Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Drinks

Hot Ticket: American Beer Classic @ RFK Stadium, 7/12/14

On Saturday, July 12, join the American Beer Classic at RFK Stadium. Prices for this beer festival will go up after midnight Thursday.

The American Beer Classic will feature about 100 different breweries and roughly 500 different beers.

For $65, you can buy a general admission ticket for one four-hour beer tasting session from 6-10pm.

For $95, you can buy a VIP ticket for an extra hour of beer tasting 5-10pm. The VIP session includes priority access to education sessions (details of which are coming soon).

You also can purchase a “designated driver” ticket for $25, and check out the festival without the beer samples. Designated drivers get access to a Designated Driver Lounge with food and nonalcoholic beverages.

After midnight Thursday, prices go up although tickets will still be available.

Breweries include Dogfish Head, Abita, Atlas Brew Works, Elysian Brewing, Green Flash, Heavy Seas, Moylan’s, Sam Adams, Schlafly, Uinta, and many others!

American Beer Classic
RFK Stadium
Saturday, July 12
GA Doors @6pm
VIP Doors @5pm
21+ to drink

Sports Fix, The Features

Nats Fall 7-2 to Cubs on Independence Day

A strong pitching performance from Chicago Cubs right-handed starter Jason Hammel stifled the Nationals’ attempt at a Fourth of July victory in Washington on Friday afternoon. Chicago beat Washington 7-2 and Nats right-handed starting pitcher Tanner Roark didn’t look quite as sharp as he had earlier this season.

Roark pitched seven innings while giving up four runs and one homerun on nine hits. He walked one batter and struck out five on 87 pitches (61 strikes). Chicago came swinging right out of the gate with a pair of singles off Roark to start the game. Leadoff man and outfielder Chris Coghlan scored on a ground out hit by Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo giving Chicago their early 1-0 lead.

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We Love Weekends

We Love Long Weekends – Jul 3 – 6

Don: Ah, 4th of July weekend. Which for me means one of those exciting 6 lone holiday days I get since I left the public sector. I will be savoring it by eating some half smokes off my grill from Red Apron and doing [redacted]-all for the totality of the day. We’ll be experiencing the fireworks the way that has become our tradition – watching the New York display on tv. I miss the DC display, but I no longer can walk to a non-crazed (go to the crowdtacular mall? hahahahahahahahah no thanks, waiting in line for portapots is more patriotism than i can manage) location and watch the Capitol display with my own eyes. Since the alternative is WETA’s Explosive Racism Spectacular I’ll just swallow my hatred of NYC for an hour.

Rachel: The 4th of July falls on a Friday this year which means HELLO LONG WEEKEND! Looking forward to that. I’m also looking forward to the Cubs being in town for a weekend series against the Nationals. As some of you may or may not know, I hail from Chicago originally so this is one of my favorite events of the baseball season in D.C. The last time the Cubs were in town on the 4th, it was 2007…if memory serves me right. That game was at RFK Stadium. Dimitri Young hit a grand slam in that game, Matt Chico pitched, and the Nats beat Chicago 6-0. This Nats team has changed quite a bit since that summer, so I look forward to seeing how this series pans out.

Fedward: Last year we had just closed on our house and had to spend the 4th weekend packing, but we took the time to head to the roof of our apartment building for one last blast of Petworth/Park View neighborhood fireworks at eye level.  This year is the first we’ll actually be spending in the house, but having lived in the neighborhood for four previous 4ths we already know what to expect from the neighbors (which actually started a couple weeks ago).  We weren’t really planning to leave the house, much less the neighborhood, but we’ve been offered a pair of tickets to Friday’s Nats game so we might actually get out for that.  We might also walk over to the Petworth-adjacent Soldiers’ Home for their annual celebration. Saturday afternoon we’ll head up to the AFI Silver for Lawrence of Arabia (related: the whole Alec Guinness Centennial looks awesome). On the live theatre docket: Side Show at the Kennedy Center and Private Lives at STC’s Lansburgh. We’ll round the weekend off with brunch at the Passenger, because that’s what we do.

