Broccoli City Festival celebrated Black culture in the blackest way possible. The DMV-based music festival played host to a two-day event that featured performances from Ari Lennox, Gunna, Jeezy, Lil Durk, Rico Nasty, Summer Walker, Tems, Wale, WizKid, 21 Savage, and more.
Combatting inclement weather and disgruntled consumers, BC Fest made its triumphant return to live music during Mother’s Day weekend. The weather forecast was calling for rain, and festivalgoers beseeched the powers that be to “postpone or cancel the show,” but to no avail. Nobody could have foreseen the role that Mother Nature would play in the run of show, but BC co-founders (Brandon McEachern, Marcus Allen, Darryl Perkins, and Jermon Williams) did their best to accommodate each and every poncho-toting patron.
Candidly, the show must go on, rain or shine. And it did. In fact, the black-owned social enterprise commemorated an eight year run this past weekend, celebrating years of continued success in music, art, and social impact.
Despite the shades of gray towering over fans from neighboring clouds, thousands of people converged in RFK Stadium from different corners of the world for a shared listening experience. The Pressure songstress and DC native, Ari Lennox, wowed fans with a headlining performance to close out night one, donning a custom, emerald corset. However, the turning point of the night came with Wale’s star-studded set, stealing the show with surprise guest appearances by Polo G, Big Flock, Lightshow, Money Marr, VESH, and others.
The next day played out in a similar fashion, but with better weather: the sun peaked out now and then from behind the clouds. Many people in the crowd had already been reciting songs word for word, but by the time “Essence” came on, it seemed like time stood still, especially once Tems graced the stage to accompany WizKid. The song, which made history as the first Nigerian-led single to reach the top 10 on Billboard Hot 100 Chart, electrified fans.
For the finale, Summer Walker performed a handful of her most popular songs, appearing as a shadowy figure through the clouds of smoke and purple-tinged light that washed the audience. Muni Long’s absence was felt, but the R&B vibes at this years’ Broccoli City were alive and well.
Whether it was Legacy DC’s pop-up art exhibition, the different food vendors, or the cultural nuances of DC – mambo sauce, beating your feet, and go-go – everything about Broccoli City weekend was on brand. Let’s just hope that next year bears favorable weather conditions.
Broccoli City 2022: Photos From the Music Fest