Events

The 8 Most Dynamic Outdoor Concerts in DC This Summer

Published On 04/14/2016 Published On 04/14/2016
Jhené Aiko
Jhené Aiko | Flickr/Kayla Johnson
De La Soul | Flickr/Shawn Anderson

Date

Event

Location

Apr 16 Sat

DC Brau's Fifth Year Anniversary party Since its inception five years ago, DC Brau has become as ubiquitous in the city as a well-made Rickey. Its flagship Belgian-style pale ale, The Citizen, can be found in tons of places in the tri-state area, and has garnered a few national awards along the way. To celebrate, the brewery is throwing an epic party in its parking lot, complete with five heavy metal bands, including locals Loud Boyz. There will also be a few collaboration beers being released at the event, like an imperial stout they created with Tampa’s Cigar City.

DC Brau Brewing Co. parking lot

DC Brau's Fifth Year Anniversary party DC Brau Brewing Co. parking lot Since its inception five years ago, DC Brau has become as ubiquitous in the city as a well-made Rickey. Its flagship Belgian-style pale ale, The Citizen, can be found in tons of places in the tri-state area, and has garnered a few national awards along the way. To celebrate, the brewery is throwing an epic party in its parking lot, complete with five heavy metal bands, including locals Loud Boyz. There will also be a few collaboration beers being released at the event, like an imperial stout they created with Tampa’s Cigar City.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 23 Sat

National Cannabis Festival We don’t even have to tell you how to pregame for this first-ever National Cannabis Festival taking place on the festival grounds of RFK Stadium. Last year, a group of cannabis advocates and business owners had the idea to create an event that celebrates the progress of marijuana legalization in DC and across the country. That translated into a day-long event featuring delicious food & drink, games, and live music. Performers include hip-hop trio De La Soul, reggae musician Jesse Royal, and DC’s own Backyard Band. If that’s not enough to entice you, consider the sponsors that you can enjoy, including King Weedy, the Doobster app, Sexpot Comedy, and, of course, Ben & Jerry’s.

RFK Stadium

National Cannabis Festival RFK Stadium We don’t even have to tell you how to pregame for this first-ever National Cannabis Festival taking place on the festival grounds of RFK Stadium. Last year, a group of cannabis advocates and business owners had the idea to create an event that celebrates the progress of marijuana legalization in DC and across the country. That translated into a day-long event featuring delicious food & drink, games, and live music. Performers include hip-hop trio De La Soul, reggae musician Jesse Royal, and DC’s own Backyard Band. If that’s not enough to entice you, consider the sponsors that you can enjoy, including King Weedy, the Doobster app, Sexpot Comedy, and, of course, Ben & Jerry’s.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 30 Sat

Broccoli City As the name implies, this DC music festival, now in its third year, is all about sustainability and clean eating. At Broccoli City (the nickname of the festival founders’ hometown of Greensboro, NC), expect yoga and acupuncture services, an organic juice bar, a pop-up market with eco-friendly vendors, and a live art installation led by No Kings DC. Not to mention the music, which this year will include Atlanta rap superstar Future, sultry singer Jhené Aiko, neo-soul group The Internet, multi-faceted singer/rapper/drummer Anderson .Paak, singer-songwriter BJ the Chicago Kid, and hip-hop producer Sango. Another cool element: a limited number of free tickets are available for people who participate in the Power of One campaign, signing up for volunteer opportunities in exchange for a festival pass.

Gateway DC Pavilion

Broccoli City Gateway DC Pavilion As the name implies, this DC music festival, now in its third year, is all about sustainability and clean eating. At Broccoli City (the nickname of the festival founders’ hometown of Greensboro, NC), expect yoga and acupuncture services, an organic juice bar, a pop-up market with eco-friendly vendors, and a live art installation led by No Kings DC. Not to mention the music, which this year will include Atlanta rap superstar Future, sultry singer Jhené Aiko, neo-soul group The Internet, multi-faceted singer/rapper/drummer Anderson .Paak, singer-songwriter BJ the Chicago Kid, and hip-hop producer Sango. Another cool element: a limited number of free tickets are available for people who participate in the Power of One campaign, signing up for volunteer opportunities in exchange for a festival pass.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 30 Sat

Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival Every spring, a sliver of land in the Anacostia River near RFK Stadium gets transformed into a bluegrass & folk mecca, where regional bands spend the day strumming, stomping, and singing for throngs of fans. This year, the gospel-inspired, Appalachia-esque Spirit Family Reunion headlines, and the lineup also includes the washboard-wielding Bumper Jacksons, four-piece string band The Plate Scrapers, and the poignant vocals of folkstress Letitia VanSant. With more than 40 bluegrass and folk acts in all, plenty of Sierra Nevada beer flowing, and a chance to kayak the river, we can hardly think of a better way to spend a sunny April afternoon.