Tom: Independence Day is always my favorite holiday of the year. Some people love Christmas, or Easter or Flag Day or Armistice Day, but me, I’m an Independence Day guy. I’ll be making ice cream first thing in the morning with my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and some local fruits, probably cherries, before plotting the rest of the weekend’s adventures. I may go for the reading of the Declaration of Independence, I may opt for a more personal expression and go for a bike ride, but overall, I will celebrate the brave that passed before us and declared this one nation, indivisible.

Mosley: Ah, the Fourth. Like Tom, it’s one of my favorite, favorite days out of the year.  And with a three day weekend, I’ll actually be able to get out for it too!  On the 5th I’m definitely going to the AFI but for decided lower brow entertainment: they’re starting there Totally Awesome ’80s movie schedule and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is playing.  Call me what you will, but I prefer to think of myself as a kid at heart.  Other than that, I’m hoping to get out on the Anacostia for some kayaking, weather be damned.  I try to do it at least once a summer, and the weekend of the 4th is a great excuse to do it.  I launch out of Bladensburg Waterfront Park and paddle all the way down to RFK; it’s amazing.

Jenn: It wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without a stroll to Bloomingdale to watch the incredible 360-degree view of fireworks viewable from a dear friend’s roofdeck. There’s just nothing like watching the city’s celebration unfold, from the official explosions to the crazy neighborhood displays. I love fireworks, plain and simple, they bring out the little kid full of wonder. I’ll probably also squeeze in a viewing of that old chestnut 1776, a musical my brother and I used to quote at each other as we danced around the backyard waving sparklers. Speaking of movies, Fedward reminds me that AFI is celebrating the centennial of one of my all-time favorite actors, Sir Alec Guinness, with a retrospective starting this weekend and running the next few months. There’s a treasure trove of performances to catch! This weekend it’s Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, and Lawrence of Arabia (oh definitely, if you haven’t seen Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen in glorious 70mm, get yourself to AFI Friday or Saturday!). And I’ll also be celebrating democracy by participating in dog & pony dc’s rehearsal of their immersive town hall meeting, Beertown, before they head up to NYC to perform for the Lincoln Center Directors Lab next week (go DC theater pride!). A nice, relaxing weekend with a side of culture. My favorite.

Sports Fix, The Features

Nats Sweep Colorado with 4-3 Win Over Rockies

It was a hot and humid one in D.C. on Wednesday night but the Washington Nationals braved the swamp-like elements to complete a three game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 4-3 victory. Starting pitcher, right-hander Doug Fister had just one blemish on an otherwise efficient outing which came in the form of a three-run homerun in the second inning for the Rockies.

“[It] was a constant battle all night,” Fister said. “[The keys were] guys played defense. They came out and played well, sacrificed a lot whether it was diving or just sacrificing themselves to make a play. That was big.”

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Featured Photo

Featured Photo

First, the big news: this will be my last regularly scheduled post on WLDC. After three awesome years of photo work here on the site, I’ve decided to hang up my…publish button? Anyways. It’s not a big deal; in fact, I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished here and I love the people I’ve been able to work with. I still have a post or two left to write, but I’ll be leaving the day-to-day photo posts in the capable hands of Joe. You guys have read Joe’s work right? Excellent stuff. If nothing else, I’ve tried to give our audience the best and Joe is certainly that!

And with that in mind: ALL THE PHOTOS ARE FEATURED PHOTO TODAY! We’ve got heart ache of the USA lose by Caroline; followed by a stunning portrait by Pablo. I’m certainly going to miss nevermindtheend’s very quirky, yet engaging, scenes that she always seems to find. And I can’t not point out this simple pathway shot, done by dcsplicer, which demonstrates the beauty of man-made lines mixed with nature’s chaos. And we all know how much I love birds and other animal photos; so thanks Kevin and Chris! Then there’s shots like Victoria’s and Paul’s: one showing the amazing life and symmetry of Metro, and the other showing the amazing life and symmetry of the Mall. My only regret is I couldn’t show you all the great photos in our poll…oh, but wait I can.

