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The Postal Service, Death Cab, Incubus, Bush to play HFStival revival at Nationals Park

Fans will have to enter a lottery for the chance to buy tickets to the reboot of the legendary HFStival at Nationals Park

NBC Universal, Inc.

It’s happening: The D.C. and Baltimore area's iconic (and long dead) HFStival is coming back to life with a lineup dripping with the sounds of the ‘90s and 2000s.

I.M.P., the owner of D.C. venues including the 9:30 Club, teased the return of the festival last week and dropped major new details on Tuesday.

The Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie, Incubus, Bush, Garbage, Jimmy Eat World, Girl Talk, Violent Femmes, Tonic, Filter and Lit are set to perform at Nationals Park on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie – both, as Pitchfork put it, “peak millennial nostalgia” projects of Ben Gibbard – will perform their hit 2003 albums, “Give Up,” which feature hit "Such Great Heights,” and “'Transatlanticism.”

HFStival 2024 will pack all those rock bands onto one stage for one day of dancing and moshing.

Fans will have to enter a lottery for the chance to buy tickets (so, no lining up at Mail Boxes Etc. or Hecht’s at Landmark Mall, as some wondered when news of the revival broke). You can request tickets via Ticketmaster through Sunday, June 16 at 11:59 p.m.

It costs $250 for pit tickets -- the standing-room-only area closest to the stage -- and $150 for seated tickets, before fees. VIP tickets cost $475. Fans who win tickets in the lottery will be automatically charged and notified by June 21, I.M.P. said.

Organizers I.M.P. and Nationals Park implemented the ticket lottery system anticipating huge interest in the festival.

“Quintessential HFStival acts have been doing an unprecedented business, selling more tickets than they ever came close to back in the day, so it all made sense to bring back the HFStival,” Seth Hurwitz, the owner of I.M.P., said in a release.

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.

But 13 years later, I.M.P. shook D.C.'s rock music scene by striking a deal radio company Audacy to use the HFStival name. They heralded the blast from the past with a collage of photos showing massive crowd shots, a mosh pit, MTV's Kurt Loder and physical paper tickets.

"This will be a show for everyone who went to HFStival in decades past and those who weren’t around to be a part of the scene," Hurtwitz said.

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