DC Music Festivals Overview

The Shindig Festival 2014 - Music Festival | Concert in DC

Beers in plastic cups, dreadlocks everywhere, and more bands than some people see in their entire lifetimes: music festivals in DC are some of the highlights of summer. Some of the big DC music festivals are in the surrounding towns in Maryland and Virginia where there’s more room to sprawl out, but fests in the city itself have the advantage of the unique capital backdrop.

With more than 100 performances in over 50 venues across the city, the DC Jazz Festival is the largest music festival in DC and one of the most highly anticipated cultural events in the nation. Listening to jazz in the shadow of epic monuments? Check. Stadiums in the capital serve as venues for big radio music festivals like DC101's Chili Cook-Off. A 31-year-old tradition, this music festival raises money for the National Kidney Foundation. As a bonus, it manages to combine rock bands with chili.

Farther afield, battling groups of music fans can all be satisfied with festivals that cater to their favorite genres. People still head-banging to 80s metal can hit up the M3 Rock Festival in Columbia, while, later, at the same venue, fans of funk, R&B, and soul can groove to major headliners at the Summer Spirit Festival.

Considering that Marvin Gaye is a native son, DC knows that it needs to step up to the mic when it comes to music festivals – and the city does.

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