Southeast DC

Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival Southeast DC Every spring, a sliver of land in the Anacostia River near RFK Stadium gets transformed into a bluegrass & folk mecca, where regional bands spend the day strumming, stomping, and singing for throngs of fans. This year, the gospel-inspired, Appalachia-esque Spirit Family Reunion headlines, and the lineup also includes the washboard-wielding Bumper Jacksons, four-piece string band The Plate Scrapers, and the poignant vocals of folkstress Letitia VanSant. With more than 40 bluegrass and folk acts in all, plenty of Sierra Nevada beer flowing, and a chance to kayak the river, we can hardly think of a better way to spend a sunny April afternoon.

DC Jazz Festival

Date

Event

Location

May 27-Sep 2

Jazz in the Garden The first sign of summer in the District is when Jazz in the Garden once again ramps up in the sculpture garden at the National Gallery of Art. Every Friday from 5:30-8 pm, guests can enjoy cocktails and snacks from the outdoor cafe while listening to live music in a bucolic garden setting, surrounded by the museum’s large-scale sculptures. This year, performances include Americana from the 19th Street Band, blues from Deanna Bogart, and jazz stylings from George V Johnson Jr., just to name a few. The best part: it’s all for free.

National Gallery of Art

Jazz in the Garden National Gallery of Art The first sign of summer in the District is when Jazz in the Garden once again ramps up in the sculpture garden at the National Gallery of Art. Every Friday from 5:30-8 pm, guests can enjoy cocktails and snacks from the outdoor cafe while listening to live music in a bucolic garden setting, surrounded by the museum’s large-scale sculptures. This year, performances include Americana from the 19th Street Band, blues from Deanna Bogart, and jazz stylings from George V Johnson Jr., just to name a few. The best part: it’s all for free.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 17 Fri

DC Jazz Fest As a part of the mega annual DC Jazz Festival, where musicians perform everywhere, from neighborhood churches to the Kennedy Center, this outdoor three-day blowout allows fans to enjoy jazz on a lush green park at the Capitol Riverfront overlooking the Anacostia. Besides beer, wine, and food tastings, guests can enjoy jazz in many different forms -- including the styles of the Chuck Brown Band, which continues the legacy of the Godfather of Go-Go himself. Another performance not to miss is Igmar Thomas and the Revive Big Band, which bridges the gap between jazz and hip-hop, and will feature the likes of Ravi Coltrane (yes, John’s son), as well as rapper Talib Kweli.

The Yards Park

DC Jazz Fest The Yards Park As a part of the mega annual DC Jazz Festival, where musicians perform everywhere, from neighborhood churches to the Kennedy Center, this outdoor three-day blowout allows fans to enjoy jazz on a lush green park at the Capitol Riverfront overlooking the Anacostia. Besides beer, wine, and food tastings, guests can enjoy jazz in many different forms -- including the styles of the Chuck Brown Band, which continues the legacy of the Godfather of Go-Go himself. Another performance not to miss is Igmar Thomas and the Revive Big Band, which bridges the gap between jazz and hip-hop, and will feature the likes of Ravi Coltrane (yes, John’s son), as well as rapper Talib Kweli.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 26 Sun

DC101 Kerfuffle Kerfuffle is alternative rock station DC101’s newest outdoor festival, sort of the more youthful version of the radio station’s Chili Cook-Off that dates back to 1980. The new version takes place on the grassy hills of Merriweather Post Pavilion and, this year, features the indie rock of the Cold War Kids and Silversun Pickups, throwback jams from Blink 182 and Violent Femmes, and newer kids on the block Joywave and PVRIS. We can’t think of a better combination than day drinking and live rock bands.

Merriweather Post Pavilion

DC101 Kerfuffle Merriweather Post Pavilion Kerfuffle is alternative rock station DC101’s newest outdoor festival, sort of the more youthful version of the radio station’s Chili Cook-Off that dates back to 1980. The new version takes place on the grassy hills of Merriweather Post Pavilion and, this year, features the indie rock of the Cold War Kids and Silversun Pickups, throwback jams from Blink 182 and Violent Femmes, and newer kids on the block Joywave and PVRIS. We can’t think of a better combination than day drinking and live rock bands.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 16 Sat

Vans Warped Tour Break out the Manic Panic and dig your old studded belt out of the closet: the annual Vans Warped Tour is coming to town this summer. The closest DC stop will be in Columbia’s Merriweather Post Pavilion (unless you want to take the day trip to Virginia Beach), and the day is sure to satisfy the inner angsty teen in all of us. Performers include pop-punkers New Found Glory, Good Charlotte, and Yellowcard; the ska-skankers Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish; and the reggae-influenced Pepper and Ballyhoo.

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Vans Warped Tour Merriweather Post Pavilion Break out the Manic Panic and dig your old studded belt out of the closet: the annual Vans Warped Tour is coming to town this summer. The closest DC stop will be in Columbia’s Merriweather Post Pavilion (unless you want to take the day trip to Virginia Beach), and the day is sure to satisfy the inner angsty teen in all of us. Performers include pop-punkers New Found Glory, Good Charlotte, and Yellowcard; the ska-skankers Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish; and the reggae-influenced Pepper and Ballyhoo.

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