Concerts for a Cause: A Guide to Benefit Shows and Festivals During Inauguration Week


Sounds of the City Banner tickets

In the wake of the upcoming administration, D.C. musicians have rallied together to show their support for organizations and non-profits in need. As thousands of people head to D.C. for the inauguration, the city’s music scene is showing its solidarity through a series of benefit concerts throughout the week. Here are some of the bigger events happening around town:

Wednesday, Jan. 18–Cigarette, Governess, Scanners @ Black Cat. Doors 7:30 p.m./Tickets $12 

One of several anti-inauguration events Black Cat is putting on this week features a solid, all-D.C. lineup of bands. Local punks Scanners and D.C. rockers Governess and Cigarette will play the venue’s Mainstage on Wednesday night to raise money for D.C. Abortion Fund.

Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 19-22–Not My Inauguration Music, Wellness and Art Festival @ 16th Street House. $5 suggested donation

Offering an escape from all the chaos of inauguration weekend, 16th Street House is throwing a multi-day festival focused on music, art and health and wellness. The initial music lineup includes some great D.C. bands like Olivia Mancini and the Mates, R&B outfit Lowercase Letters and over a dozen more acts. It’s only a five-dollar donation to get in, and all proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Thursday, Jan. 19–Peace Ball @ the African American Museum. Show 8 p.m./SOLD OUT

Hope you were able to get tickets to Busboys and Poets’ Peace Ball, as they were already sold out well before the event’s main headliner, Solange, was even announced. For everyone lucky enough to snag tickets, you’ll get to see some awesome musical performances from the aforementioned headliner, Esperanza Spalding, and D.C.’s DJ Ayes Cold and jazz band Mbowie and the Blast.

Friday, Jan. 20–NO THANKS: A Night of Anti-Fascist Sound Resistance in the Capital of the USA. Doors 6:30 p.m./Tickets $20

See some excellent bands for an excellent cause at Black Cat on Friday. D.C.’s Priests, Flasher, Waxahatchee, Sadie Dupuis, Pure Disgust, Mellow Diamond, Jonny Grave and more rad bands will help raise money for local non-profits Casa Ruby and One D.C. If you can’t make the show, you can also donate online and support both of these organizations.

Saturday, Jan. 21–Our DC @ U Street Music Hall. Show 10 p.m./Tickets $10

U Street Music Hall is throwing a big dance party on Saturday night to support the ACLU. Madame Gandhi aka Kiran Gandhi, who’s played drums for M.I.A., joins D.C.’s Eau Claire, DJ Ayes Cold, Vanniety Kills and Jacq Jill on this stacked bill. All door proceeds will benefit the ACLU.

Saturday, Jan. 21–My America Artfest @ Edgewood Arts Center. Show 7 p.m./Tickets $20

My America Artfest is a one-night-only festival featuring D.C. musicians, artists and other creatives of all backgrounds and walks of life. D.C.’s Elena & Los Fulanos, Brian Farrow & Friends and Charmaine Michelle will headline. All proceeds from the festival will benefit the DC Arts & Humanities Education Collaborative.

Saturday, Jan. 21–The Anti-Ball @ Black Cat. Doors 8 p.m./Tickets $30

On Saturday night, Black Cat is set to throw a big afterparty for the Women’s March that’ll benefit Planned Parenthood. Antibalas, TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone, Nels Cline of Wilco, TEEN and more bands will take the stage on Saturday.