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Legendary HFStival will be revived this summer, concert organizers hint

The return of HFStival is slated for Sept. 21 at Nats Park

Editor's Note: HFStival dropped the full lineup for the 2024 festival on Tuesday, June 11.

Figure out your 'fit for the mosh pit, because the D.C. and Baltimore area's iconic (and long dead) HFStival is coming back to life this summer, concert planners say.

Only the broadest details are available so far, but the equally iconic music venue 9:30 Club, as well as Nationals Park, both teased the festival's return on Instagram, sharing on Wednesday: "HFSTIVAL, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2024 • NATIONALS PARK."

This message was shared below a collage of photos showing massive crowd shots, a mosh pit, MTV's Kurt Loder (who, we're shocked and confused to inform you, is now 79 years old) and physical paper tickets. (Gentle reader, are you old enough to remember those?)

We'd say the photos look heavily filtered, but honestly, that's just how photos looked in the '90s and '00s.

Commenters were quick to jump into the vintage vibes, with one quipping, "Are we going to have to camp out at Mailbox Etc for tickets is the question?"

Another chimed in, "I’ll be in ticket line outside Hecht’s at Landmark Mall."

For the uninitiated (or literally too young), HFStival — pronounced H-F-estival — was a massive music festival held annually for more than a decade in the DMV, including several years at the District's now-shuttered RFK Stadium. HFStival brought together some of the biggest names in college and alt rock, plus hip-hip and other genres (and even Tony Bennett!), across multiple stages. Even MTV's website previewed the festival in 1997. (Also, today we learned MTV had a website in 1997, apparently). Artists that year included Beck, The Prodigy, The Cardigans and the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

A series of D.C.-area radio stations used the call letters WHFS across several decades. At the time of HFStival's launch, the station was known for playing progressive and cutting-edge rock artists. But in 2005, under a different ownership group, it abruptly switched formats to a Spanish-language station without warning, famously playing Jeff Buckley's "Last Goodbye" as its final song.

Sounds like it might not be goodbye forever, though.

We're working to get more details on the return of HFStival, including when tickets might go on sale and when the lineup might drop. A media contact at the 9:30 Club was not able to provide additional information yet. As of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, the festival was yet not listed on Nationals Park's events page, which doesn't display anything past a Bruce Springsteen concert scheduled for Sept. 7.

A documentary about WHFS, "Feast Your Ears: The Story of WHFS 102.3," won Best Documentary Feature at the DC Independent Film Festival this year.

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