Down in the Reeds festival brings music and more to The Parks at Walter Reed

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Down in the Reeds (Part 1)

Get ready to sip some coffee, do some yoga, grab a bite at a food truck and drink a glass of wine as you listen to awesome music all day long in the District.

The Down in the Reeds music festival returns to The Parks at Walter Reed on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Co-founder Christopher Naoum told WTOP it’s the third year for the daylong festival. “Our real focus of the festival is to create an event that celebrates the power of music to heal across community and culture.”

The old Walter Reed Army Medical Center is on Georgia Avenue in Northwest D.C. — not to be confused with the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, which opened in 2011.

“We visited the development before it even broke ground and saw the amazing natural amphitheater built on the grounds of the old Walter Reed Army Medical Center and knew the acoustics were going to be amazing and felt a special energy with the place because it was a place of healing, a place of historic importance right in our backyard,” Naoum said.



The free festival will feature live music and activities at three locations on the campus.

The Main Stage on the Great Lawn features jazz, R&B, go-go, funk and world folk music. Artists include Algonquin drummers The Medicine Singers and the Brooklyn bhangra band Red Baraat.

“If you come early you can catch Plant Music Yoga, where you can do a yoga session but the artist is making music using electrodes from the plant to make his music!”

The Arts Plaza Stage will offer interactive activities.

“You can learn about the different instruments, the different types of music,” Naoum said. “They’re all short performances — like 30 minutes — and almost all have an educational aspect, whether you want to learn about flamenco or West African drumming.” There’s even woodworking.

The Lucid Gathering Space presents sound baths, musical jams and an open mic for spoken word. “There’s these two workshops called Synesthesia Symposia, where you’ll be given shapes and colors and different things to draw with and mark your own artwork. The art will be inspired by the sounds that these artists are playing.”

Additional activities include a family art area where kids can make their own instruments, as well as a paint-by-numbers mural, historical scavenger hunt and lawn games.

Learn more on the Down in the Reeds festival’s website.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Down in the Reeds (Part 2)

Listen to the full conversation with Christopher Naoum 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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