Over the weekend I attended the 5th annual Broccoli City Festival in Washington, D.C. BC fest is hosted by the social enterprise Broccoli City, which focuses on “redefining the cool” towards people being active and engaged participants in their community, as well as living a healthy lifestyle.
I originally heard about the festival a few years back via some of the artists I follow on social media. It always seemed like a good time. So this year when I saw that Solange was a headliner, I was sold. I bought a ticket and a round trip flight from Atlanta to D.C on sight, ready for some solo adventures.
I was a little hesitant on the day of the festival. It had rained the night before and followed into the morning. The sky was a continuous stream of grays and all I could think was "uh oh". I checked the website to see what their policy was about weather and BC Fest is a rain or shine event. There was no turning back. The money was spent and I was here. So I zipped my retro Nike windbreaker up and headed out for the day as the drizzle fell.
I arrived at the festival grounds around 1ish, a little over an hour after the noon kick off. I was immediately greeted by a large pavilion with all of the vendors housed underneath. The vendors included retro clothing racks, headwrap businesses, shea butter this, jewelry, and a vinyl vendor as well. Around the back side of the vendors was an interactive mural installation. A few local artists came out and painted pieces that became photo back drops for the attendees. On one of the walls festival guests could try their hand at tagging the wall. The creative in me loved this.
In the middle of the festival grounds were two sections for food. There were the food trucks that ranged in cuisine styles. You had chili bowls, bread pudding desserts, crab and salmon cake sandwiches, and pizza to name a few. In the tent section of the food vendors were the healthier options for vegans/vegetarians.
The festival hosted two stages, the city stage and the broccoli city stage. And the line up was pretty solid. I tried my best to bounce between both stages regularly, but unlike the D.C folks, I'm wasn't used to thugging it out in the rain. Which is something I have to applaud them on. In Atlanta, if your event happens and it's raining, you should expect half of your expected audience to show up. We just don't like inclement weather. Call it boujee, call it lazy, call it Southern. Whatever makes you feel better. But D.C?!? They were out there. The on and off drizzle continued through the afternoon and into the early evening, but the later it got, the crowd began to grow. And the bars kept a steady rotation of patrons. Even after the luscious, soul sister afros dwindled to Frederick Douglas status, people were out there having a great time.
All and all, I had a blast and I'm looking forward to BC Fest 2018. Until then, check out a photo recap below.
Bri Simpson is the Creative Director at AB+L Radio. You can see more of her work at brisimpsonart.com and follow her on IG @bri.simpson