Funk Parade, the all-day music festival that will take over U Street on Saturday, is expected to bring over 70,000 people this year. With a jam-packed schedule, it can be easy to miss something cool while you’re strolling around the neighborhood. You’ve only got so much time within a day, so what are the places, people and bands you should make an effort to see? Here are 10 spots that you should check out while you’re there (and don’t forget to check out the parade at 4 p.m., which starts at the Howard Theatre on 620 T St. NW).
Day Fair [12 p.m.-7 p.m.]
Atlantic Plumbing Stage [945 Florida Ave. NW]
One of the biggest parties happening at Funk Parade is taking place at our stage at Atlantic Plumbing. The main event will be go-go legends Rare Essence‘s headlining performance at 6 p.m., where they’ll celebrate the release of their first studio album in over a decade. Some of the other excellent D.C. acts appearing throughout the day include Black Alley, Grammy-nominated artist Kokayi, DJ virtuoso Ayes Cold, The Funk Ark, BOOMscat and Reesa Renee. There’s also dance performances, live art and over two dozen food trucks and vendors onsite. It’s going to be one hell of a party that you’ll want to stop by and check out.
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Reesa Renee
1:30 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. The Fly by Light Youth Ambassador Program – One Common Unity
1:40 p.m. – 2:10 p.m. Kokayi
2:10 p.m. – 2:25 p.m. Capitol Movement Dance
2:25 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Boomscat
3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Afromoda Dance
3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Funk Ark
4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. DJ Ayes Cold
5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Black Alley
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Rare Essence w/ DJ Kool
City First Bank Stage @ the MA Winter Building [1436 U St NW]
The place to see the best and brightest names in local jazz is at the City First Bank Stage curated by the invaluable jazz resource CapitalBop. Some of the highlights on the schedule include one of D.C.’s most innovative groups, Nag Champa, and Aaron Ab Abernathy.
1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. Nag Champa
2:10 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. Jenna Camille
3:10 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Aaron Ab Abernathy w/ Live Band Nat Turner
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Parade Break
5:10 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Sam Prather’s Groove Orchestra
6:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Trae Crudup & The Cover-Up
Industrial Bank North Lot [2005 11th St. NW]
Just up the street from CapitalBop’s showcase is another solid D.C. music showcase hosted by One Love Massive. The diverse lineup features notable bands like Congo Sanchez, Black Masala, Empresarios and up-and-coming band Footwerk who’ll keep the party going from 1 p.m. till the day-festival ends at 7 p.m. Also at the show is a live mural celebrating the anniversary of veteran graffiti collective Krazy Graffiti Brothers, plus food trucks and vendors onsite.
12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Footwerk
1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Picnibus
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Lucky So & Sos
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Empresarios
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Parade Break
5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Black Masala
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Congo Sanchez
Kennedy Center Finding a Line Pop-Up [Shaw Skate Park, 11th St. and Rhode Island Ave. NW]
Remember that time when the Kennedy Center built a skate park for their Finding a Line skateboarding and music festival? At Funk Parade, Kennedy Center will bring the event back for a special show at Shaw Skate Park. If you need a break from the hordes of people on U Street, this is a great place off the beaten path to relax. At the park, you can watch the skateboarders in action, listen to live music, and visit our MC, Dappho, while you’re there.
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. DJ RBI
2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. +E
3:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. Javier Starks
4:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. DJ Butta Mally
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. DJ Mothersheister of Anthology of Booty
5:00 p.m. – 5:50 p.m. Zakke
6:00 p.m. – 6:50 p.m. CAPPS Music
7:00 p.m. – 7:50 p.m. McRad
The DC Public Library Harrison Rec Family Funk Pavilion [1330 V St. NW]
The DC Public Library is hosting a pavilion with a bunch of cool activities going on all afternoon. Start at 12 p.m. at the basketball court, there’s a free skate and roller disco featuring DJs Adrian Loving, Jahsonic and Stylus.
Music Festival [7 p.m.-10 p.m.]
Nappy Riddem, Pitch Blak Brass Band, Fort Knox Five ft QDup(DJ Set) @ U Street Music Hall [1115 U St NW]
D.C. reggae band Nappy Riddem will keep the party going at U Street Music Hall with Fort Knox Five, QDup (who put together this fantastic funky remix for Funk Parade) and Pitch Blak Brass Band until 10 p.m.
Black Broadway on U Presents Echos of an Era with Carolyn Malachi @ Mulebone [2121 14th St NW]
Grammy-nominated artist Carolyn Malachi will perform a tribute to her great grandfather, legendary D.C. jazz artist John Malachi, with her full band on Saturday night. One of the most talented vocalists to emerge in the area within the last few years, hearing Malachi sing live is one of the highlights of the Funk Parade evening festival.
An Evening with Cautious Clay @ Frank & Oak [1924 8th St NW]
Cautious Clay is a rising producer and multi-instrumentalist from D.C. whose eclectic sound ranges from jazz, trip-hop to house. On Saturday night, he’ll bring eclectic set to Frank & Oak for an intimate showcase.
The Spread Love Band @ Busboys & Poets [2021 14th St NW]
Chances are you’ve already seen Spread Love Band performing outside while on your evening commute. They’ve become one of the city’s most recognized and beloved buskers, transforming plain-old street corners into full-fledged dance parties. On Saturday night, the band brings their high-energy, brassy show indoors to Busboys & Poets.
Afterparty [10 p.m.-Late]
Sao Funky Saturdays w/ Fort Knox Five @ Tropicalia [2001 14th St NW]
After U Street Music Hall, Fort Knox Five will host the Funk Parade afterparty at Tropicalia, spinning from 10 p.m. until the early morning hours. If you still got some energy in you after a long day of music, then this is where you should go.
Check out the official Funk Parade map below for more location details: