Music Festivals 2019: Dance the Summer Away in DC, Maryland, Virginia and Beyond

Here are the best music festivals within easy travel distance of Washington, D.C.

The days are getting longer, the heat is turning up, and Lizzo's "Juice" has already got us dancing: It's music festival season.

Whether you're ready for a road trip or want to stay close to home, here are the music festivals that the D.C. area needs to know about.  

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May 19
Columbia, MD

Featuring: Gretta Van Fleet, Young The Giant

For years, DC Kerfuffle has brought some of the biggest names in alternative music to the grounds of Merriweather Post Pavilion. This year continues the legacy with headliners Gretta Van Fleet, Young The Giant and Tom Morello.

dc prchfest AM
Porchfest DC
Porchfest DC returns on May 19

Southeast DC Porchfest
May 19
Washington, D.C.

Featuring: Local artists in their element

It doesn’t get more local than a neighbor’s porch. Southeast D.C.’s Porchfest highlights the district’s emerging artists through a series of mini concerts on front porches across the Hillcrest neighborhood. Performances range from folk music to spoken word to Go-Go. There will also be food trucks and vendors set up along the way. The event is free, and families are encouraged to bring their children.

The Roots Picnic
June 1
Philadelphia, PA

Featuring: H.E.R., 21 Savage, Lil Baby, Things Fall Apart

Back for its 12th year, this festival hosted by music legends The Roots promises a pretty impeccable lineup. On top of sets from artists like H.E.R. and 21 Savage, there will also be a live taping of Joe Budden’s podcast and a performance of a live mixtape featuring Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and Roots emcee Black Thought. This is their first year at Fairmount Park, which means the picnic finally has grass to sit on.

Capital Jazz Fest 
June 7-9
Merriweather Post Pavilion

Featuring: Gladys Knight, Babyface, Brian McKnight

The Capital Jazz Festival will be held for the 27th consecutive year this June. Jazz, soul and funk musicians take the stage at Merriweather Post Pavilion to set the mood for a chill summer. Enjoy some food on the lawn as Gladys Knight and Babyface play through sets of their classic hits, and then tour the Festival Marketplace for some arts and crafts.

Steve Aoki poses onstage for a photo with Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart of The Chainsmokers during day 4 of the Firefly Music Festival in 2015.

DC Jazzfest
June 7-16
Various venues

Dozens of artists will come to D.C. to perform at venues on The Wharf and in other neighborhoods. A few highlights include an opening ceremony with Stefon Harris & Blackout and Sharon Clark, Snarky Puppy and a revue honoring the Great Masters of Jazz hosted by Nick Cannon.

Firefly Music Festival
June 21-23
Dover, Delaware

Featuring: Panic! At the Disco, Travis Scott, Post Malone

This festival, only about a 2-hour drive from the D.C. area, has a lineup stacked with rap and rock staples. It pretty much offers an experience for anyone, whether you like roughing it in a tent, glamping or staying at a hotel right in Dover. Festival organizers have promised an upgraded camp site experience in 2019.

July 24-28
Floyd, VA

Featuring: Kacey Musgraves, The String Cheese Incident, Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band, Brandi Carlile

FloydFest is an annual, eight-stage festival set in Patrick County, Virginia. Attendees can camp off or onsite for five full days of country and folk music. Kacey Musgraves, this year’s Grammy Award winner for Album of the Year, is slated to perform.

Woodstock 50
August 16-18
Watkins Glen, NY

Featuring: The Killers, Miley Cyrus, Chance The Rapper, Jay-Z

The same organizers that brought the original 1969 Woodstock festival to life will host a three-day festival this summer with the same mission: to celebrate peace, love and music. The festival celebrates 50 years since the original was held.

LOCKN’ Festival
August 22-25
Arrington, VA

Featuring: Joe Russo's Almost Dead, Trey Anastasio Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Bob Weir and Wolf Bros

This four-day festival takes place against the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Every year, organizers create a series of collaboration stages between their headliners to provide festival-goers the ultimate exclusive experience. Attendees can listen to the live performances, grab some food from a local vendor and explore the natural surroundings.

Made In America
August 31-September 1
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Featuring: Travis Scott, Cardi B, Juice Wrld

Jay-Z launched his curated festival in 2012 as a way of bringing together music and culture. Every year since, acts ranging from Beyonce to Coldplay have headlined the festival in Philadelphia. This year’s lineup is sure to match the reputation that the festival has made for itself over the years.

Rosslyn Jazz Festival
September 7
Rosslyn, VA

Back for its 30th year, the Rosslyn Jazz Fest is set to return to Gateway Park for a day of free performances. Last year’s festival drew over 10,000 people, according to the festival’s website. Enjoy live jazz and contemporary music as you sip on a glass of wine in the middle of the park.

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