Ivy Rooftop – 9/4
Fortune 421 is throwing another epic Labor Day Pool Party, taking over Ivy Rooftop at the Andaz San Diego Hotel on Sunday, September 4 from 12 to 8pm. Lounge in a swanky cabana, swim in the pool, or dance under the bright sunshine as Fortune Family DJs rock the one’s and two’s. The Labor Day Pool Party musical entertainment lineup features headliners Junior Sanchez and DJ Frances, as well as G*Roy, Theron, Yusef, Chris Herrera, Paul Najera, J-Sin, Chris Liosi, Wired, Huy Believe, Kcmac and Kaotik. Get details here.
LED Present Mark Knight + Sander Kleinenberg at Wavehouse – 9/4
LED Presents is invading Wavehouse this Labor Day weekend, featuring back-to-back parties on Saturday and Sunday, from day to night. Let’s keep the party going on Sunday, September 4 with Mark Knight and Sander Kleinenberg, along with opening sets from Anthony Ross, Jay Idol, and Crowdkillers. Get details here.
Sidney Samson at Intervention at Hard Rock Hotel – 9/4
The Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is celebrating Labor Day in a big way, with a double-header of Intervention madness on Saturday and Sunday, from morning ‘til night. Prepare to dance the whole day away as Sidney Samson returns to spin a live DJ set on Sunday, September 4. Get details here.
Ben Harper Concert at Del Mar Racetrack
Summer fun at the Del Mar Racetrack is coming to a close soon after Labor Day weekend, but not without an entertainment-packed finale experience. On Saturday, September 3, enjoy a free live concert with Ben Harper on the Seaside Stage. Don’t miss Ben Harper’s debut performance in Del Mar, featuring hit songs “With My Own Two Hands” and “Burn One Down”. As always, concerts are free with your racetrack admission, and take place following the last Thoroughbred horse race of the afternoon. Dress up, bet all day, jam all night. Get details here.
Discover more entertainment ideas in our San Diego events calendar.
Pictured: Fortune's Pool Party by Danny Dilworth - view all photos here