Music festivals are a dime a dozen these days, but finding one that’s truly worth your time and money can be a challenge. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has largely affected the music industry by making festivals more difficult to come by.
But the good news is that this year had its fair share of good ones in Washington state. Whether you’re in for summertime fun or an unforgettable experience, check out this list of the 9 best music festivals in Washington!
When: September (two days)
As one of the largest music festivals in North America, Bumbershoot showcases local and international art and music. This music festival has been a Labor Day weekend tradition in Seattle since the 1970’s.
It is a fun event for people of ages, with exhibits, art shows, and music flowing in the festival.
Whether you are looking for a weekend of live music or want to explore local art, Bumbershoot is a must-attend event in Seattle.
2. Broccoli Music Festival
Washington Metropolitan Area
When: May (two days)
The Broccoli Music Festival’s primary focus is to raise environmental awareness in the African-American community through music. However, this year they also participated in ‘Black Lives Matter’ Change Weekend to emphasize racial equality.
This year’s event was held at the RFK Stadium and it featured a wide variety of musical genres like hip-hop, R&B, house, and more.
Broccoli Music Festival is one of the few events in the area that focuses on black-owned businesses and artists, particularly women artists who are gaining popularity in the contemporary R&B genre.
3. DC Jazz Festival
101 District Square SW
When: September (2 days)
There’s nothing jazzier than spending a warm summer day outdoors listening to your favorite tunes at the DC Jazz Festival. The 2022 theme is “The jazz festival with a soul!” This just sums up the positive vibes DC Jazz Festival was a can’t-miss.
This year’s lineup includes Keyshia Cole, Ledisi, Musiq Soulchild, Cindy Blackman Santana Band, Chaka Khan, and many more.DC Jazz Festival is a free annual event that showcases many brilliant jazz artists, making it one of the best live music experiences in D.C.
4. Shamrock Fest
When: March (one day)
Celebrating St. Patrick’s day is a must and ShamrockFest is one of the largest outdoor music festivals in the country.
It’s also one of the only festivals where you can drink beer while walking around. Other than music, there are also carnival rides, games, and plenty of green beer to go around.
While this music event features Celtic-Irish music, other artists who play different genres also perform. If you’re in for celebrating Irish culture, this is the event for you!
5. All Things Go Fall Classic
Merriweather Post Pavilion
When: October (one day)
All Things Go Fall Classic is one of the most popular outdoor music festivals. This year’s lineup features Lorde, Peach Pit, Bleachers, and many more.
Even though All Things Go is located in our nation’s capital and was established back in 2014, this year they decided to change things up by having the event at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
The one-day event is for music lovers who appreciate an eclectic mix of genres like indie, hip-hop, and electronic.
6. Down in the Reeds
The Parks at Walter Reed
When: October (one day)
Down in the Reeds Music Festival is becoming well-known for its promotion of music as a means to heal across different communities and cultures.
With genres that feature folk, bluegrass, and jazz, this year’s lineup includes Red Baraat, Imka & Yoga Heights, Sound of The City, and Alison Crockett.
Down in the Reeds is a one-day event that is the perfect getaway for music lovers who want to experience culturally-rich music. The event is packed with good vibes, great music, delicious food, and good people vibing to the nostalgic music.
7. National Cannabis Festival
RFK Memorial Stadium
When: April (one day)
The National Cannabis Festival is the perfect event for people who appreciate and enjoy nature’s pot. This year’s lineup includes Wiz Khalifa, Ghostface Killah, Lettuce, and more.
Cannabis has been legalized in D.C., making this event one of the most talked-about festivals in recent years. The pro-cannabis event celebrates everything related to cannabis including art, music, culture, and of course, legalizing weed.
DC regulations prohibit you from consuming cannabis products in public, but you’re free to enjoy the event. With a lineup of great music, this is definitely a festival not to miss!
8. Capitol Hill Block Party
When: July (three days)
Capitol Hill Block Party is literally a party on the street with head-banging music and big crowds. It is one of Seattle’s most anticipated events that presents lively tunes in pop, R&B, EDM, indie rock, punk, and more.
These music festivities are accompanied by additional events like skating competitions and yoga. While this event is mainly known for its famous performers, local bands are also given the opportunity to perform. It’s always a good time when the Capitol Hill Block Party is raving.
9. DC Funk Parade
When: May (one day)
Funk is on top at the DC Funk Parade! This year’s location had four music activation sites that consisted of different artists. One of the most highly-anticipated events in D.C.
The DC Funk Parade is a free annual event that celebrates the local music scene and businesses of U Street. The DC Funk Parade is a must-attend event for anyone who loves funk music and wants to support the local community.
Having fun and listening to good music are two of the best things you can do in D.C. Music festivals are currently booming in the city, so there’s definitely one (or more) that will fit your taste.
From being an avenue of support to the local community to celebrating different cultures, these music festivals are something you don’t want to miss! From country to folk, the best music festivals are waiting for you in DC!