The Broccoli City music festival returns to the RFK Stadium Grounds in Northeast D.C. on July 15 and 16.
The festival has previously featured hip-hop and R&B megastars before they exploded — names like Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Lil Wayne, Erykah Badu, Teyana Taylor, Anderson. Paak, Lil Baby, H.E.R., Migos and the late Nipsey Hussle.
“I think it’s just a matter of just kind of listening to the streets, I suppose. We stay listening to our nieces and nephews, all of the young people that tell us what’s hip and what’s cool,” Broccoli City founder Brandon McEachern told WTOP. “I think that it’s dope that we take a shot on those folks. Other promoters might be like, ‘Ahh, they’re too risky,’ or whatever the case may be, but we know that good music must be heard and that good talent needs to be seen.”
Saturday brings Lil Uzi Vert, Jazmine Sullivan, City Girls, Ice Spice, Chloe, Rema, Keke Palmer, Saucy Santana, Finesse2Tymes, Tiacorine and OG Bobby Billions. There will also be a “Battle of the Bands” of local go-go bands.
The electricity continues Sunday with performances by Brent Faiyaz, Kodak Black, Glorilla, Asake, Mariah the Scientist, Coco Jones, Lola Brooke, Fat Trel, LARussell and Tre’ Amani.
“Brent Faiyaz will be kicking his tour off. He is a DMV native, had one of the strongest R&B projects last year, man. The ladies love Brent Faiyaz,” McEachern said. “We also have a person that some of y’all might know, this rapper called Kodak Black, so that’s crazy. We’ve also got this young lady who’s been tearing the scene up, her name is Glorilla. We’ve also got a brother by the name of Asake, who is amazing in the Amapiano and Afro-beat scene.”
McEachern is a North Carolina native who founded the festival with friend Marcus Allen in 2013. Since then, Broccoli City has became a bicoastal operation with McEachern based in L.A. and Allen based in D.C.
“The name Broccoli City came from my hometown, which is Greensboro, North Carolina, so ‘green’ = broccoli, ‘Boro’ = city,” McEachern said. “Every summer, me growing up, I was in D.C. all the time. My other co-founder, Jermon Williams, he is a D.C. native, then we’ve also got Darryl Perkins, who runs all of our community initiatives, and he is a Howard University graduate hailing from the Oakland area, so we’ve got a little bit of everybody.”
The 2010 inaugural event in L.A. saw 500 attendees, but it grew to 5,000 guests by the time it moved to D.C. in 2013. Over the past decade, the festival has played St. Elizabeth’s Gateway Pavilion in Southeast D.C., the Half Street Fairgrounds outside Nate Park and FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. In 2018, it brought 30,000 people to RFK Stadium.
“We bounced around trying to find us a super solid home for Broccoli City, because we’re gonna keep bringing it back and back and we’re going to keep growing this thing,” McEachern said. “As far as the growth in attendance, it’s really just been a blessing, especially with what’s going on in the economy right now, so we just want to make sure that we give people the best show that they deserve.”