With the number of music festivals growing every year, Broccoli City Festival had to step it up to compete. Past years had moments, but the lineup this year was stacked top to bottom. BJ The Chicago Kid, Anderson.Paak, The Internet and Jhene Aiko all put out some of the best albums over the past year and Future is the hottest person in music right now. Even with the weather looking bleak, tickets were reselling for at least double the original price.
Broccoli City Festival initially looked the same as previous years as you walked across Gateway DC. Then you discovered the One Love Massive stage is where the main stage used to be, and the main stage is now on a much larger, previously unused area of the grounds. This was the biggest and best change of the festival without a doubt. Expanding the grounds and allowing the whole crowd to have a direct view greatly improved the main stage experience.
Unfortunately the change seemed to do the opposite for the One Love Massive stage which only seemed to attract a decent crowd during Trap Karaoke and Rare Essence. Featuring mostly local acts, this stage was even overlooked on the BC Fest website and app; the artist had no presence on either.
Most of the acts on the main stage had full bands that had the crowd fully engaged and helped show the real abilities of the artists. BJ the Chicago Kid opened things up by playing the drums. He captured the crowd’s attention and started performing songs mostly off his album, In My Mind.
Anderson.Paak followed up with my personal favorite performance of the day. It featured him singing/rapping while playing drums, great energy moving all over stage, an appearance from BJ and just great music. Paak’s energy and ability was top notch and is definitely someone you must be seen live.
Sango was next and of course brought out BC Fest alum and constant collaborator, Goldlink. SPZRKT also joined Sango and sounded great. Good set with smooth beats you could bounce to.
The Internet is a great band and I like their music, but being a native Washingtonian, I love gogo music and could not miss Rare Essence. Bias or not, they rocked a lot of classics and even covered Rihanna’s “Work”. The locals enjoyed it, even if others missed it.
While I heard Jhene Aiko, I did not get to see her because the food truck lines were crazy long. I must admit @crabcab was amazing. Try it out if you have the chance.
Most of the day was a fun, but chill party with everyone vibing and turning up here and there for a song. Future’s set was a crazy after party where everyone just went wild. For as much as the crowd was entertained by the bands and singing, cheering Future on as he danced and yelled was what they really wanted. Some songs were just the hook or the hook plus one verse, but it didn’t matter. Future dabbed and strutted across the stage as DJ Esco played song after song. His star power is undeniable and he started off his summer run at Broccoli City Festival.