Music Park: Glen Hansard @ The Anthem — 3/24/18

Glen Hansard 3
Glen Hansard listens to the audience at The Anthem on March 24, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)

Glen Hansard recalled an abandoned car in his neighborhood and how it sat neglected for quite some time. Finally, one day, he peered inside, spotted a cassette deck, and found a cassette in it.

The folk rocker took the cassette and listened to it, delighted to discover it was a mixtape of rocksteady songs from ’60s Jamaica. One song particularly struck him: A number apparently by Ken Boothe that contained the line, “Love is going to find you.”

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Don’t Miss: ShamrockFest 2018 @ RFK Stadium Festival Grounds, 3/17/18

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ShamrockFest 2017 at RFK Stadium Festival Grounds (Photo by Danilo Lewis for ShamrockFest)

ShamrockFest, hailed as “America’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Festival, returns to RFK Stadium Festival Grounds on Saturday, March 17, with concert headliners Sum 41, Shaggy, and Less than Jake, along with performances from Reel Big Fish, Carbon Leaf, Street Dogs, Scythian, Barleyjuice, Kilmaine Saints, and more.

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Don’t Miss: River and Roots Festival @ Watermelon Park (Berryville, Va.), 6/23-6/25/17

River & Roots Festival at Watermelon Park
A performance at the River and Roots Festival (Photo by Chester Simpson)

With the long, hot lazy days of summer surely finally approaching, what better way to spend a weekend than to lounge by the water and listen to music?

The fourth annual River and Roots Festival, hosted by Shepherds Ford Productions, affords you an opportunity to do just that along the Shenandoah River in Watermelon Park outside of Berryville, Virginia (not far from Winchester) on Friday, June 23, through Sunday, June 25 with a lineup of bluegrass, Americana, and roots musicians.

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Don’t Miss: ShamrockFest 2016 @ RFK Stadium Festival Grounds, 3/12/16

Shamrockfest 2016 - Schedule

On Saturday, March 12th, the 17th Annual ShamrockFest hits the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds with an epic amount of green and Irish music.

Your local Irish heroes, Scythian, will be playing at 5:30pm, along with plenty of other bands, notably Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys.

And Mr. Van Winkle himself, aka Vanilla Ice, will also rock the mic like a vandal. Paired with an Irish Coffee, things could get very interesting. (Irish Vanilla Ice Coffee?)

Here are 17 reasons you should go this year!

Shamrockfest 2016 - Top 17

 

ShamrockFest 2016
RFK Stadium Festival Grounds
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Festival: 3-11pm
General: $29.99 (or $24.99 with purchase of 4+ tics)
VIP: $74.99+ (21+ only)
All ages

Music Park: ShamrockFest @ RFK Stadium Festival Grounds — 3/21/15

gaelic-stormGaelic Storm

It is clear, after attending the 2015 edition of ShamrockFest, that I need to get myself to Galway, Ireland.

Because the girls.

Scythian, DC’s native purveyor of Irish tunes, crooned ‘and I lost my heart to a Galway girl’, in a lively cover of Steve Earle’s “Galway Girl”. Then later, Gaelic Storm performed their brand new “Girls Night in Galway”, an ode to the multitude of bachelorette parties that festoon the city.

ShamrockFest is an exercise in excess. An excessive amount of Irish and Celtic music. An excessive number of people dressed in elaborate green costumes. An excessive desire to visit Galway (for me, at least).

Strolling around the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds, there is no question that DC loves St. Patrick’s Day. Taking a cue from Carbon Leaf’s dance ready “The Donnybroke Affair”, you might describe ShamrockFest as ‘a rough-n-tumble free-for-all’ and ‘a ruckus to be reckoned with’.

Festival goers were ready for a day of music and beer. I would guess a large percentage of the sold-out crowd partook in the VIP package, which included access to an expansive VIP area and bottomless beer within.

The VIP area spread between the Gold stage and the Green stage. Aside from the dedicated beer stalls and a small DJ booth, it also provided cordoned off and up-close access to both stages. The lines for beer were so long that Red Frog Events eventually opened up VIP member’s access to all festival beer stands. Which then made all the lines long. We want our beer.

The sprawling Festival Grounds is not attractive (after all, it is a parking lot), but the three stages and the electronic tent were spaced apart so that you never felt overwhelmed by crowd movements and spontaneous dancing.

The beer selection was small, but with three choices and a cider (Guinness, Guinness Blond, Yuengling and Angry Orchard Cider), it was both appropriate and better than many festivals. The food offered was nothing beyond typical festival fare to further the St. Patrick’s Day theme. But Bailey’s Irish Coffee was on offer. Yes and thank you.

Other activities included Bear Pong (an outsized version of the classic beer pong) and Cornhole hosted by NAKID Social Sports. There were also stalls selling green things, kilts and alcohol infused cigars. Nice. There could have been more to do, if you wanted a break from the music.

The music options were an eclectic mix of Irish standards, electronic dance, covers, folk, fiddles, Celtic songs and a pinch of blues (Traveler) thrown in for good measure.

I was able to listen to a good number of bands on the Gold, Green and Dewey Beach stages, and did also poke my head into the DJ tent (Electric Isle).

The main complaint for the Electric Isle tent was there was a sizable pool of water in the middle, towards the back, courtesy of the rain from the previous day. People danced around it.

Here is my music lineup and brief notes on each.

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Music Park: Scythian @ ShamrockFest — 3/21/15

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Scythian perform in Dublin, Ohio, last year.

Scythian, DC’s homegrown Celtic band, stole the show at the ShamrockFest last weekend during their performance at RFK Stadium.

The polished banter and showmanship among the four current members was fully on display as they kicked off their set with their well-known “Irish Polka,” calling out to the crowded field before them to dance to your left! to your right! to your left! And they welcomed revelers to bounce back and forth with beers in hand.

Alexander Fedoryka, Josef Crosby, Danylo Fedoryka, and Tim Hepburn put on a spirited display of a group united as they earnestly enjoyed their time on stage as much as the audience. They appeared at ShamrockFest as part of a tour for a new acoustic album, Old Tin Can, technically scheduled for release on April 23. But some of the liveliest songs came from last year’s Jump at the Sun, including “Paint This Town” and “Fields of St. James.”

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