Rosslyn’s Gateway Park will turn into a beer garden this September with the arrival of Arlington’s latest beer festival.
The Backyard Beer Festival will feature more than 60 craft brews and live music during the event on Sept. 19.
The festival, which is sponsored by Uber, Drink the World and Project DC Events, will also have backyard games with plenty of prizes for guests. Attendees will be able to purchase food from food trucks and other food vendors.
The festival has two sessions, one from 1-4 p.m. and the other from 7-10 p.m. General admission tickets are $25 per session, and VIP tickets cost $35. With a general admission ticket, participants will get three hours of unlimited beer tasting and a souvenir glass. VIP ticket holders will get an extra hour for beer tasting and access to VIP bathrooms.
More than 30 breweries are expected to participate, including Flying Dog from Frederick, Maryland, Old Ox Brewery from Ashburn and D.C. breweries Atlas Brew Works and DC Brau. For those with gluten allergies, the festival will have ciders and gluten-free beers.
The event is for ages 21 and up, and will happen rain or shine. All participants will need to bring an ID with their tickets.
Logo via Backyard Beer Festival
This year, the Arlington County Fair had something new to offer: an opening day parade.
The 39th annual fair, themed “Summer Nights and Lights,” opened yesterday. An hour after opening, the parade processed down S. Highland and 2nd Streets. Participants included local Boy and Girl Scout troops, local businesses and several local dancing groups.
Arlington dance group Alma Boliviana, founded in 1991, performed a Bolivian folkloric dance in the 90 degree heat as part of the opening procession.
Group member Gabriela Grajeda said Alma Boliviana, which marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2011, was excited when Arlington County invited them to be part of the fair’s festivities.
“It was great — we definitely want to come back next year,” Grajeda said. “And now we’re going to go enjoy the fair!”
The fair will continue through Sunday (Aug. 9). Notable upcoming events include performances by The Harlem Wizards and outdoor concerts on Saturday and Sunday, as well as daily pony rides, milking demos and piglet races, where four week-old piglets run around a small dirt track to receive a treat.
Piglet racing proprietors Rick Signor and James Caruso were enthusiastic about the fair.
“This is a great one,” Caruso said. “Everyone’s been so receptive, and the crowds are great — not just the kids, the adults are having fun too.”
The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is teaming up with Refinery29, a digital media company focusing on fashion, to host an event they’re calling “Style Festival,” on Saturday, August 8.
A music festival would have several different stages so people could see the bands they want and personalize their music experience. The style festival’s goal is to “elevate the millennial shopping experience” by bringing the idea of music festival stages into the mall, with different attractions at each stage, according to a press release.
The four stages will include:
- A music stage, which features a 3:00 live concert from the R&B duo LION BABE, bookended by DJ performances
- A style stage, with new fashions put together by Refinery 29 editors
- A beauty stage, where attendees can get “festival-inspired hair trends” and temporary tattoos
- A DIY stage, to give personalized concert tour tees — “a keepsake souvenir” to shoppers
The event will be held at the mall (1100 S. Hayes Street) on the ground-level “Nordstrom Court,” from 1-6 p.m.
The Arlington-based organization has announced the appointment of Dr. Nancia D’Alimonte as the group’s new artistic director and conductor. The chorus, which was founded in 1966, is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary during the 2015-2016 season with the theme “New Horizons.”
The group is made up of singers from the D.C. area, who perform free concerts between November and May. According to TMC’s website, one of the goals of the group is to “offer music enrichment in the greater Washington metropolitan area through free performances of choral repertoire from all eras.”
D’Alimonte is only the third artistic director and conductor that the chorus has had in the past 50 years. She is also the founder and conductor of the Bethesda-based National Institutes of Health (NIH) Philharmonia, is an education programs consultant for the National Philharmonic at the Strathmore Center and was the head of orchestral activities at George Washington University for 10 years, according to TMC.
The upcoming season will be kicked off with an opening concert on November 1 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (4444 Arlington Boulevard).
The seven concerts of the season will take place in various locations, including five in Arlington and one in Rockville, Maryland, which will be a combined concert with the NIH Philharmonia. The group also will also hold its annual sing-along of “The Messiah” at The Kennedy Center over the winter holidays, according to the Metropolitan Chorus’ 2015-2016 season brochure.
Arlington County has enjoyed near-perfect weather today, with blue skies, plenty of sun and a high of only 82. What better way to celebrate the end of a beautiful summer day than to attend one of three outdoor concerts taking place this evening?
Summer concert series Rock at the Row kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. in Pentagon Row’s plaza area (1101 S. Joyce Street) with Bon Jovi cover band Slippery When Wet. The concert series also includes a VIP section with craft beers and food samples.
