Located behind RFK Stadium, Kingman Island is a relative oasis in the middle of DC’s Anacostia River. The nonprofit group Living Classrooms has maintained the island since 2009, and every year, they’ve held an annual bluegrass and folk festival on the island to celebrate the island’s role as a ‘living classroom’ and a getaway from the bustling day-to-day life of DMV residents. For their 10th annual festival, Living Classrooms married some highlights of the local music and food scene with sound great nationally-touring acts.
The Californian group Dustbowl Revival anchored the headlining stage, but other great local acts like Odetta Hartman, Mink’s Miracle Medicine (check out our interview with MMM’s Melissa Wright here) and the folk-turned-R&B/soul group Oh He Dead held down large crowds on the island’s far-end Meadow Stage. Meanwhile, on the Heritage Stage, groups like Hannah Jaye & the Hideaways and Wicked Sycamore impressed the intimate gatherings present for both. And best of all, the rain was held at bay long enough for attendees (and their dogs) to enjoy great food, free hikes/kayak tours, and some of the best bluegrass/folk music DC has to offer.
Scroll down for a full set of pictures from the festival.
2019 Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival Lineup:
The Ballroom Thieves
The High & Wides
Crank Lukongo Unplugged
Drew Beckman and the Boundary Boys
Mink’s Miracle Medicine
Justin Trawick and the Common Good
Jack Dunlap Band
Hannah Jaye and the Hideaways
Oh He Dead
The October Sessions
Jess Eliot Myhre