Throughout the year there are many festivals and concerts to be excited for, but none are quite like Broccoli Ctiy Festival. With the Coachellas and Lollapaloozas of the world, it’s rare to find a music festival that caters to the Black population on the platform for environmental awareness and sustainable living. This was my second year covering Broccoli Fest for Ruby Sampson. Last year I had the pleasure of roaming the grounds of what used to be Saint Elizabeths in SE DC. I was really only attracted to go to Solange’s set, but this year the lineup was hot! RFK stadium was hit with the talent of H.E.R, Daniel Caesar, Miguel, Cardi B, and the headliners of the night: The Migos.
The first act I had the pleasure of watching with great anticipation was H.E.R. I had never seen what she actually looked like so I was excited to see her hit stage. Dressed head to toe in yellow (just like me) she hit the stage starting one of her sensitive yet sultry songs. The crowd was obviously feeling her and sad to see her go, but then Daniel Caesar came out. Now, I love this man because he is the embodiment of sole talent. Dude writes these beautiful back to back Netflix and chill ballads. I could listen to him sing in my ear for hours, and that is exactly what it felt like in the audience as he belted notes after notes into the microphone, I was truly encaptured.
After that I decided to take a break. I walked around for a bit, ate some really expensive but healthy food. It felt really good to be around so many diverse people just having fun. The sun was out for a quick minute, everybody had their shoulders and legs all out, it was a beautiful thing. I was amongst the crowd dressed in the color of the day: yellow. My straightened natural hair was pulled back most of the time under a Ruby Sampson silk-lined head wrap. The styles ranged from casual headbands to the full wraps that can be dressed up or down anyway you style it. My favorite (as seen below) is the 4/20 Sativa Leaf Silk-lined Head Wrap.
The stage was so hype after 3 pm that one fan of all of these artists couldn’t possibly enjoy the entire festival. I couldn’t get to caught up because 7:15 was approaching and none other than Cardi B was about to touch ground in Broccoli City. Although I was late getting in the crowd, it was okay because she was late to start her performance. But when she did and after awhile found her groove with the music and audience everything was HOT. Oversized T-Shirt and all she bodied every rap and rhyme under her belt. I didn’t even have time to catch my breath before Miguel came on. Immediately the stage was electrified in his glory, I was hooked and couldn’t take my eyes off his hair flipping, run singing, moonwalking state of being. I was left in awe completely even forgetting The Migos was up next. By the time they came on I was a lot further back and could barely see them intoxicatingly stumbling around the stage.
All in all, I left with a newfound gratitude for the Black-owned Broccoli City. We’re currently witnessing history as an explosion of minority-owned ventures span across the United States. I’m thrilled to participate in attendance of this modern day renaissance of diverse storytelling and narratives. On the outskirts of the concerts were fun game booths, food trucks, and the marketplace which housed a majority of small businesses. Amongst Ruby Samson, were Black fashion designers, jewelry makers, and holistic beauty gurus. There were so many shops that it’s almost impossible to not spend your Black dollars, I was impressed. It seems as if Broccoli City stepped up its game this year with a bigger venue, more quality artists, and the consciousness in who they decided to partner and host this year. All of this contributed to making this years fest a total success.
My final words of advice to someone thinking of going to Broccoli Fest next year goes as followed:
- There’s mad people (30k this year to be exact) so come early.
- Don’t bring anything you aren’t prepared to wear comfortably on your person or between your feet at a concert.
- It always rains at Broccoli City, this has been proven year after year regardless of the forcast. So Protect your edges! Come prepared with a hat or your choice of Ruby Sampson headwrap for ultra protection from the various weather changes. This wrap was themed perfect for the festive occasion and held me down all day wind, rain, or shine. You can get yours here.
- Bring beaucoup cash because everything on sale is quality and ain’t cheap.
- If you want to get up close and personal with your favorite artist, then pay extra for VIP tickets or prepare to stay in the audience hours before their set because (as stated in item 1) there’s mad people.
- Whatever you're style is: wraps, braids, weave, or just natural, COME READY TO SLAY.