Sep. 8—It's not all strings and theatrical scenes around here — the big stages attract similarly big names for their fall lineups, from pulling entertainment from the bright lights of Broadway to hosting a quiet lad from the working-class city of Liverpool. And don't roll up those event canopies just yet either. Green chile and balloons battle for our attention, just as the last embers of Zozobra flame out.
AMP Concerts: Bonnie Raitt
Santa Fe Opera, 301 Opera Drive; ampconcerts.org
Acclaimed blues musician Bonnie Raitt has earned her fair share of distinctions during her remarkable career. She's a 10-time Grammy Award-winner and a 2000 inductee to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and she's been named by Rolling Stone as one of the Top 100 guitarists and singers of all time. Raitt, who was also a 2016 inductee to the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame, is touring behind her 2022 album Just Like That, which earned her a pair of Grammy wins. She'll play at the Santa Fe Opera on September 17.
TAKE NOTE: Modest Mouse follows Bonnie Raitt at the Santa Fe Opera on September 21.
Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band
Rio Rancho Events Center, 3001 Civic Center Circle NE; rioranchoeventscenter.com
All he's got to do is "Act Naturally" — and he's been doing it for decades. Ringo Starr, the legendary former drummer of the Beatles, will be touring this fall (checking in on September 20 at the Rio Rancho Events Center) with rock stalwarts Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Edgar Winter, Warren Ham, Hamish Stewart, and Gregg Bissonette playing in support. Starr released EP3 in 2022, and the 83-year-old has said he enjoys touring so much that he hopes to be able to play for as long as he's physically able to perform.
TAKE NOTE: The Rio Rancho Events Center will also host Disney On Ice October 6-8.
Santa Fe Wine and Chile Festival
Various venues; santafewineandchile.org
It began as a one-day event in 1991, and it's blossomed into a five-day culinary affair (this year September 27 to October 1) that involves 60 participating Santa Fe restaurants and 90 wineries. Each year, the festival names a Winery of the Year and a Champagne of the Year, and this year it will also recognize an Importer of the Year. The centerpiece of the festivities occurs on September 30, when wine aficionados put their palates to work at the event's Grand Tasting.
TAKE NOTE: Tickets for many of the wine dinners and smaller events sell out quickly (and are already sold out), so it's wise to make your plans as early as possible. The Grand Tasting is popular, and folks can spread out at Magers Field at Fort Marcy Park — but come early and pace yourself.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Balloon Fiesta Park, 5000 Balloon Fiesta Parkway, Albuquerque; balloonfiesta.com
Where else can you hang out and watch dozens of hot air balloons rising into the sky around you? The Albuquerque International Balloon Festival brings thousands of tourists to Albuquerque every year, and it's developed into the largest balloon festival in the U.S. Hundreds of balloons will be active, and thousands of people will take part in the event over 9 days starting October 7.
TAKE NOTE: The Balloon Fiesta is offering visitors a new camping experience as part of its festival. The $800 experience, Camp 505, includes a three-night stay, premium parking, access to portable toilets, and 24-hour security; at the end of the trip, you can keep the gear.
Broadway's The Lion King
Popejoy Hall, University of New Mexico, 203 Cornell Drive, Albuquerque; 505-925-5858; popejoypresents.com
Broadway fans, get ready: Nants ingonyama bagithi, Baba (here comes a lion, Father) — also known as the opening line of "The Circle of Life" (sung in Zulu, a language of South Africa).
The giant Broadway production is coming to Albuquerque October 18 to November 5. The winner of six Tony Awards brings an instantly recognizable collection of earworms composed by Elton John and Tim Rice as well as a stage full of colorful backdrops that immerse you in the story.
TAKE NOTE: Other Broadway productions on the Popejoy lineup this season include Hadestown, Pretty Woman, My Fair Lady, and Beetlejuice.