And finally, Eric’s sunset shot is a fitting end. He’s done a bunch of these over the years, and more than a few have made them into Featured Photo or Weekend Flashback posts. Certainly a nice photo for me to ride off into…why yes, I can be corny and melodramatic, why do you ask?

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Fort Reno Summer Schedule

As others have by now reported, the organizers of the Fort Reno Summer Concert Series have resolved their differences with the National Park Service. And they now have posted a schedule that begins Monday, July 7 and runs through Thursday, July 31.

Straight from, here is the lineup:

Monday, July 7 2014

Thursday, July 10 2014
Peanut Butter & Dave
Golden Looks
Calvera Skull

Monday, July 14 2014
Baby Bry Bry
Tiger Horse

Thursday, July 17 2014
Puff Pieces

Monday, July 21 2014
Alarms & Controls
Talk It

Thursday, July 24 2014
Title Tracks
The Effects
Myrrh Myrrh

Monday, July 28 2014
Black Sparks
The Raised by Wolves

Thursday, July 31 2014
Protect U

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: VinoFest @ Union Market — 6/28/14

See-I at VinoFest (Photo by Sung J. Shin)

See-I at VinoFest (Photo by Sung J. Shin)

VinoLovers, a new personalized wine subscription service based in DC, presented its inaugural VinoFest at Union Market Saturday, offering a happy gathering of wine appreciators selections from a dozen different wines and a musical lineup that included nine different acts, including Eric Hilton of the Thievery Corporation and Jesse Boykins III.

The weather was perfect for the gathering, which served as a perfect summer escape via parking lot. VinoFest was held in the loading dock and adjoining lot behind Union Market, and it became a perfectly comfortable location as more and more people filled the space throughout the afternoon, contributing to the feeling that you were attending a fancy block party in a secluded cul de sac in the city.

After taking some time to check out the wine selection, I caught the performance by Brooklyn-based quartet Body Language, who played some very catchy electronic R&B. Musicians Grant Wheeler, Matt Young and Ian Chang took to synthesizers and other instuments while vocalist and Angelica Bess smoothly sang some smooth but funky tunes, sometimes in harmony with the men. Her soaring yet sweet voice was a lovely compliment to the synths of the band — and the effect was not unlike watching some of the better moments of a live Moby stage show when the DJ teams with a soul singer for some of his better songs.

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Sports Fix, The Features

Nats Beat Rockies 7-3 with Opening Day Lineup Back Intact

The  night was almost overshadowed by the fact that outfielder Bryce Harper was back in the Washington lineup for the first time since April  25 but, instead, a five-run rally in the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies highlighted what the Nationals are capable of if their starting nine stay off the disabled list.

Washington faced rookie Rockies pitcher Yohan Flande in his second career start and struggled to make any offensive noise against him as they settled in during the early innings. On the other hand, the Nats’ starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann held command of the game while waiting for his team’s hitting to cut through somehow. Zimmermann threw six innings and gave up two runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking a batter. He threw 87 pitches and 60 strikes. Continue reading

We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends – Jun 27-29

Don: Other than the possibility of some thunderstorms – which can be fun sometimes – this is looking like a nice weekend to be outside, what with the highs in the low 80s. So of course my slate has a lot of indoors stuff. I’m pre-weekended it at Union Kitchen on Thursday for the ‘Chups launch party shindig. I was a Kickstarter backer so I had rewards to pick up and District Donuts – soon to come to Barracks Row – to sample. (Verdict: YUM) Friday night I’m going to a dog going away party. Yes, really. Saturday is wide open, but Sunday at 5 I’m going to mosey over to Hill Country BBQ where our own Rachel is going to be a part of a deconstruction of country music  How can I resist a variety of performers trying to boil things down to the identified 7 themes of country music? “The Demon Drink Has Been My Ruin” is the category that speaks to me.

