Festivals & Concerts

Check out some of the most exciting festivals and concerts coming to the city of Washington this summer.

Sweetlife Festival

When: May 30-31, 2015
Where: Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Md.
Price: $97.50 and up
Info: sweetlifefestival.com

The Sweetlife Festival began in 2010 in the parking lot of the Dupont Circle Sweetgreen with only 500 attendees. In the four years since its inception, it has blossomed into a major two-day music and food festival with over 23,000 attendees. The Sweetlife Festival is hosted by Georgetown salad favorite Sweetgreen and provides a unique intersection between music and delicious, healthy food. The 2015 lineup includes Kendrick Lamar, Calvin Harris, The Weeknd, Charlie XCX, Tove Lo, Vance Joy and Billy Idol. Best of all, the proceeds from ticket sales will support the “Sweetgreen in Schools” initiative, a program that provides children with nutritional education and healthy eating tips. The Sweetlife Festival is a great opportunity to enjoy the summer weather, listen to some awesome music and support a good cause — and, of course, enjoy your favorite Sweetgreen salad.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Where: National Mall
When: June 24-28 and July 1-5, 2015
Info: festival.si.edu
Price: Free

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an internationally renowned tourist event that hosts over 1 million visitors each year. Bringing together diverse folk traditions from all over the world, the festival celebrates the preservation of cultural identity. The 2015 festival will focus on the rich cultural traditions of Peru, and visitors will have the opportunity to experience cooking and craft demonstrations, music and dance performances, moderated discussions and ritual and celebratory processions. As always, the festival will also highlight cultural diversity from a myriad of other folk traditions. Visitors will have the opportunity to engage with representatives from many cultural backgrounds and learn about folk traditions from the experts. This event is free to the public and will be an excellent way to enjoy the sunshine. on the National Mall while also learning about valuable cultural traditions from around the world.

Safeway Battle Barbeque

Where: Pennsylvania Avenue between Ninth and 14th Street NW
When: June 27-28, 2015
Info: bbqindc.com
Price: $15 and up

The award-winning 23rd Annual Safeway Barbecue Battle is a D.C. tradition that becomes more popular every year. Named one of the top five can’t-miss summer festivals in the nation by CNN, a “top-10 BBQ event” by the Travel Channel and one of America’s best BBQ competitions by Saveur Magazine, the festival this year will include many delicious experiences. From free food samples to 30 live music performances, there will be no shortage of things to do. There will also be a variety of cooking demonstrations from prolific barbecue experts. And, of course, there will be an epic barbecue competition. This year, teams are competing with names like “Serial Griller” and “Sauced by Noon.” All in all, it is shaping up to be a can’t-miss experience for Washingtonians of all ages and dedications to barbecue.

Summerfest D.C.

Where: 1299 Half St. SE
When: June 13, 2015
Info: summerfestdc.com
Price: $40 and up

For those Hoyas who are 21 and up, Summerfest D.C. is one of the best wine, beer and music festivals of the summer. Hosted at the Half Street Fairgrounds, Summerfest will bring a selection of more than 100 craft beers from across the country and over 30 wines. Summerfest will also provide 8-10 ciders on tap and at least two gluten-free craft beer options, so there’s really something for everyone (although with over 130 options, we would hope you find something you like)! There will even be a “limited edition” area with rare bottled beers for the real enthusiasts. The beer and wine at Summerfest have been expertly selected, so it is an excellent chance to try something new. The festival will also boast a variety of food options, live music, arts and games to keep everyone entertained throughout the day. Just be sure not to leave your ID at home, because you cannot enter the event without it.

Capital Fringe Festival

Where: Various locations in D.C.
When: July 9-26 and July 29- August 2, 2015
Info: capitalfringe.org
Price: $5 from June 22-July 9; $7 after July 10

Celebrating its 10th year this summer, the Capital Fringe Festival characterizes itself as a connection of “exploratory artists with adventurous audiences.” The festival runs for nearly three weeks, and this year it will showcase 129 performing groups. Capital Fringe prides itself on creating spaces for local artists and audiences to interact on a personal level and support each other though diverse programming options. The 2015 festival will include a wide variety of exhibitions, including but not limited to film, theater and dance. It is a great option for students who want to experience the cutting-edge artistic endeavors that D.C. has to offer on a low budget, as Capital Fringe aims to provide affordable art. With over a 100 opportunities to engage with performing groups at the festival, Capital Fringe is truly accessible and undoubtedly exciting.

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