Residents less enamored of Bon Jovi can head over to Rosslyn for its “Throwback Thursday” concert in Freedom Park (1101 Wilson Blvd). Tonight’s concert features Baltimore-based cover band Sly 45. It’s the last scheduled Throwback Thursday concert until September.
Also tonight, the Village at Shirlington (2700 S. Quincy Street) will hold its weekly Shirlala music festival, which started in June. Playing from 6:30-8:30 p.m. will be alternative rock band Lloyd Dobler Effect. In addition to the live music, there will be $5 wine tasting courtesy of local cheese and wine bar Cheesetique.
All three concert series are free and open to the public. Rock at the Row’s lineup was announced earlier this summer. Shirlala’s remaining performances are below.
- July 23: Paul Pfau (pop, rock and blues)
- July 30: Ewabo (reggae and tropical steel drums)
- August 6: The Morrison Brothers Band (Southern rock)
- August 13: Dan Haas Trio (pop rock)
- August 20: King Teddy (swing)
- August 27: Sandra Dean Band ft. Daryl Davis (50s and 60s tribute)
Photo via lloyddoblereffect.com
Arlington residents to should start building up an appetite. The third annual D.C. BRGR Bash is coming to Rosslyn’s Gateway Park on Saturday, July 18.
The BRGR Bash is a six hour competition of who can make the best burger, and the judges are the visitors. Each person at the bash gets to try four burgers and then a cast his or her vote for favorite burger.
There will also be craft beers to help wash down the burgers and live music to jam to while eating.
At the end of the day, one burger chef champion will be named, and he or she will walk away with a vacation to Austin, Texas and the Golden BRGR Bash trophy.
The competition was started by Craig Carey, who also started Ballston burger joint Big Buns.
The competition runs from noon to 6 p.m. on July 18, and tickets are $29 per person. A ticket gets a person entry and four burgers. The 16 burgers are broken down into four groups, and each ticket is for one group. D.C. BRGR Bash recommends bringing three other friends so that everyone can taste all 16 burgers. Craft beers are available for $5 at one of the four beer bars.
Vegetarians don’t have to be left out. The competition offers a Veggie Burger ticket for $19, which gets the person entry and a veggie burger. There will also be cider for those with gluten allergies.
Arlingtonians can also attend the bash to support the four local competitors: Willow Restaurant in Ballston, Big Buns in Ballston, Citizen Burger Bar in Clarendon and the combined entry of Liberty Tavern and Lyon Hill in Clarendon.
Photo courtesy of Darren Stauffer
“Rock at the Row” is in its 13th year, with concerts starting next month. The performances will take place Thursday evenings from July 16 to August 20 in Pentagon Row’s plaza area. In addition to the music, there will be craft beers and food samples in a VIP section.
The schedule, below, includes several locally-known cover and tribute bands, as well as a special Saturday evening concert by the 257th Army Band:
- July 16: Slippery When Wet (Bon Jovi tribute)
- July 23: Kristen and the Noise (cover band)
- July 30: White Ford Bronco (90s cover)
- August 1: 257th Army Band (special Saturday night concert)
- August 6: The Reagan Years (80s tribute)
- August 13: The Rockets (cover band)
- August 20: Gonzo’s Nose (cover band)
All performances start at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public.
If “Rock at the Row” isn’t enough of a music fix, residents can head to Freedom Park (1101 Wilson Blvd.) and check out Rosslyn’s “Throwback Thursdays”.
The series features cover bands “embracing the best of the 80s and 90s,” according to the event page.
Performances were scheduled to start the first Thursday of this month (June 4), but that evening’s concert by The Reflex was rained out and has not yet been rescheduled.
The five remaining performances, below, are scheduled to take place this tomorrow evening (June 25) and every Thursday evening in September:
- June 25: Lloyd Dobbler Effect (cover band)
- Sept 3: White Ford Bronco (90s cover)
- Sept 10: Back To Zero (cover band)
- Sept 17: Herr Metal (80s cover)
- Sept 24: Hand Painted Swinger (cover band)
Concerts start at 6 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Washington Wine Academy plans to offer $5 beer and wine to those of age at all remaining performances.
Photo via thereaganyears.com
The Bracket Room (1210 N. Garfield St.) is revisiting its plan to bring live music — and some nearby residents are not happy.
The sports bar applied for a live entertainment permit to have up to two acoustic music players in the bar from 8 p.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday, according to the County Board agenda. County staff recommend that the permit be approved with a review in November.
