The Home Rule Music Festival returns June 21-22 (and July 20!) with Gary Bartz, Vanessa Rubin, DuPont Brass & more

The mercury is rising and AC units have started to hum. It’s time to start figuring out how you’re going to spend the brightest moments of summer in the swampy capital city.

Don’t sweat — we got you.

Together with our friends at Home Rule Records and the Home Rule Music & Film Preservation Foundation, CapitalBop is excited to present the third annual Home Rule Music Festival, returning at the very start of summer: June 21 and 22. And this year, the festival returns in mid-summer for an unprecedented second free day of outdoor programming, on July 20.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of D.C.’s first elections of the home-rule era. What better way to mark that milestone than with a festival dedicated to the Black music and culture, and drive for self-determination, that make our city what it is? (Don’t forget to vote in the primaries on June 4, too!)

The 2024 HR Festival kicks off at the Black Cat on Friday, June 21, where the intergenerational all-star lineup will include the New Doug Carn Sextet, special guest Vanessa Rubin, and D.C.’s own JoGo Project — a 10-year-old institution blending jazz, go-go and other influences from across the Black musical spectrum. Tickets for this historic night start at $40; get them at

Then we’re back at The Parks at Walter Reed on Saturday, June 22, for the main event: a free, open-to-the-public celebration, all day long. HR and CB have put together a killer lineup, full of what George Clinton would have us call “big foot music” — it’ll make you “clap your hands / to the beat.”

While entry is open, you can still register ahead of time to make sure you’ve got this one on your calendar. VIP tickets are also available for purchase, and will get you a whole host of perks — while helping to support this great event. Find out more at Eventbrite.

The lineup for June 22 includes feature performances from:

You won’t just experience a day of music and community at The Parks. The festival grounds provide a family-friendly atmosphere and are packed with delicious food and drink, vendors selling handmade apparel and collectible LPs, community groups spreading the word about their work, and plenty more. If you loved CapitalBop’s NEXTfest in 2021 and 2022, or if you showed up to HR Fest either of the past two years, you already know what to expect: high-level vibes, incredible music, and a bunch of hometown spirit. (We’re especially happy that the Malcolm X Drummers and Dancers, who opened both editions of NEXTfest, will be back to kick off the afternoon at The Parks.)

And this year, the festival returns for a third day, on Saturday, July 20, at Alethea Tanner Park, near Union Market. At that show, also free and outdoors, we’ll hear from two of D.C.’s hottest young acts: Be’la Donna, an all-female go-go band that can crank with the best of them, and the Experience Band & Show, a power-packing group that brings together classic go-go, bouncebeat and brass music.

These engagements of DuPont Brass and the Malcolm X Drummers & Dancers are made possible in part through the support of Mid Atlantic Arts, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.



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