Charm City Bluegrass, Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival and SpringDig Details

Hot August Music Festival 2017

​The time has finally come and the staff at DC Music Review could not be more excited about all of the amazing summer concerts and festivals that are coming our way.  Over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing lineups, travel info, ticket links and much more.  We've been busy little bees contacting organizers, interviewing performers and making sure we have coverage onsite to bring you the best and most detailed information so you can decide when and where you'll be dancing your troubles away all summer long.  Get the logistics, buy your tickets and grab your friends because there's nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile! 

Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival

Date: ​May 4, 2019  12-8 pm  Location: Kingman Island

10th Annual Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival
10th Annual Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival

Click for full size image

Voted 'Best Music Festival' for 2018 by Washington City Paper, Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival is back to celebrate a decade of great music that benefits an even greater cause.  Organized by Living Classrooms, a Washington, DC nonprofit that inspires people to achieve their potential through hands-on education, workforce development, health and wellness, and violence prevention programming, it also brings residents and visitors to a much less known area in the D.C city limits.  

The ultimate goals of the festival are to raise awareness of this incredible community resource and to provide an opportunity for people to experience music and nature. ​

What's new for 2019?   This year in addition to a stellar lineup, ​we've brought on a couple great new beer sponsors. Atlas Brew Works will be back in the Lower Meadow but ​they are also welcoming Coney Island Brewing, Heineken and Red Stripe to the mix.  George Dickel will also be handing out whiskey samples - because what goes better with bluegrass than beer and whiskey?

​What else is there to do besides just music?   One of the activities that will be added to ​the Living Classrooms’ tent is creating “Gorilla Seed Balls” made up of native seed species to take and throw into the meadow, to encourage its continued growth.  ​There will also be a fish tank that will demonstrate what kind of wildlife you might find in the Anacostia, as well as an exhibit that highlights the trash often found in the river.

REI will be back with free kayaking around the island, Anacostia Riverkeeper will be providing free group educational boat tours throughout the day, ACE Hardware will help festival goers pot their own plants, and of course ​we have an array of local merchants selling their handmade goods in our Merchants Marketplace as well as some of the best DC area food trucks on hand that guests can sample from all day long.  Guests can also carve out a tiny corner of the island and hang a hammock, or just stroll the island and check out the scenery. There is something for everyone!

​Is the festival family friendly? ​​​​​​ The festival is definitely family-friendly!  The island is meant to be a family destination where both parents and children can get out in nature and learn about the environment. ​​ We will have a Kid Zone in the Main Meadow that will have ​face painting, arts & crafts, music and games as well as some educational projects to keep kids engaged.  It’s also nearby the Kingman Stage and beer tent so parents won’t have to miss a beat.  Kids under 10 enter the festival free.

Logistics and Tips:

Transportation:  As a “green” festival ​KIBF encourages use of alternative transportation as opposed to driving.  People using rideshare options should use this address in their map: 575 Oklahoma Avenue NE, Washington DC, 20002.

DC Streetcar As our official mode of transportation, this is a great option for both local and regional travelers, particularly those taking the Metro to Union Station. Festivalgoers should board an eastbound car and ride it to the last stop, Oklahoma & Benning Road, then walk along Oklahoma Ave. toward the entrance within RFK Lot 6/7.

METROWe will have a free shuttle that will run from the Stadium-Armory Metro stop all day long

BIKE: We will have a free bike valet available for guests to check their rides.  There are some organized rides in the area that travel together to the festival, so attendees are encouraged to seek out one of these options. 

CARPOOL: If you have to drive, bring some friends!  Cut down on your carbon emissions by consolidating cars. There will be limited parking onsite available for $10.

Bring shoes suitable for messy conditions.  The island is surrounded by water and can get muddy if there is rain, even a week or more before the festival.  Be prepared and bring alternate shoes/boots as well as possibly a plastic bag and change of shoes for when you are leaving.  Standard outdoor music prep of SPF, hat, blanket and other items is also always smart.  As noted above, a hammock is a plus to bring for lounging and chairs are allowed as well.

Previous Coverage:

Performance Details

Performance Details



Saturday, May 4, 2019

Doors: 12:00 PM

Show: 12:00 - 8:00 PM

Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival

Kingman Island

Washington, DC 20002

(Google Maps Link)

$35 - General Admission

$100  - VIP

Charm City Bluegrass Festival

Date: April 26-27, 2019  12-8 pm  Location: Baltimore, MD

7th Annual Charm City Bluegrass Festival
7th Annual Charm City Bluegrass Festival

Click for full size image

​Back for its 7th annual rendition, the Baltimore based event is boasting much more to draw the crowds for 2019.  

​As the only major roots music focused festival that's made a commitment to have the festival in the Baltimore City limits, they also include mostly Maryland based vending with a strong focus on cultivating a family-friendly environment. ​Charm City takes a survey every year and people consistently state that they are attracted to the positive environment that's cultivated by the fans, artists, staff, vendors, sponsors and volunteers that make up the festival and vibe that goes with it.​

What's new for 2019?   Irvine Nature Center will be bringing a few animals to show to kids for educational purposes and feature an activities center to enjoy with their parents. Charm City Meadworks brews amazing mead and a bunch of great new food and craft goods vending! In addition, many of the bands performing have never played our festival or haven't performed in several years.

What are some things other than music people can experience?  The vibe is always extremely positive and upbeat. You're going to meet awesome people, drink great beverages from Union Craft Brewing and Charm City Meadworks.  Mother's Grille does mixed drinks and they have TONS of great food from vendors like Local Oyster, The Charmery, Bark BBQ Co., and Brick N Fire Pizza.  There's also all kinds of other food ranging from Greek and Asian to festival treats and ​we have a ton of craft good vendors selling everything from homemade crafts to apparel.