Tom: Weekend! Our friends are having a low country boil out in the foothills, so we’re looking at a weekend out in the wilds of Virginia. There’s a good chance we’ll hit the cute markets in Aldie, which dates back to the early 1800s. There’s some good barbecue out there, too, which means we’ll get lunch there before heading out to Middleburg. Did you know there’s a library for angling, equestrian and field sports there? Yeah, me neither. But there is. I hear great things about the spa at Salamander Resort, but I think that’s too rich for this weekend. See you in the country!

Esther:  Well now that Bat Boy has closed at 1st Stage (and what an amazing run it was!  If you missed it, shame on you DC.  You missed a great show!), I have time to be out and about in DC.  My weekend will begin on Friday viewing a little Quicken Loans National Golf tournament at Congressional Country Club.  Saturday will be spent on the National Mall at the semi-annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, after which I plan on heading over to the Banana Cafe & Piano Bar on Capitol Hill for some of the best Cuban and Puerto Rican food in town.  Sunday, I’m going to Jazz on the Riverfront at the Capitol Riverfront, overlooking the Anacostia River, since there will be wine and beer tastings and chef demonstrations.  Food, alcohol, and summer weather.  Sounds like a perfect summer weekend to me!

Rachel: Busy weekend ahead! But what else is new? Lots of concerts to try and hit starting Friday night including Tiffany Thompson’s final full band show at Ebenezers Coffeehouse before moving to Nashville and The Beanstalk Library at Iota Club & Cafe (in Arlington). Between trying to attend rock shows, I’ll be sending off a friend who’s moving to Pittsburgh with a celebration at Ri Ra in Georgetown. Then Saturday, I’ll do my best to make it to DC9 because Jonny Grave & The Tombstones, Benny, AND Rocky and the Pressers are all on the same lineup. Sunday will be a frantic day as I bounce between playing in my first Flashband at Hill Country BBQ (the theme is “The 7 Songs of Country.” I’m super stoked.) and trying to catch Don Kim’s EP release at Iota. So try and catch me if ya can!

Tiffany: Thursday through Sunday, I am between jobs, so my weekend started early. Since World Cup isn’t my thing, I’ll probably head to E Street Cinema for a showing of Belle. Thursday evening was be dinner at Brookland’s Finest with my visiting brother so he could meet his nephew. Friday I’m definitely getting aloo gobi for lunch at Naan & Beyond (it’s delicious and they only make it on Fridays). Saturday morning, I’m hoping the baby goats will be visiting the Historic Brookland Famers Market at Monroe Street Market, because that sounds like the perfect thing to do on a Saturday morning with a 9 month old. Rural Virginia in the afternoon and evening for relaxation and low country boil. Sunday? Rest, of course. Don’t want to start a new job with those “I’ve got a baby at home” bags under my eyes, after all.

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Firefly Music Festival Pt. 4 (Dover, DE–6/22/14)

Rivers Cuomo of Weezer proves his band still has it (Photo courtesy of Firefly Music Festival)

Rivers Cuomo of Weezer proves his band still has it (Photo courtesy of Firefly Music Festival)

Four days is a long time to commit to a festival, but it actually buzzes right by when you follow your festival roadmap of bands to see.

The final day of the Firefly Music Festival, Sunday, June 22, was a short day for me as my compatriots and I determined to return to DC from Dover at a reasonable time (say, around 9pm instead of midnight or later).

I’ll wrap my festival diary then with a short nod to the three bands I caught on my last day, starting with Misterwives, who performed on the festival’s small forest stage.