Residents who live in the Lyon Place at Clarendon Center apartment building, which has rooms above the bar, and across the street at Station Square want the Board to deny the permit. Residents are claiming the additional live music will bring more guests and more noise, which is already a problem, neighbor Joe Morrell said.
Morrell lives in the Station Square building across the street, and while he does not hear noise from inside the bar, he says there are often swells of people outside the bar and there have been fights. Live entertainment will only add to the noise, he said.
Part of the problem is the bar’s location, Morrell said, which is “essentially located in a residential building.”
“It’s not like it’s something like Mad Rose [Tavern] or whatever else is in a commercial building or on its own,” he said.
Morrell plans to attend the board meeting on Saturday to speak out against the permit. He’s not the only one. Other residents at the Station Square will be speaking out, Station Square manager George Pace said.
Pace attributed most of the noise affecting Station Square to the alleged fights and the crowd that hangs outside of the bar. He predicts that live music will only make the already crowded bar more popular.
“It’s always packed,” he said.
The County has also received concerns from Lyon Place residents who live above the bar.
“As of the date of this report, staff has received several comments from residents of the apartment building who are concerned that there will be additional noise impacts caused by the proposed live entertainment. To address those concerns, the applicant has agreed to a condition limiting the proposed live entertainment to two (2) acoustical performers,” according to the agenda report.
According the report, The Bracket Room is aware of the concerns and agreed to making changes in order to reduce noise. Changes including limited performers to only two people and closing the doors and windows when there is live music.
The bar applied for a live entertainment permit in 2013 but withdrew after residents spoke out against it. At the time of the bar’s opening in 2013, the County received multiple noise complaints. However, they have only received one since March 2014, according to the staff report.
(ARLnow.com reached out twice to Jeff Greenberg, co-owner of The Bracket Room, but he did not respond.)
While staff recommended approving the permit, Pace said he does not believe the Board will allow live entertainment at The Bracket Room.
“I don’t think it’s going through again. I doubt it. I don’t know why the Board would change their minds after a year,” Pace said.
The events, which are free to attend, feature live music and, for paying customers, sips of various wine varietals.
“Expert noses from [Washington Wine Academy] help guests select and enjoy the perfect wine for an after work beverage to kick-off the weekend right amidst the calming sounds of falling water mixed with live music,” according to the Crystal City website.
This year, the event is being combined with ArtJamz, which offers aspiring artists paint and canvas so they can create their own paintings in a social setting.
Wine in the Waterpark and ArtJamz will run from 6:00-10:00 p.m. tonight and will take place every Friday in June at the Crystal City water park (1750 Crystal Drive).
On Wednesdays in June, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., Crystal City will hold Blues, Brews and Barks, featuring beer and live music in a dog-friendly setting. The event will take place at the 2121 Crystal Drive courtyard.
Attendees are encouraged to pick up food from local eateries before going to the park. Beverages will be available in the beer garden. Attendees can get two drink tickets for $5 if bought in advance.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
Kicking off the 34 nights of arts and entertainment next Friday (June 12) is Bowen McCauley Dance, a family-friendly dance performance, according to the Lubber Run Amphitheater website. The performance starts at 8 p.m.
Five additional performances were added this season, in August and September.
Attendees are encouraged to bring picnics and blankets to the show. Alcohol is prohibited in Lubber Run Park and smoking is discouraged.
In the event of inclement weather, attendees are advised to call 703-228-1850 for day-of information. There are no scheduled rain dates for cancelled performances.
Performances on Monday through Saturday are held at 8 p.m. and performances on Sunday are held at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted. After the jump is a full list of performances.
A date and a headliner have been set for this year’s Columbia Pike Blues Festival.
The 20th annual Blues Festival will be held on June 20 from 1-8:30 p.m. near the intersection of S. Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike.
This year the festival will be headlined by Grammy-nominated blues musician Sonny Landreth. “Bound by the Blues,” Landreth’s 12th album, will be released on June 8.
The Blue Festival is something the Columbia Pike community looks forward to every year, said Takis Karantonis, executive director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO), which organizes the event.
“It’s Arlington’s biggest block party,” Karantonis said. “It’s a place where our entire community comes together.”
The Blues Festival features numerous food vendors and a beer station. Visitors can also stop by the tables of local arts and crafts vendors and community organizations. There will be at least seven or eight local food vendors, Karantonis said, adding that showcasing local food providers is a goal of the festival this year.
Karantonis expects at least 10,000 attendees this year.
CPRO has selected a national act for the headliner the past two years, Karantonis said. The other musicians are selected from the most active blues acts locally and regionally.
