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8 Can’t-Miss Music Festivals In & Around Washington, DC
DC’s music scene shines year-round with the best festivals at unique venues throughout the region.
Whether you’re looking for an outdoor summer music festival or spectacular fall festivities, the nation’s capital has the right event for you. There’s the DC Jazz Festival, which showcases one of America’s greatest art forms in venues across the District, Broccoli City Festival, a springtime event that pairs environmental awareness and healthy living with a lineup featuring some of hip-hop’s biggest stars, and so many more options. Check out this list of music festivals in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia and start planning your next outing.
Washington, DC’s star-studded jazz history reigns on with the DC Jazz Festival, an annual showcase of national and local musicians taking place each June. This can't-miss event is the District's premier jazz festival, serving up a diverse selection of national and international masterclass jazz artists, performing in a wide array of venues reaching every quadrant and corner of the city. Like much of DC, many concerts during the festival are free, and that's just one of the many reasons why you should attend this wonderful celebration.
Celebrate environmental awareness, a healthy lifestyle and the fact that it’s a weekend in spring with Broccoli City Festival. This annual springtime festival features a star-studded lineup with some of the biggest names in hip-hop – past performers include Childish Gambino, Lil' Wayne and Migos – as well as a food village and vendor market. You can also check out Broccoli Con, which will offer mentor sessions, interactive workshops and guest speakers, all in working towards more sustainable communities and businesses.
Union Market is one of the District’s coolest spots, so in predictable fashion, this market also plays host to one of the city's coolest festivals. The All Things Go Fall Classic stretches across two days each October and features performances from a diverse array of artists, including the likes of Billie Eilish, Maggie Rogers, Kygo and many more. The festival also showcases an epic lineup of delicious local eats.
This annual springtime salute to bluegrass music features local vendors and good vibes on the gorgeous Kingman Island in northeast DC. Leading contemporary artists within the bluegrass and folk genres perform at this festival that's all about community and sustainability (proceeds go towards the Living Classrooms Foundation), so grab a drink and some food, enjoy the weather and scenery and celebrate with friends.
The country's largest St. Paddy’s Day music festival greens out RFK Stadium every year, so plan on plenty of brews, Irish dancers and bagpipes, DJs and contests. You won't want to miss this Irish-themed extravaganza.
Merriweather Post Pavilion hosts this festival that sees some of the brightest stars in R&B and hip-hop converge on the DMV area. The festival will also have a park and artist marketplace to enjoy even before the performances begin, so make sure to get ready for a summer weekend filled with grooves and good vibes.
Head out to Merriweather Post Pavilion to party like it’s 1989 for three straight days each May. The M3 Rock Festival brings hair metal flair to one of the area’s best venues, so expect plenty of headbanging and air guitaring with an incredible lineup of metal bands.
The DMV area’s leading country music radio station, WMZQ 98.7, annually hosts this fall festival at Jiffy Lube Live that draws fans from all over the region. The festival regularly draws huge names in country music – Thomas Rhett, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan and Rascal Flatts have all headlined this festival just a short drive from DC.