Ronald Reagan Building hosts daily ‘Live! Concert Series on the Plaza’

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'Live! Concert Series on the Plaza' (Part 1)

One of D.C.’s longest-running free concert series returns this week with the Live! Concert Series on the Plaza at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

The free series kicks off on Tuesday with weekday performances from 12 to 1 p.m. on Wilson Plaza.

“It’s a great destination to bring your lunch outside,” Senior Marketing Manager Lanna Nguyen told WTOP. “We’re in between the National Mall and the business district north of Pennsylvania Ave., so it’s a bit of a thoroughfare. We love to have locals, tourists, office workers, everyone come join us. It’s a great spot to just sit outside and enjoy live music.”

Launched in the year 2000, the series had to cancel last year due to the pandemic.

“We’re celebrating our 20th season,” Nguyen said. “We were sad we weren’t able to host it last year, but it was a tough year for a lot of folks, and with a lot of restrictions, we thought it was best to just not have the concert series. We’re just that much more excited to have everyone back on the plaza and see all the activity and energy back outside.”

The outdoor series features every music genre you can think of.

“We love to have a variety of musical genres,” Nguyen said. “We have everything from jazz and country to go-go and mariachi. We really love to highlight a lot of the local musicians and performers from around the DMV region. There is truly something for everyone.”

While you listen, you can participate in “Play on the Plaza” activities.

“We’ve got giant Connect Four, cornhole, so you can challenge your co-workers and friends while you’re out enjoying live music,” Nguyen said. “The games are all free.”

There’s also the Capital Harvest on the Plaza every Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“While you’re out on your lunch break, grab some lunch at the farmer’s market, take it down, find a table and just listen to some live music,” Nguyen said. “We’ve got a great lineup of vendors with artisanal treats, great lunch options and farm-fresh produce.”

As we emerge from the pandemic, unvaccinated guests must wear masks where physical distancing is not possible. Vaccinated guests have the option to wear face coverings in accordance with local mask guidelines. Hand sanitizer stations will be available as well.

“We have great feedback year after year about how awesome it is to have this free concert series available to anyone who wants to attend,” Nguyen said. “People get out and start dancing right in front of the stage, so it’s definitely a fun thing to do during a lunch break.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'Live! Concert Series on the Plaza' (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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