The Must List

By Matthew Reed Baker | Boston Magazine |

EVENT  Cliff Diving World Series
Whether you think the ICA is iconic or overhyped, the structure gets put to cool use this month, when professional athletes leap from its cantilevered roof into the harbor. The event is the first-ever continental U.S. stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, and none other than Olympic champ Greg Louganis will judge the divers as they flip, reverse-twist, and back-triple-triple 80 feet into the water. Free, 8/20.

CONCERT  Boston GreenFest

City Hall Plaza hosts an environmental extravaganza. That’s nice for City Hall. Better is that many of our best local talents will be performing onstage. There’s Boston’s top R&B group, Ahmir; Brockton Cape Verdean band CV Boys; Chu Ling’s dancers out of Chinatown; and even gymnasts from the New England Sports Academy. Oh, and you can learn a lot about green roofs and “ecofashion,” too. 8/18–8/20.

BOOK  Death of an Empire
It was the country’s richest city and home of its first millionaire — until drug dealing, murder, and the lure of the West brought about its calamitous decline. The town is Salem in the early 1800s, and this new book by local historian Robert Booth shows that there’s way more to its past than that whole witch-trials thing. $26, out 8/16.

WORDS  National Poetry Slam
Seventy-two teams of poets from across the U.S. will descend on places like the Cantab Lounge, Lizard Lounge, and the Middle East for this annual tournament. The finals are at the Berklee Performance Center, where audiences can heckle and cheer as frenetic lyricists earn points by turning spoken words into action theater. 8/9–8/13.