The New-York based quintet is a young band that’s been around for not quite a year and a half. But they got a record deal pretty quickly, even if they don’t yet have a Wikipedia page. Vocalist Mandy Lee is total sweetheart, chatting with the audience from stage and then breaking into equally sweet, fast-paced song, such as with the band’s single “Reflections,” also the title track of their only EP so far. “Reflections” lyrically reflects Ms. Lee’s sunny attitude — maybe there’s some possibilities still ahead? And it’s neo-psychedelic rythms speak to a band that likes to whip up a good dance number — a band that includes guitarist Marc Campbell, drummer Etienne Bowler, bassist William Hehi and keyboardist Jesse Blum.

Misterwives performed a bright, upbeat cover of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” which the forest stage audience embraced quite quickly. There was much dancing. Misterwives have an upcoming show where they support Bleachers at the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Sept. 3, if you’re interested in checking them out.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Fort Reno Concert Series — What Can You Do?

Yesterday, We Love DC posted news that the organizers of the summer concert series in Fort Reno Park canceled the concerts this year due to a new requirement that they pay to post an officer of the US Park Police at every show.

The series could not bear the costs of this unannounced new requirement, prompting organizer Amanda Mackaye to announce the cancellation of the popular concerts Thursday.

We asked Mackaye what could folks do if they wanted to help. She suggested reaching out to protest the decision by the National Park Service (NPS) in hopes of reversing the requirement to bear the costs of an officer at the concerts.

Suggested contacts below

Jon Jarvis, NPS director
No readily available contact info as of yet

Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini, acting regional NPS director for National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Dr. SW
Washington, DC 20242

These DC officials have been sympathetic to the situation, and Mackaye suggested contacting them to inquire about how to help:

Sen. Paul Strauss
One Judiciary Square, Suite 1000-S
Washington, DC 20001

Councilmember Mary Cheh
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 108
Washington, DC 20004

In addition, has posted a petition protesting the Park Service requirement. You can sign the petition online.

What can happen at this point? I don’t know, but Mackaye wrote to me, “I believe in the power of the people.  I look forward to those who hold this concert series dear to their hearts being the reason we can move forward with the schedule we created for this summer.”

Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Drinks

Hot Ticket: VinoFest @ Union Market, 6/28/14

A lot of great specialty festivals are taking place around DC these days. Music festivals, beer festivals, food festivals, and others are giving us more and more options every weekend this summer.

How can it get any better? Perhaps with VinoFest, this Saturday, June 28, at Union Market, which combines two festivals into one with a festival of wine and a festival of music!

VinoFest promises chart-topping musicians, art exhibitions and a big selection of wine in a curated experience that includes local and imported wines, food vendors and music concerts.

Tickets are still available!

For general admission at $75, gain access to wine tasting and music concerts

For VIP access at $125, gain premier access to the concerts, wine tasting and an exclusive VIP lounge with Belvedere Vodka-sponsored open bar w/ catered apps and deserts.

For a concert pass at $50, enjoy the full concert lineup without the wine tasting. Food and beer vendors also are on site for those looking for an a la carte bite or drink!

The wine tasting includes a to complementary glass of sparkling wine as well as a four-hour session of wine tasting from 2-6pm.

Music acts include:

  • Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation
  • Jesse Boykins III
  • See-I
  • Jetty
  • DJ Spinser Tracy
  • Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes
  • Body Language
  • Bonnie Rash

VinoFest is presented by VinoLovers, a DC-based startup that has launched a new wine subscription club that personalizes wine selections to the taste of each member. A portion of proceeds benefit two national charities:

  • Bike2TheBeach, a nonprofit that promotes the benefits of bike riding
  • Dreams for Kids DC, a nonprofit that creates opportunities for at-risk youth through service, leadership and social activities

VinoFest’s stated mission is to “blend philanthropy, entrepreneurs, tech, art, music, and food all in one explosive summer party!”

Tickets available online.

Union Market
1309 5th St. NE
Washington, DC 20002
Saturday, June 28
Wine tasting: 2-6pm
Concerts: 2-10pm

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Firefly Music Festival Pt. 3 (Dover, DE–6/21/14)

Sean Scanlon, vocalist of Smallpools (photo courtesy Firefly Music Festival)

Sean Scanlon, vocalist of Smallpools (photo courtesy Firefly Music Festival)

Day three of the Firefly Music Festival on Saturday, June 21, focused mostly on new bands for me — finding such new bands always is the strength of well-organized festivals.

