Food & Drink

EVENT: DC’s sweetlife festival

by Powell Bernhardt

SONY DSCsweetgreen, the eco-friendly eatery with shops in DC, Philly, NYC, and Boston, temporarily seized the Merriweather Post Pavilion this past Saturday to host the 5th Annual sweetlife festival: music + food festival. With a sold out venue, over 20,000 attendees grooved to the sounds of Foster the People, Lana Del Ray, Capital Cities, ASTR, Bastille, 2 Chainz, Fitz and the Tantrums, and several other indie bands on two stages. Boasting such a solid lineup, most assume the awesome music was the star of the show.  But with a plethora of food and craft beer options, this all-day festival was fit for a foodie.

SONY DSCWhen I first moved to this area, I attended the first festival at Merriweather.  Back then, the concession stands ran out of food before the sun set and concert goers had no alternative but to over-indulge on bad beer. In just a few years, the sweetlife festival has come a long way.  Food and beverage options were ginormous and provided plenty pleasure for even the most esoteric palates.

SONY DSCThe Night Market consisted of culinary treats created by Erik Bruner-Yang of Toki Underground and Maketto, Spike Gjede of Parts & Labor, Shoo-Fly Diner and Woodberry Kitchen, as well as smooth coffee from Vigilante Coffee, and the infamous pho dog from 13th St Meats x Toki Underground.  SONY DSC


SONY DSCThe Tavern, an impromptu beer garden of sorts, had sample and generous pour options from my favorite local brewery, Stillwater as well as Peak Organic, DC Brau, and Mountain State Brewery.  And sweetgreen even collaborated with Flying Dog Brewery to produce the official beer of the day, the extremely limited sweetlife Pale Wheat.


SONY DSCThose who missed Truckeroo the night before could feast on their favorite offerings at ‘the Roadies’ section.  Although there were epic waits for food trucks like Takorean, Astro Doughnuts & Chicken, Pepe, and PhoWheels, patrons could kill time enjoying the sounds of the live performances.SONY DSC


And for the snobbiest of foodies, local eateries including DGS Delicatessen, Red Apron Butchery, Rappahannock Oysters, Pete’s New Haven Pizza, and Dolcezza dished out delightful eats to hordes of people throughout the event.


SONY DSCThe VIP experience was a tranquil oasis where attendees could escape the masses and veg out in the Lounge while feasting on scrumptious sweetgreen salads, cool, refreshing bottles of Honest Tea, and cold brew coffee from Stumptown.  The Honest Company, which boasts Jessica Alba as one of its founders, even provided sunscreen for those in need.



The sweetlife festival pulled off another successful year.  From the sounds of the crowds during the performances, people were more than pleased.  And from the looks of the people devouring food, not a soul went hungry either.SONY DSC