A trio of outdoor festivals -- Fitchburg Days, Syttende Mai, and WORT Block Party -- proclaim Madison's informal start to summer this weekend. There's just as much fun indoors, with the calendar also including: the latest Adult Swim Night; a "Dancing With the Stars" benefit show; a Fight Me Mixed Martial Arts bout; the Madison Grand Poetry Slam and Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Invitational Poetry Marathon; comedy at the Stand Up Wisconsin, Lezberados: The Three Amigas, and Whose Live Anyway? shows; a reading of Oatesland; performances by Ancora String Quartet; the Record Riot vinyl sale; benefit concerts for Second Harvest Food Bank and Slow Food UW; and, more live music from Lorie Line, Jon Langford & Skull Orchard, Christina Perri, Xiu Xiu, Pink Lightning, Chris Trapper, Foxy Shazam, VO5, and Alejandro Escovedo.
NOTEWORTHY: Mount St. Helens explodes, 1980.
McKee Farms Park, Fitchburg, through May 20
The festival recalls Fitchburg's Irish roots with performances by Trinity Irish Dancers, the Kissers, Pat McCurdy, the Jimmys and Lube.
Stoughton, through May 20
No one celebrates the signing of Norway's constitution as fervently as Stoughton -- probably not even Norway. The annual festival features dancing, a craft fair, a Norse canoe race, a parade and gastronomic delights like svinekoteletter.
Madison Children's Museum, 6 pm
If you'd like to check out the spiffy digs of the children's museum but don't have kids -- or want to get away from your kids -- here's your chance. Tonight's theme is "Science Soiree," and science presentations are featured, as are the theremin-based Ramones covers of the Theramones. Theremins are like science.
Sheraton Madison Hotel, 7 pm
Local notables including channel 27 weatherman Bob Lindmeier and angry radio host Vicki McKenna cut a rug at this benefit for Dane Academy, formerly Dane County Transition School.
Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall, 7:30 pm
Very strong men and women whomp the daylights out of each other at this touring MMA event.
Barrymore Theatre, 7:30 pm
By the mid-1990s, Line had sold more than a million albums of her New Age piano compositions. The momentum has powered her career in the years since, during which she's released 10 albums, including the focus of this show: 2011's Vogue.
Kiki's House of Righteous Music, 9 pm
Mekons drummer and Waco Brothers vocalist Langford has blazed many of the trails that now link punk and country, helping Chicago's nascent alt-country scene grow into a national phenomenon in the 1990s.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
The singer-songwriter who penned the emotional breakup anthem "Jar of Hearts" will share her latest heartfelt creations. With Sleeping at Last.
Terrace at UW Memorial Union, 9 pm
The California art rockers' ninth studio album, Always, recently earned a perfect score from The Independent, which dubbed it "magnificent." Pen your own review at this outdoor concert. With Dirty Beaches and Father Murphy.
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
These energetic Detroiters can turn even the most mild-mannered gathering into a zany party with their blend of music, physical comedy and pure, unadulterated absurdity. Their secret? Singer Chris Butterfield's admiration of Jerry Lewis. With Kitty Rhombus, Dharmonic Deluxe and Tickle Torture.
NOTEWORTHY: Marilyn Monroe sings "Happy Birthday" to President Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, 1962.
High Noon Saloon, noon
Lovers of LPs and 45s gather to compare catalogs and rifle through bins of discs that cost a mere dollar. Admission is free, and two-for-one drink specials will help lure collectors from their lairs.
Genna's Lounge, 7 pm
Competitors vie to represent Madison at the National Poetry Slam, slated for Aug. 7-11 in Charlotte, N.C. Remember, poets: Watch the time limit. We've seen too many good performances upended by fouls.
Frequency, 7 pm
The frontman of 1990s alt-rock band the Push Stars has morphed into a roots-pop singer-songwriter who's earned kudos fromThe New York Times and soundtrack slots on ER and The Devil Wears Prada.
First Unitarian Society Auditorium, 7:30 pm. Also Sunday, May 20, 2:30 pm
The meeting house's resident foursome performs Mendelssohn's Octet and a soupon of Prokofiev.
Overture Center's Wisconsin Studio, 7:30 pm
Forward Theater Company presents a staged reading of a play by Sam White, the Madison theater stalwart who was prominently featured in the Hulu political TV series Battleground. In Antarctica, members of a covert intelligence team find that the walls are closing in.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
United Wisconsin to Recall Scott Walker presents an evening of progressive comedy. The headliner is Lee Camp, who went famously off-script when Fox News invited him to tell lefty jokes alongside a conservative comic. With Moshe Kasher and Lara Beitz.
Five, 8 pm
As part of its grand reopening, the retooled Club 5 hosts a night of comedy that is both queer-themed and Latin-themed. Sandra Valls, Mimi Gonzalez and Belinda Carroll serve up the yocks.
Brink Lounge, 8 pm
Music fans can immortalize the sounds of their claps and hollers at this live recording session with local gypsy-swing outfit Harmonious Wail.
Project Lodge, 8 pm
Sat. Nite Duets, Surgeons in Heat, All These Runners and Golden Donna strut their stuff to raise funds for a UW-Madison organization that champions local, sustainable agriculture and farm-to-table culture.
Overture Hall, 8 pm
The appealing concept of ABC's improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway? lives on, as former cast members entertain thousands by saying the first things that pop into their heads. The rest of us would get in trouble if we did that.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
This theatrical five-piece have broken the Billboard 200 for the second time with their new album, The Church of Rock and Roll. Hear them perform their latest hit single, "I Like It," and other potential chart-toppers at this show. With the Usual Things.
Terrace at UW Memorial Union, 9:30 pm
These local disco aficionados will turn the Terrace into a dance floor filled with many interpretations of the Hustle. With the Beat Chefs.
NOTEWORTHY: Charles Lindbergh takes off from Long Island on first solo nonstop trans-Atlantic flight, 1927.
600 block of West Doty Street, 11 am-7 pm
The people's radio station takes it to the streets in this annual party, featuring kids' activities, a CD and record sale, food and the music of Whiskey Doll, Art Stevenson and High Water, Tani Diakite with Andy Ewen and the Malian Blues Experience, Josh Harty Band, Sexy Ester, the Forward! Marching Band and Weapons of Mass Defunktion.
Olbrich Gardens, 1 pm
Some of Madison's finest versifiers, including poets laureate Sarah Busse and Wendy Vardaman, read their stuff. Also on the docket: Ron Czerwien, Bruce Dethlefsen, Moises Villavicencio and many more.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
After blazing trails in the 1970s punk band the Nuns and the 1980s cowpunk band Rank and File, Escovedo launched a successful solo career with Chicago alt-country label Bloodshoot Records. After several years of dire health troubles, he seems back in top form with a new album, Big Station, which he'll preview at the High Noon just before its June 5 release. With Jimmy Griffin.