Is it family friendly?  ​Charm City is ​​​​​very family-friendly!  Kids 10 and under get in free and there is tons for them to do once inside.  There's activities hosted by the famous Irvine Nature Center, Womb Room, and a guy that blows giant bubbles that the kids love!​​

Previous Coverage:

Logistics and Tips:

Transportation: ​They suggest using Uber/Lyft or parking is $10 in the park via the city.

BIKE: ​Always a good, environmentally and easy way to travel. 

CAR: If you have to drive, bring some friends!  Cut down on your carbon emissions by consolidating cars. There will be limited parking onsite available for $10.

​Being that it's a two-day event, if you're from outside Baltimore, why not look into a hotel room or Airbnb with some folks?  ​The event is rain or shine, however they do not allow umbrellas so think alternate options for staying dry.  Low back chairs are permitted in certain locations.   Standard outdoor music prep of SPF, hat, blanket and other items is also always smart.  ​More info on items not allowed can be found on their website, under FAQ's.

​Charm City Bluegrass 

Performance Details



Friday, April 26  and

Saturday, April 27

Charm City Bluegrass

Druid Hill Park

Baltimore, MD 21211

(Google Maps Link)

$32 - $182 -

  • Single-Day
  • Two-Day
  • VIP Passes Available

Please check link below


Date: May 3-5, 2019  ​ Location: Berkeley Springs, WV

6th Annual Spring Dig Festival
6th Annual Spring Dig Festival

Click for full size image

Back for its 6th annual rendition, this Sleepy Creek tradition is just across the Potomac River  from Maryland in picturesque Berkeley Springs, WV.

A festival that started out just as a group of friends and a campground has continued to grow over the years into a fun and​ family-friendly gathering.  ​Their main goal over the years has been to keep it as intimate and affordable as possible while keeping it fun for the whole family.​

A solid music lineup and only one stage provide an intimate and less rushed experience.  2019 brings some cosmetic changes but the formula from past renditions works well and organizers want to stick with it.  

What's new for 2019? ​ A lot of work just to the festival grounds for one. The thing about Sleepy Creek is we are kind of on a floodplain right there by the river.   The first couple of years, ​the grounds got torn ​up so we pay attention to what areas needed to be addressed. ​ Every off season we try to pay attention to these areas and make as many improvements as we can to the ground and people definitely ​notice that.​  

The front of the stage area used to collect a lot of water so we remedied that with gravel to raise it up a bit.   People asked if we could go back to grass which wasn't feasible but we tried sand instead and everybody seemed to love it, especially the kids.  Now every year right before the event, we just add more sand and it's great.​

We've also been improving our production and crew.  More lights, better quality of sound equipment, more people have been added to the staff and crew to make everything run smoother.

What is there besides music for people to do?  We have a handful of workshops and they're all free. ​ For example ​, we have a hula hoop class that's taught by a woman that is very good.  We have tie dye workshop where you can bring your own white shirt and ​our tie dye vendors ​set up a do it yourself ​area where you can do that.  ​

There's also a camp fire jam that we organize and people love that.  ​They'll bring instruments and we have always kind of tried to push that to have folks gather after the music is done for the evening.  It starts with a full band to draw everyone over and then just becomes an open mic type jam.

We do a parade every Saturday afternoon of the festival and it's kind of become a dress-up party parade.  That's always a lot of fun.  We get some of the horn players that are in the band to lead it and that has been growning.  It ends up being a favorite of most people that attend.

Is it family friendly?  ​​A huge focus is put on being family oriented and we've gotten a lot of praise for that.  Being able to have your kids with you at an event like this without the worry that goes along with the bigger festivals is a huge appeal for attendees who have little ones.   Kids 15 and under are free with a parent or guardian!

Logistics and Tips:

Transportation:  It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that folk use the website for directions as some GPS devices/apps will get you lost or take you somewhere completely different. There are several places in West Virginia that are labeled as a variation of "Sleepy Creek," even a whole other campground called Sleepy Creek Campground. To clarify, the location is specifically labeled as "Sleepy Creek on the Potomac." It is precisely where Sleepy Creek runs into the Potomac River​. In addition, the website has links to google maps directions, as well as the specific GPS coordinates associated with the venue. 

CAR: ​ See note above and use the website for most accurate directions.  It is about 10 minutes off both Interstates 70 and 68 as well as Route 522. ​  Very close to both Hancock MD and Berkeley Springs, WV. ​ It's a beautiful area so enjoy the drive!  The main road runs along the Railroad and River until you reach ​the location. ​ 

Previous Coverage:

Performance Details

Performance Details



Friday, May 3, 2019 -

Sunday May 5, 2019

Gate Times:

  • Thursday - 4:00pm (early arrivals only)
  • Friday - 8:00am
  • Saturday - 8:00am

Sleepy Creek Spring Dig

Joshua Lane

Berkeley Springs, WV 25411

(Google Maps Link)

Friday - Sunday

  • $75 Presale / $100 Gate

Saturday  - Sunday

  • $45 Presale / $60 Gate

KIDS 15 & UNDER ARE FREE (with parent or legal guardian only)

About the author
Karin McLaughlin

Karin McLaughlin

Karin has been a live music junkie all her life, however is a fairly new fan in the world of jam bands and bluegrass. She grew up on hip hop, classic soul, motown and classic rock but has found a new home in the festival world and that is what, in part, had brought her to DC Music Review. Karin produces and hosts a weekly radio show in the area called Karin's Calendar, where she talks all about 'Where to be in the DMV'. She is very excited to be starting down a semi-new road with us and hopes to use her interview skills and write ups of shows to contribute even more to DC Music Review.

DC Music Review