Upcoming summer concerts in and around D.C.

Media Credit: File Photo by Graeme Sloan

DC Jazzfest will be hosted on The Wharf's main pier and is open to the public.

By May 17, 2021 1:32 AM

With the vaccine rollout underway and COVID-19 restrictions loosening, it’s time to start thinking about which concerts you’ll want to hit this summer.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of mainly outdoor concerts occurring in and around D.C. this summer and early fall so you don’t have to dig through Google. Most indoor concert venues only have shows scheduled starting in September, but these locations are ideal for outdoor concerts.

From Green Day and Weezer at National Park to Firefly Festival, a day trip away, headlined by artists like Lizzo, Billie Eilish and The Killers, here are a few upcoming concerts you can put on your calendar:

Comet Ping Pong
This pizza joint turned makeshift concert venue is located in Northwest D.C. near Friendship Heights. It’s an eccentric spot with a retro 80s vibe and per its name also has a room of ping pong tables inside for guests to enjoy. This summer, Comet Ping Pong plans to host a series of summer concerts in its parking lot for a limited audience who pre-reserve tables – for two, four or eight people – to watch the show. Most of the artists are lesser-known indie and alternative bands, so if that’s your vibe and you want to check out some new tunes, this is a great local and cheap option for a concert. There is a two drink minimum during the shows for guests at reserved tables.

 ● May 26 – Shannon Bielski & Moonlight Drive ● June 2 – The Obsessives ● June 9 – The North Country ● June 16 – Mystery Friends ● June 23 – The Goodbye Party ● June 30 – The Sweater Set

5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. Shows for July and later are yet to be announced. Tickets from $15 for a two-person outdoor table to $60 for an eight-person outdoor table.

Nationals Park
This stadium is good for more than baseball – it also makes the ideal, spacious concert venue. In between baseball games this summer, Nationals Park will be hosting three concerts, all rock, punk rock and alternative music with big names like Green Day and Def Leppard. Concert guests will be expected to wear a mask at all times inside the stadium but will not be required to have the vaccine or a negative COVID test, and capacity will be limited per D.C. guidelines.

 ● July 13 – Guns N’ Roses ● Aug 8 – Hella Mega Tour: Green Day, Fallout Boy and Weezer ●Aug 9 – The Stadium Tour: Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard

1500 S Capitol St. SE. Tickets range from $30 to $750 depending on concert and stadium area.

Merriweather Post Pavilion
Merriweather Post Pavilion is an ideal outdoor concert venue located in Symphony Woods, a huge plot of land in Columbia, Maryland, about a 50-minute drive from the city. If you can snag a Zipcar or ride, this venue is hosting a huge selection of concerts ranging from hard rock to jazz. Since COVID-19 guidelines are subject to change, the venue will “follow guidance from local and state health department officials in place at the time of the show,” according to the website.

 ● July 2 – W3 Festival: Kix, Slaughter, Heaven’s Edge and The Iron Maidens● July 3 – W3 Festival: Queensryche, Accept, Winger, Steven Adler, Steelheart Bulletboys Hurricane and Enuff Z’nuff ● July 4 – W3 Festival: Night Ranger, Warrant, Great White, Lita Ford, LA Guns, Faster Pussycat, Bang Tango and Little Caesar ● Aug. 12 – Luke Bryan ● Aug. 19 – Zac Brown Band ● Aug. 20 – Wilco + Sleater Kinney ● Aug. 21 – Dave Matthews Band ● Aug. 26 – Kenny Chesney ● Aug. 31 – Alanis Morrisette ● Sep. 4 and 5 – Capital Jazz Fest ● Sep. 18 – Daryl Hall & John Oates ● Sep 23 – Dierks Bentley ● Sep 28 – Pet Shop Boys & New Order

10475 Little Patuxent Parkway. Columbia, Maryland. Tickets range from $15 to $167 depending on the concert.

DC JazzFest at The Wharf
DC Jazzfest is an annual event with the backing of a nonprofit organization. While the festival is only for a few days every year, the nonprofit aims to provide music education throughout the year to “underserved communities,” through the DCJF Education Program. The festival will be free to the public and hosted at The Wharf’s main pier. Along with standard COVID-19 safety guidelines as per D.C. guidelines, the festival provides guests, artists and community members with a page of COVID-19 resources on its website.

Sept. 1 through 5
● Regina Carter ● Maria Schneider Orchestra ● The Spanish Harlem Orchestra ● Orrin Evans Presents “Terreno Comum” ● Lakecia Benjamin Presents: “Pursuance” ● Cyrus Chestnut ● Allyn Johnson ● Afro Blue ● Jenny Scheinman ● Laurin Talese ● Immanuel Wilkins ● The String Queens ● Carr/Keys ● The Michael Bowie Trio ● The EJB Quartet (Reigning DCJazzPrix Champions) ● Ernest Turner Trio ● Vox Sambou ● Chuck Redd

Main Pier at The Wharf, 760 Maine Ave. SW. Free entry but donations to the DC Jazzfest Education Program are encouraged.

Firefly Music Festival at Woodlands
Tickets for this music festival are going fast with all VIP tickets sold out within the first few hours of being on sale. But with superstar headliners and indie and alternative up and coming artists, it’s easy to see why. Located in Dover, Delaware, attending this festival will take some planning for students in D.C., but with camping options on site, it is a great idea for a weekend escape after the first month of classes. The festival website states that it will follow the state, local and federal COVID-19 guidelines that are in place for the area at the time of the festival.

Sept. 23 through 26
Headlined by Billie Eilish, The Killers, Tame Impala and Lizzo.

Other artists include: Girl In Red ● Machine Gun Kelly ● Peach Pit ● Remi Wolf ● Megan Thee Stallion● Wiz Khalifa ● Phoebe Bridgers ● Flo Milli ● Still Woozy ● Tate Mcrea ● Glass Animals and more

599 Persimmon Tree Lane. Dover, Delaware. General Admission Tickets for $339. Camping fees are not included. 

This article appeared in the May 17, 2021 issue of the Hatchet.

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