6 D.C. Music Festivals You Should Check Out This Spring


Photo by Miranda Hontz

Springtime not only marks the return of cherry blossoms (and the hordes of tourists that come with it), but also the many great D.C. music festivals that continue to thrive year after year. Here are the ones that we’re looking forward to within the upcoming months:

Damaged City Fest
Thursday-Sunday, April 6-9, Various Venues
Tickets $15-$75

One of the most prominent festivals on this list is Damaged City Fest, featuring the best regional, national and international punk and hardcore bands. There’s a lot happening over the course of the festival’s run from April 6-9, and each event offers something exciting and unique. Esteemed bands The Marked Man, Angel Dust and Fury lead the long list of acts set to play Damaged City, with a secret headliner scheduled to play Sunday’s main show at Black Cat.

Porch Fest
Saturday, April 15, Rhode Island Ave NE [Main Street]
2 p.m.-6 p.m.

Porch Fest is one of the first opportunities to watch live music outdoors this spring. Between 2 p.m.-6 p.m., local musicians will perform on porches and stoops along Rhode Island Ave.–it’s a fun way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon and explore the neighborhood. If you’re a musician that wants to perform, Porch Fest is also still taking submissions.

Breakin’ Even Fest
Friday-Saturday, May 5-6, Songbyrd
Various Times
Tickets $15-$30

Showcasing the more melodic side of D.C. punk is Breakin’ Even, which returns for its second year in May. The festival has a solid lineup booked for both days on May 5-6, featuring touring headliners Restorations, The Sidekicks, and Worriers and local acts like Flowerbomb, Boardroom Heroes and American Television.

Broccoli City Festival
Saturday, May 6, Gateway Pavilion
12 p.m.-10 p.m.
Tickets $69-$395

Just five years ago, Broccoli City was an up-and-coming music festival that got its start at Half Street Fairgrounds near Nats Park. Since then, it’s outgrown its former home and has brought some of the biggest names in hip hop and R&B to D.C. For this year’s festival, Broccoli City has secured Solange and Rae Sremmurd to headline the main show on May 6, with a week-long series of events leading up to the date. There’s a five-mile run on April 29, an art and music pop-up in Ivy City on May 4 and a two-day conference from May 4-5 featuring business leaders from various sectors.

Funk Parade
Saturday, May 6, U Street
Times TBD

There are plenty of homegrown music festivals in D.C., but there’s nothing that matches the uniqueness of Funk Parade. It’s a celebration composed of several events, all focused on highlighting the city’s funkiest acts. There’s the day fair that takes over several blocks of U Street, featuring live music, vendors, art exhibitions and workshops. It all leads up to the main event–the parade, which anyone from the general public is welcomed to walk in–followed by the evening music festival.

Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival
Saturday, May 13, Kingman Island
12 p.m.-9 p.m.
Tickets $25-$125

Where in D.C. can you kick back and watch live music on an island? That would be Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival, one of our favorite local music events of the year. The best bluegrass, folk and Americana bands from D.C. and beyond will play on several stages scattered across the island, with plenty of beer, food trucks and outdoor activities onsite the entire day. Town Mountains, Dom Flemons, Sligo Creek Stompers, Jonny Grave, Justin Trawick and the Common Good and more rad bands will perform from 12 p.m.-9 p.m.