Broccoli City Festival 2018 Shows How Sticking To Your Core Values Will Translate To Success
by Site Manager
The sixth annual Broccoli City Festival took place on April 28th, 2018 at RFK Stadium Festival Grounds in Washington, D.C and the Broccoli City Lifestyle Group made sure to stick to it’s core values with it’s pre-festival “Broccoli City Week”. According to bcfestival.com Broccoli City Weekend, is an incubator for all who strive to create a better world. Broccoli City will host a variety of events leading up to the festival, everything from city runs, to community action events, to an all-night art escape, culminating with the all-day Broccoli City Festival. The Broccoli City Week highlight will showcase the first Broccoli City Conference, a two-day interactive conference co-hosted by GOOGLE DC, focusing on the brand’s mission to build thriving, resilient communities by improving and highlighting Environmental Justice, Economic Sustainability, Culture, Food Access, and Education in undeserved communities.
When we interviewed the Broccoli City Festival co-founder, Brandon McEachern, a couple of years ago he said that he wanted always make sure that the festivities were always rooted in the black community:
“Everything we do. It’s always about us. All the work we’ve been doing has been for the African American community. We did the Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Blvd Clean Up in Ward 8 just last weekend. We collaborated with DC Kitchen in regards to working with the inmates and things of that nature. We prepared food for the homeless. Even earlier this year we did the Black Panther: Vangaurd Evolution Screening at Bus Boys and Poets….Anything that will elevate us a people, we’re gonna do.”
Outside of the providing a way for locals to see some of their favorite artists, the festival is a great way for creatives and entrepreneurs to network and build business on a bigger and controlled platform.
“One thing we really want to do is make it a platform for young African Americans. The vendor market place is very important because a lot of those young people are your classmates or a young person from your church and they have a hustle. They need a platform to showcase their stuff so the vendor aspect of the festival is big because that’s how they eat.”
Music festivals are becoming a staple for music lovers during the summer season and thanks to Coachella, Essence Festival, Made In America, and more this has developed into a billion-dollar industry. Many have feared that these gatherings will become more about monetization instead the joy of the money but Brandon still sticks to his original goals for the audience of this event.
“The message and the meaning behind Broccoli City Festival is what differentiates us in the festival space,” says McEachern. “Broccoli City Festival is an Earth Day celebration that was created to educate and entertain at the same time. Also, I think people identify with us because they have helped us grow.”
This year saw musicians such as H.E.R., Miguel, Nipsey Hussle, Migos, and Cardi B headlining and it’s a very simple formula that goes into picking each years guests.
“We try to pick artist we know will bring a lot of people out…I really take pride in the music and people we choose. Not necessarily for their message or anything like that, but who people gravitate to.”
D.C. rapper Lightshow was one of the first performances who brought the energy for the still arriving crowd with a live band. H.E.R. and Daniel Caesar were booked to bring the soul and R&B vibes for the daytime. H.E.R. gave a great showing, demanding every inch of the stage and knowing the ins and outs of all her vocal cues with ease. Her performance of the song ‘Best Part’ with Daniel Caesar was actually the highlight of his set too. A later set might have meshed better with Daniel’s vibe and music but his shyness was endearing.
Rich the Kidd also provided nothing but energy during the midday heat with songs such a “Plug Walk” and others which had plenty of people on their feet and dancing.
One of the biggest moments from the festival came from rapper Nipsey Hussle, who ended his set with the song “FDT” which is a song that tells the narrative about the feelings many people have of our now president – Donald Trump. As the song came on, the image of Kanye West wearing a MAGA (Make America Great Again) hat appeared on the stage screens and you could hear almost all 30,000+ attendees echo a loud “boo”.
The second big moment of the night came from femcee, Cardi B, who went viral after making a statement about a “new beef” she wants the world to know she is fully aware of.
“Ever since I got pregnant, I got all this new beef,” she stated, while pacing back and forth on the stage. “Watch when I drop this baby… What was said?”
This will be Cardi’s last public performance until after the birth of child with Migos group member Offset so I guess we will have to wait a few more months to see how this new ‘beef’ will play out. Her set was still enjoyable and her infectious personality shown through each song.
R&B conner Miguel delivered a hit filled set complete with all his fans favorites and added his signature rock-and-roll flair that shows why is in a league completely of his own.
Ending the show was Migos who did a set list going all the way back to OG bangers had the crowd so hype that they managed to go three minutes without working sound and weather chances without missing a beat. Most of the cellphones were dead at this point in the festival but they added to mystique of the ending to a great festival.
With the growth that is coming in the festival arena, it’s great to have outlets like Broccoli City Festival which knows their niche market and demographic and finds way to include them instead of forcing them to save for months. A ticket to see one of the headliners would run you anywhere close to $150 and to receive all these at around an average of $80 shows how by sticking to their core values the festival was able to go from 5k attendees to 30k.
Be sure to check out flicks from the event below thanks to Sabrina Holder: