In life, unforeseen circumstances like inclement weather often challenge our plans, yet the indomitable spirit of determination prevails, as exemplified at the Broccoli City Festival #BCFest23 in Washington, DC. Despite the scorching heat, attendees flocked to the event, embodying the famous adage, “The show must go on.” The festival proved to be an unforgettable experience, with an array of vendors, delectable food offerings, and an awe-inspiring lineup of musical performances that defied any mere description. Two vibrant stages, the Broccoli Stage and the City Stage, hosted an electrifying display of talent, saturating the entire outdoor space with pulsating bass and this summer’s most sizzling tunes.
I attended #BCFest23 with my MEFeater colleagues, and after careful evaluation and coverage, here are the highlights:
Brent Faiyaz ends a 3-year hiatus and performs live on the Broccoli Stage:
An unparalleled treat to make up for the weather trying to disturb a good time. Brent Faiyaz is an independent R&B artist who serenades his fans with toxic lullabies describing the trials and tribulations of love, sex, and relationships.
His stage presence is unmatched. He created a dark, mysterious ambiance to match the black aesthetic he maintained in his outfit, wearing a hat and a pair of opaque shades. A shadow with angelic harmonies and melodies rhyming sinful words. Brent went between sitting, standing, and smoking, performing my personal favorites from his catalog like, “Rolling Stone,” “Gang Over Luv,” and “Rehab.”
Black women dominated the Broccoli stage! Chlöe, Coco Jones, & more performed full throttle at Broccoli Stage:
Who runs the world? Girls, obviously. The Broccoli Stage was proof of that. Set after set, performers came on stage and put on their shows. My personal favorites are a roster of Black women who I believe really carried. Chlöe, one of my favorite emerging artists, hit the stage in all green with dancers in matching suits to perform from her album “In Pieces.” Full of energy, she performed “Body Do,” “Have Mercy,” “I Don’t Mind,” and more! In her white sneakers, Chlöe stormed the stage like a tsunami, performing with a precise viciousness that made her a standout.
The weather didn’t permit Jazmine Sullivan to perform for safety reasons, and that rained on a lot of people’s parade. However, the empty void was filled with a special treat—Coco Jones. The Disney star graced the stage wearing green as well, continuing the aesthetic of associating Black women with richness, in my opinion. And to say she performed would be an understatement. Her live vocals enriched the area and ensnared listeners into hypnosis of praises and recognition of her. As she began performing her single, “Double Back,” I could’ve sworn her angelic voice made the sky cry. It began to rain, and coincidentally, the song sampled on that particular single is “Rain,” by the R&B women group, SWV.
Chase Sapphire Lounge & Rosebar Skybox
Before the rain, there was a drought, although it may be a bit of an exaggeration. However, it’s worth noting that July has been recorded as the hottest month on Earth. BCFest23 attendees experienced this scorching heat firsthand! Thankfully, there were vendors, booths, and food stations available to keep people hydrated and satisfied. Some lucky attendees had access to the Chase Sapphire Lounge, which offered an extra touch of luxury and comfort amid the sweltering weather.
A beautiful lounge with air conditioning, serving drinks and hors d’oeuvres. This lounge housed influencers, guests, VIP members, and Chase card members! There was seating made available inside and outside with a great view of the festival!
Similar to the Chase Lounge, the Rosebar Skybox offered an unmatched experience! With a full view of the Broccoli Stage, this venue had a larger capacity for seating! Guests that were permitted access got shade from the sun, seating arrangements, picture opportunities, and access to bars and drinks!
Naomi Osaka’s skincare line, Kinlò, offers free products and massages
Unfortunately, I forgot my sunscreen! And as the climate crisis continues, and as I get older in age and more prone to wrinkles, sunscreen is essential. Walking into the festival, my colleague and I were greeted by a beige tent made up like an Athenian oasis. Chairs, mirrors, and masseuses, oh my! Saving myself from extreme sunburn, I used the complimentary roll-on sunscreen provided to me. 10/10, extremely smooth application, minimal residue, and a pleasant smell. Moreover, people lined up to enjoy massages were a nice touch to the festival, so major points to Naomi Osaka’s brand!
Emerging artists leave their mark on City Stage
Lola Brooke, Tia Corine, and Ryan Trey are just a few names that pop into my mind immediately when recalling the performances on City Stage.
Lola Brooke, a mainstream success taking full advantage of her ascension to the top, had a highly anticipated performance. She had high energy, bars, and great dancers.
Tia Corine performed her latest hit, “Freaky T,” and the crowd ate it up!
Ryan Trey, an emerging R&B sensation, surprised his fans with a performance featuring Mariah the Scientist, who performed an hour earlier on the Broccoli Stage! More acts carried their weight on the City Stage and left their mark!
The general public voted for Latto and Victoria Monet’s tracks as Song of the Summer!
Like good journalists in the digital age, the MEFeater team walked around with our Videographer, Cameron Elysia, to ask festival attendees different questions. Nowadays, people bond over knowing their zodiac signs and being from different places! But some questions had the potential to cause some intentional discourse to get the conversation going. “What’s your song of the summer?” is the question I asked a diverse composition of the festival’s attendees!
After careful consensus and tallying, MEFeater survey results say “On My Mama” by Victoria Monet and “Put it On Da Floor” by Latto featuring Cardi B. Other artists mentioned include REMA, Ice Spice, and more!