The 2015 lineup is:
- 1 p.m. — Lenny Burridge, a former DJ turned blues musician
- 2 p.m. — Steve McWilliams and the Spectacles, which will make its return to the Blues Festival after playing there last year
- 3 p.m. — Fat Liver Jenkins, a four-man band from the D.C. area
- 5 p.m. — Clarence “Bluesman” Turner, who uses unusual objects, such as a cellphone, as a guitar pick
- 6:30 p.m. — Sonny Landreth, a national act known for his slide guitar style
The festival will also have a kids area and an artists area. Artists will be painting next to the stage to allow the music to influence their work, Karatonis said. The art will be auctioned off.
Sehkraft Beer Garden and Haus, which is planning on opening next spring in the ground floor of 925 N. Garfield Street, was approved for live entertainment at the Board’s Tuesday meeting. However, its request to keep its doors and windows open during live entertainment — while supported by the community — was denied unanimously.
The Westover Beer Garden and its owner, Devin Hicks, had a long, contentious battle with the county a few years ago over Hicks’ desire to have amplified music in its outdoor space. Since 2012, Hicks’ and the county’s relationship has improved — County Board members John Vihstadt and Walter Tejada said they are now proud customers of the restaurant — but the memories of the permit fight were still on some of their minds.
“There were some issues early on, and I don’t want to gloss over some of the history or the occasional problem now,” Vihstadt said, but added, “I think the beer garden is a huge community asset. It really is the embodiment of what makes Westover great.”
The difference between Westover and Sehkraft, county staff pointed out, is the new brewpub is in the ground floor of an apartment building and has residential developments nearby. Westover Beer Garden is in a business district and is 110 feet from the nearest single family dwelling.
However, the Lyon Park Civic Association supported Sehkraft’s request to keep the windows open so those in outdoor seating could hear the music. William B. Lawson, a real estate lawyer representing Hicks, told the County Board the request was intended to be a trial period.
“We think that an exception is appropriate,” he said. “Devin has put a lot of money into soundproofing and construction techniques that we think will lessen the impacts of the music. If there are any problems we’ll shut the doors.”
Although the Board denied the exception — agreeing with county staff that allowing it “would be inconsistent with current practice” — Board member Libby Garvey recommended Hicks come back in a year when the permit is up for renewal and suggest opening the doors and windows at that time.
“I think we should sort of ease into it a little bit,” Garvey said. “We’re hearing so much from folks in complaints [about noise’ that I think it would be better to ease into it.”
When he spoke to ARLnow.com in July, Hicks said he plans to open the beer garden and brewpub in March 2015.
Warm weather may be winding down but Arlington’s innovation economy is heating up.
Tandem NSI, which connects technology entrepreneurs and national security agencies, is hosting an “Throwback Thursday” event on Oct. 2, promising that “summer’s not over until we say it is.”
Classic rock band Two Car Living Room will perform at the free event, which is being held at Artisphere from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Also on offer: beers and the exhibit Think With Your Hands, a collaboration between artists and software developers.
Register for the event here.
On Saturday, Sept. 6, from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway), four jazz bands will take the stage while attendees can enjoy a picnic, food and fashion trucks and beer and wine.
This year, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District is hosting its 24th jazz festival, and once again it’s free to attend. Parking is available in the garage at 1911 N. Fort Myer Drive, and several streets around the park, including Lee Highway, will be closed from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Rebirth Brass Band formed in 1983 and has released 12 original albums. Its latest album, “The Rebirth of New Orleans,” won the 2012 Grammy for Best Regional Roots Music album. The band plays traditional New Orleans brass music, but blends in aspects of jazz, funk and hip-hop. They take the stage to close the festival at 5:30 p.m.
Opening the festival at 1:00 p.m. will be The Corey Wallace DUBtet, led by trombonist Corey Wallace. At 2:15 p.m., the Ghost Train Orchestra, a 10-piece jazz band that plays modern revivals of 1920s and 1930s-era jazz hits, will take the stage. Following them, at 3:45 p.m., North Indian-jazz fusion band Red Baraat will bring their eclectic blend of music influence for the festival’s penultimate performance.
Photo via Rebirth Brass Band. Disclosure: Rosslyn BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
Playing a genre described as alternative country and “Gothic Americana,” Handsome Family is made up of husband-and-wife duo Brett Sparks and Rennie Sparks. The Sparks together play guitar, banjo, bass and ukulele in addition to providing vocals.
The New Mexico-based band is scheduled to headline a show at Iota on Thursday, Aug. 28, starting at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, available only at the door on the day of the show.
True Detective received 12 Emmy nominations last month, including outstanding music composition for a series. The awards show will air on Monday, Aug. 25, three days before the Iota concert.