My day began with Smallpools, a quartet from Los Angeles, and their catchy pop songs on the Firefly backyard stage. Smallpools have not yet released a full-length album, but their most popular single, Dreaming (from a self-titled EP) is a very neo-psychedelic dance number that smacks of Foster the People and Passion Pit, as many others have observed. Vocalist Sean Scanlon demonstrated a good sense of humor when recounting a protest email the band once received about its name. Apparently, someone was unhappy that Smallpools would celebrate “small pools,” which are not healthy for killer whales. In response, the band named a new song “Killer Whale.”

Smallpools open for Neon Trees in a show at the 9:30 Club on July 13, but it’s already sold out sadly!

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Fort Reno Summer Concert Series Canceled

The organizers of the Fort Reno Summer Concert Series in upper Northwest DC have cancelled the series for 2014.

In a note on the website for the concert series (, organizer Amanda Mackaye laments the cancellation, which is due to an unexpected announcement from the National Park Service (NPS) that the organizers pay for an officer from the US Park Police (USPP) onsite at each concert in Fort Reno Park. This never had been a requirement previously, Mackaye said, and the humble little concert series cannot afford the cost of the officer required.

“So as it stands today, not only does the concert series not have the funds to cover this cost at the last minute but we don’t feel we should have to do this without just cause. Our feeling is that if something had changed within the operations at NPS or USPP regarding public events since last summer, there was ample time to inform us. NPS has all of my contact information. And this is not a little cost as USPP seems to think. It will literally double the VERY small budget of the concert series. It will affect how many shows can happen because the money must be paid up front. I didn’t even bother to get into what happens if we are dark due to rain…,” Mackaye wrote.

“That all said, with the heaviest of hearts the decision is that the concert series will be dark for 2014 in an effort to resolve this for the future. I hope it goes without saying that this is not the outcome we expected and certainly don’t want,” she added.

Sounds like blind, needless bureaucracy to us! We hope Mackaye can resolve these challenges, although as you can see in her letter, no one has stepped up to meet with her on the issue.

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Firefly Music Festival Pt. 2 (Dover, DE-–6/20/14)

Dave Grohl at Firefly (Photo courtesy Firefly Music Festival)

Dave Grohl at Firefly (Photo courtesy Firefly Music Festival)

Yesterday’s list of summertime cover songs by bands playing at the ever-growing Firefly Music Festival was by no means exhaustive, as you’ll see below.

The second day of Firefly, Friday, June 20, started around 12:30pm and stretched until 2am. (And for morning people, unlike myself, Red Bull sponsored a breakfast series where you could awake even earlier and catch some up and coming bands.)

My day, however, began with neo-psychedelic band Basic Vacation, hailing from New York City. Vocalist and guitarist Chris Greatti, bassist Jon Paul and drummer Mike Montalbano formed a snappy trio, playing their established songs like “I Believe” as well as new songs like “Sirens.” They also played a damn catchy cover of Tears for Fear’s “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Greatti said at the time that the band would not play it again after Firefly, but c’mon, guys! That was a really good cover, and you really put your own spin on it.

It was during the performance of Basic Vacation on the lawn stage that I began to notice an odd phenomenon. Lots of kids were carrying large cut-out heads of random celebrities, like Nicolas Cage and David Bowie and Bryan Cranston. I have no idea why they carried them, but these large cut-out heads showed up on the viewscreen monitors surprisingly well when the cameras cut to the audience during any particular show. If anyone can explain to me how this got started, I would be very interested in knowing.

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Featured Photo

Featured Photo

A lot of people starting off with street photography get nervous when it comes to taking a stranger’s picture out in public. One way to build up your confidence and get experience with street photography is to take pictures of street performers. The majority of street performers don’t mind if you take their pictures, though some might expect you to throw a dollar into their hat.

