Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival, Returns May 4th for 10th Anniversary

Mark Raker
By Mark Raker / March 1, 2019
Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival, Washington DC

DC's best homegrown bluegrass event, The Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this May and has a huge local lineup.  As little known as this festival may seem to be, it is bound to sell-out and has become a local favorite not only for its music, but also for its purpose of supporting Living Classrooms, environmental causes, and community interests.  Voted "Best Music Festival in DC" in 2018, the Kingman Island fest is a family-friendly music event on the banks of the Anacostia River.  The event will feature an incredible roster of musical talent from throughout the city and surrounding regions, representing diverse backgrounds, cultures, genders, and ages that represent the diverse roots of bluegrass, folk, and Americana, as well as their modern interpretations.  The day will also include delicious craft beer and cocktails, various outdoor activities, a kids’ tent, local merchants’ marketplace, and some of the best food trucks in DC.  This is a can’t miss event! 

The festival is also the District’s premier zero-waste event, and will feature re-usable souvenir cups, compostable food containers, recycling and waste stations, and limited use of disposable products. Through a partnership with DC's Department of Public Works, (DPW) and the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), the festival has successfully reduced landfill waste by over 80% at the past three events.  Living Classrooms plans to build on this success at the 2019 Festival.   The festival is easy to get to, with close Metro and DC Streetcar access, as well as a free bike valet at the entrance.  If you must drive, parking will be available all day at RFK Stadium for a fee, and consider carpooling with some friends!

Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival, 2018
Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival, 2018

The Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival celebrates Kingman Island as a gateway to DC's Anacostia River. Kingman Island is a "living classroom" connecting youth and the community to the environment and river.  Proceeds from the Festival support stewardship of the island and hands-on education programming provided by Living Classrooms as well as the continued maintenance of the island's unique eco-system as an educational and recreational space.. Living Classrooms Foundation is a regional nonprofit organization serving youth and families in Washington, DC and Baltimore and the surrounding metropolitan areas with innovative hands on education, job-training, and health and wellness programming. 

The festival lineups have traditionally favored local bands, and 2019 is no exception.  This year's lineup features:

Dustbowl Revival, The Ballroom Thieves, Hackensaw Boys 

Che Apalache, Odetta Hartman, Wild Common , The High & Wides, Crank LuKongounplugged, ilyAMY, Justin Trawick and the Common Good, Drew Beckman + The Boundary Boys, Oh He Dead, Mink's Miracle Medicine, Karen Jonas, Sweet Yonder, Haint Blue, Jack Dunlap Band, Geraldine, Big Timber, Wicked Sycamore, Tui, The October Sessions, Hannah Jaye and the Hideaways, Clara Delfina 

Additional featured artists include:  Reed AppleseedJess Eliot Myhre, Yasmin Williams, Louisa Hall

Enjoy a Festival Preshow to support Living Classrooms and to get ready for the Fest. Living Classrooms and Atlas Brew Works will be hosting an official preview show to give everyone a taste of the music in store for them at this year’s Festival, plus cool giveaways, prizes, and more.  The pre-fest will feature delicious solar-powered beer, awesome music, and Sunday Funday!   Featuring live performances by Hollertown and Split String Soup.

(Note: Several details were edited following the original posting to reflect Split String Soup will be performing at the pre-fest party, and early bird pricing is no longer available.  Also, note that children under 10 are admitted free).

Festival Details

Performance Details



Saturday,  May 4th, 2019

Doors: 12:00PM

Show:  12:00PM - 8:00PM

Kingman Island, Washington DC

(Google Maps Link)

$35 - General Admission, Advance.

$45 - GA, Day of.

$100- VIP

Children under 10 free!!

Pre-show Details

Performance Details



Sunday, April 14th, 2019

Event: 1:00PM - 6:00PM

Atlas Brew Works

2052 West Virginia Ave NEWashington, DC 20002

About the author
Mark Raker

Mark Raker

Mark Raker is a Washington, D.C. area photographer who pursues a wide variety of photographic subjects and interests. His event photography includes concerts, festivals, food, wine and beer events as well as corporate and other special events in the Washington area.