Labor Day Weekend Music Festival 2017

The Lincoln Theatre, Cardozo

Margot MacDonald sings and plays guitar on stage at Washington DC's historic Lincoln Theatre, accompanied by cello.

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Holiday weekends aren't usually the time to expect a three-day music festival in a major city such as DC. With so much of the local population heading out of town to visit family or get one last taste of summer, the streets seem to feel a little more empty and the events calendar looks just a little more sparse than usual. But that's all the more reason to head to the historic Lincoln Theatre for DC Arts' Labor Day Weekend Music Festival, featuring three full nights of free music by local artists.

We were fortunate enough to attend the first evening's festivities, with performances by three bands—each fronted by a female vocalist—ranging in styles from jazz to indie-pop to full-on power rock. It all started with the classically-trained Flo Anito, who opened with the commercial-jingle-turned-Euro-hit A Night Like This before belting out one great vocal standard after another, backed by a band as talented as the Lincoln Theatre stage deserves. After a short break, Margot MacDonald (shown above) opened her set with her signature, solo, live-loop style before calling up her own band, which included cello and xylophone to complement her powerful (and at times haunting) vocals. Lastly, Laura Tsaggaris took the energy from MacDonald's performance and refined it into a four-four rhythm that had us literally dancing in our seats for the entirety of her set and the duration of the show.

Hats off to the Commission on the Arts and Humanities for bringing an extended weekend full of talented local artists together in one place, allowing residents and visitors alike to discover there's more to this area than politics and history. If you were lucky enough to attend the same night we did, or manage to catch Saturday's performances by local legend Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, Rose Moraes and Harold Little, or Sunday night's concert with Pablo Antonio y La Firma, Kush and AZTEC SUN, take a moment to rate the show and write a few lines to tell us what you think. Whether you like it, love it, or it isn't your thing, your reviews will help others decide whether to attend next year, and your ratings help us help you find events and activities you're sure to love!


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I liked: All of the artists were quite talented (much better than you'd expect at a free show)! There was ample seating, it was easy to come and go as I pleased, and the bakery-made HoHos were so delicious!
I didn't like: It was my first visit to the Lincoln Theatre and I was hoping the lineup would have been more representative of the venue's history as the jewel of "Washington's Black Broadway."