Shooting street musicians and performers also gives you a chance to take the next step, which is to turn the camera toward the spectators. In today’s feature photo, Rob Cannon gives us a great example of what happens when you focus on the crowd — you can get a wonderful range of expressions. Check out our flickr pool to see more street photography from our contributors.

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Firefly Music Festival Pt. 1 (Dover, DE–6/19/14)

2014 Firefly crowd (Photo courtesy Firefly Music Festival)

2014 Firefly crowd (Photo courtesy Firefly Music Festival)

The third-annual Firefly Music Festival drew an estimated 80,000 people to an expanded four-day concert experience in nearby Dover, Del., June 19-22, boasting more than 125 artists over seven stages.

Although I arrived at the first day of the festival for a bit, let me stop and recount some of the figures from the festival distributed on the second day, when Del. Gov Jack Markell and Firefly Music Festival Director Greg Bostrom spoke about the scope of the festival.

The festival brought an estimated $12 million into Delaware with visitors from all 50 states (and the District of Columbia) as well as 17 countries. Two percent of overall ticket sales came from DC (not too shabby) while neighboring Maryland and Virginia accounted for 15 and 8 percent of sales respectively. (By contrast, Delawareans also accounted for 15 percent.) Firefly grew significantly from last year, when the three-day festival drew about 65,000 attendees.

With that dry economic report out of the way, was the festival any good? Is it worth traveling a little more than 100 miles each way from DC to attend?

Definitely, yes.

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Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Drinks

Hot Ticket: American Beer Classic, 7/12/14

After the success of the SAVOR American Craft Beer Festival last May, it’s easy to call DC a beer town. Other big beer events are taking notice and rolling into the city as well.

Next up is the American Beer Classic on Saturday, July 12, at RFK Stadium. Today is the last day to buy tickets before a scheduled price increase! The American Beer Classic is anticipating the participation of about 100 different breweries and roughly 500 different beers.

For $60, you can buy a general admission ticket for one four-hour beer tasting session from 6-10pm.

For $90, you can buy a VIP ticket for an extra hour of beer tasting 5-10pm. The VIP session includes priority access to education sessions (details of which are coming soon).

Breweries include Dogfish Head, Abita, Atlas Brew Works, Elysian Brewing, Green Flash, Heavy Seas, Moylan’s, Sam Adams, Schlafly, Uinta, and many others!

Prices go up after midnight tonight!

American Beer Classic
RFK Stadium
Saturday, July 12
GA Doors @6pm
VIP Doors @5pm
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Kaiser Chiefs @ 9:30 Club — 6/18/14; Firefly Music Festival — 6/20/14

Kaiser Chiefs (courtesy Press Here)

Kaiser Chiefs (courtesy Press Here)

At one point in the latter half of the sold-out performance of the Kaiser Chiefs at the 9:30 Club, singer Ricky Wilson swung from the stage to the stage left bar, where he promptly reviewed his drink options and ordered a shot of Jameson.

Before consuming said shot (while still standing on the bar), Wilson reminisced on how he did a similar thing in his last visit to the 9:30 Club two years ago, when he swung to the bar to pull himself a beer from the taps.

The audience, of course, ate it up. Wilson and the Kaiser Chiefs delivered exactly what they sought in both antics and music — a lot of energy, a big dash of rowdiness and the occasional cheeky flourish.

The band opened its set with “The Factory Gates” from its cool new album, Education, Education, Education and War, revisiting a familiar theme in their songs — perhaps there is more to life than being a drone or “part of the crowd.” Indeed, many of the new songs were really strong songs, sitting atop the best of the Kaisers’ catalog, in my opinion. New songs “Coming Home” and “Meanwhile Up in Heaven” offer some slower moments of reflection while “Ruffians on Parade” and “Misery Company” provide fuel for frenetic sing-alongs and dancefloor stomping, laughing (literally in the case of “Misery Company”) in the face of danger with a devil-may-care flair.

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