Broccoli City Festival D.C. 2015: FuseBox Radio X Photo Essay

This past Saturday, the second annual Broccoli City Festival went down once again at the Gateway DC pavilion.  

Even during an abnormally chilly spring day that gave folks a pretty steady amount of evening rain in Southeast D.C., a sellout crowd was in full swing at the event and had a good time checking out a lot of different independent and major label musicians on two different stages, such as Erykah Badu (who did her thing in DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown mode, who gave folks a pretty solid mix of old and new school tunes on the selector end and did a bit of singing), Joey Bada$$ (who along with Kirk McKnight represented PRO ERA proper with energetic, lyrical MCing), Willow & Jaden Smith (who came in with an insane amount of security and entourage folks, but did a pretty solid, if a bit rough around the “let’s get turnt up” edges, music set of rapping and singing, especially for their age), Tink, Tiara Thomas,  Kaytranada, Kali Uchis, Sunny & Gabe and lots of quality #DMV/DC Metro acts on the rise.

While the weird weather and distance between the stages made it kind of hard to check out everyone performing (and some acts sadly got washed out later on in the day at the One Love Massive stage), there was a bit of something for everyone with the music options on deck with the scheduling – Rock, Soul, R&B, Reggae, EDM, House, Reggae were all in the mix.

A nice mixture of local and national brands along with various parts of the local government represented on the vendor end in abundance with all sorts of clothing, food, literature, collectibles, artwork and more for purchase.

The Broccoli City Festival had a few rough edges this year but most of its issues were due to something that was totally not in the staff’s and organizers’ control – the weather conditions.  

It’s pretty natural for scheduling, etc. to be a bit off or altered when you’re trying to handle sound equipment, making sure everyone arrives and sets up for their various sets on time, etc. in the rain. 

The hosts from Rock Creek Social Club skillfully handled the situations thrown at them with professionalism, quality banter and making sure to keep the day’s DJs spinning the right tracks to keep the crowd from getting too restless in between acts and some schedule changes.

Overall, this year’s event was worthy of going to – and for someone like me who is NOT beat for being in the rain for outdoor music festivals, that’s saying something.  

The upward growth of the Broccoli City Festival is very encouraging to see, especially as an event that happens in a usually neglected part of Washington, DC for such big, multi-faceted, affordable (like, for $35 general admission, you got over 9 hours of music acts – can’t beat that) and community based event programming.  

The embrace of big name international and quality local area act lineups is a trend more music festivals in this area need to follow since there is a treasure trove of musical talent in DC, Maryland and Virginia.

I’m hoping that the event keeps growing while keeping its roots (as much as possible) in the area.  The D.C. Council for Arts & Humanities is doing a stand up job with providing the Gateway DC venue and R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center for happenings like this and I hope the trend continues.

Check out our and FuseBox Radio Broadcast's coverage and pictures from last year's event here.

** All pictures taken by Mary Nichols (DJ Fusion/FuseBox Radio Broadcast) under a "Creative Commons Attribution - No Derivatives" license. Please feel free to use & share them if you wish with attribution/credit to the photographer (besides these pictures, there are plenty more from this and other events over at the official FuseBox Radio Broadcast's Flickr Page and Behance/Prosite Page) ... thank you! **

Erykah Badu (aka DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown)

Joey Bada$$ (PRO ERA)


Tiara Thomas

Marlee in the Mixx & Ras Nebyu

Kali Uchis

Sunny (of Sunny & Gabe)

Gabe (of Sunny & Gabe)


Jaden Smith


Willow Smith


Audience Shot

Artists at Work

Audience Shot

Vendor Shot (Ward 8 Arts & Culture Council)

D.C. Food Truck Shot

Audience Shot

Vendor Shot (STUDY)

D.C. Food Truck Shot

Audience Shot

Vendor Shot (Hats By Will)

Vendor Shot (Bulletproof. #BlackLivesMatter)


Vendor Shot

Young Drummers at the One Love Massive Stage

Audience Shot


Artist at Work


Audience Shot