Participants press for federal legalization of marijuana at the National Cannabis Festival on April 20, 2019. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
“To me, pot is just fun. And I’m glad to see the rest of the country is coming around to my way of seeing things,” Keith Richards said in interview in Rolling Stone magazine Sept. 3, 2015. Keith would have enjoyed the National Cannabis Festival at RFK Stadium on April 20.
Cypress Hill perform at RFK Stadium Festival Grounds for the National Cannabis Festival on April 21, 2018. (Photo by Will Colbert)
Happy Belated 4/20. Blunted LA rap group Cypress Hill was in the nation’s capital this Saturday to help DC celebrate the marijuana holiday.
Cypress Hill (Photo courtesy Primary Wave)
Groundbreaking hip hop group Cypress Hill, perhaps forever best remembered for 1994’s “Insane in the Brain,” will headline the National Cannabis Festival at RFK Stadium Festival Grounds on Saturday, April 21.
Deryck Whibley fronts Sum 41 in a headlining performance at ShamrockFest 2018 at RFK Stadium on March 17, 2018. (Photo by Daniel Webb)
Sum 41, who hardly ever play around DC, headlined ShamrockFest 2018 on Saturday, giving me an opportunity relive childhood memories in a wonderful opportunity to see the band play live at the Festival Grounds at RFK Stadium.
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.
Scythian gets the crowd ready at ShamrockFest 2016
Herein lies a look at the music of ShamrockFest 2016.
Celkilt – I entered the ShamrockFest fray in time to see Celkilt, a Celtic rock band, on the Gold stage. The energy of their performance was enough to fire me and the nearby festival goers up for the day of music ahead. Even some of those had drank too much by this point… Celkilt is from Lyon, France and competed on the TV show, France Got Talent. I was intrigued by how much fiddle can be inserted into any given song.
Scythian – Which leads me to the band I most wanted to see (even after having seen them too many times to count). Scythian, a Celtic band led by the Fedoryka brothers (Alexander and Danylo) that started in DC at local Irish pubs like Finn MacCool’s (RIP) and Fado, is a fiddle enthusiasts dream.
They started a bit slowly, easing in to the set, but quickly picked up the thread of dance and fiddle with the foot-stomping, “Hey Mama Ya”. Their St. Patrick Day sing-a-long, “Galway Girl”, won over anyone that hadn’t yet heard of them. While “Dance All Night” and the bare knuckle brawler, “Jack Dempsey”, simply gave the eager masses crowded around the Green stage no quarter and no time to stand still. I will say that this wasn’t the best performance by Scythian (some of their 9:30 Club shows could claim that honor), yet their set imbued the spirit of Celtic music, and is always a joy to experience.
ShamrockFest goes green
What is ShamrockFest? Held every year at the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds (aka the parking lot), it presents an interesting enigma.
If you take your cue from the revelers that attend every year (now 17 editions strong!), then you can easily look around and say it is about having fun with friends and letting go of inhibitions.
It is about dressing up in bright green, with shamrock logos, kilts or skimpy outfits. It is about basking in the waves of sounds, with fiddles, horns, guitars and drums. It is about dancing. It is about loitering with friends and enjoying yourself. It is about helping those said friends stand when they had just a wee bit too much… It is about hoisting a pint and saluting those about to rock. It is many things and more.
2016 was my 4th foray into the odyssey that is ShamrockFest (including three of the last five years).