Members of Batala Percussion band performing at 2014 Funk Parade in DC on May 3, 2014 (Photo by Pabak Sarkar)
The second annual Funk Parade promises to be even funkier than the first.
The street and music festival certainly impressed enough people in its inaugural year to convince Mayor Muriel Bowser to close U Street NW on Saturday, May 2 for the daylong festival.
“The U Street Funk Parade embodies the spirit of the District,” said Mayor Bowser in a press release on April 3. “It brings our communities together and honors the city’s cultural heritage that we’ve all come to know and love.”
The Funk Parade organizers sought to close down U Street for their parade last year as well, but they were denied by then-Mayor Vince Grey. With this year’s closing, U Street will shut down for the first time in 17 years, according to reports.
“We’re grateful to the city and Mayor Muriel Bowser for acknowledging U Street’s historic significance to the District as the soul of music, culture and celebration, a place that’s unlike anywhere else in the city,” said Justin Rood, co-founder of Funk Parade, in the press release.
Rood and fellow co-founder Chris Naoum of Listen Local First have been running an Indiegogo campaign to raise $15,000 for the Funk Parade. As of this morning, it has raised roughly $9,300 toward that goal with only four days of fundraising remaining.
The organizes estimate last year’s Funk Parade drew more than 25,000 participants with more than 100 hours of music programming from more than four dozen acts in 30 locations throughout the day. The literal Funk Parade marched down V Street NW last year after Grey denied its application to march down U Street.
Funk Parade activities planned for May 2 include a day fair, the parade, and a music festival.
The following info is from the Funk Parade Indiegogo site:
Day Fair (12-5pm): Before the parade, the neighborhood will host a day fair, full of music, dance, art, and spontaneous acts of soul and creativity. It’s a chance to gather and celebrate and prepare for the mighty parade!
The Main Event – Funk Parade (5-7pm): See dancers, your friends and neighbors, a marching band behind them, and a drum corps. See costumes and getups and shiny things. Hear beat-boxers and junkyard drummers. See pot-bangers and clappers and kids on their parents’ shoulders. Horn players wander in and out of the crowd. A thunderous syncopated procession of groove, winding its way through the neighborhood, calling the city to the funk.
Music Festival (7-10pm): After the parade winds down, the U Street neighborhood’s historic venues open their doors for the city to hear some of the best music DC has to offer. One night, one city, one groove: the subatomic particle of love.
The Funk Parade
U Street Corridor
Saturday, May 2