Kingman island Bluegrass & Folk Festival

May 13, 2017

About the Festival

The Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival is all about celebration. A celebration of spring in DC, the amazing talent held by our friends and neighbors, and the natural beauty in our Nation's Capital that we can too easily forget in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As a fundraising event for the Living Classrooms Foundation, it is also a celebration of the fundamentally important role that community plays in lifting up those among us who are in greatest need.

Now in its 8th year, the Festival has proven to be the signature folk festival in Washington, DC. The crowds return every year for the music, food, and drinks -- but when it comes down to it, what draws the community to this festival is the community itself. We hope you'll join us in the celebration on May 13, 2017.

In 2014 the Washington Post said the festival “sounds about perfect” and called it “refreshingly different.” In five years the event has grown to become the largest all local music festival in the National Capital Region, attracting over 10,000 attendees annually since 2014.

zero waste 

For the second year, the Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival will be going green!  With the support of the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), the 2016 Kingman Island Festival was the District’s first zero-waste music festival. This year’s festival will expand on the zero waste initiative in an effort to preserve the integrity of Kingman Island and support the District’s path toward zero waste. Guests are asked to only bring reusable water bottles and food containers onto the island; each attendee will be provided with a reusable cup to use at vendors and water stations. Food vendors will be required to use only compostable or recyclable food serviceware. Additionally, zero waste volunteers will be staffing waste stations throughout the island to help festivalgoers sort their compostable and recyclable waste.  Have a suggestion to help us in our zero-waste initiative?  Send us a message on social media!


About the Island

Originally created by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1916, Kingman Island has now been transformed into a recreational area for people of all ages to learn about the natural environment in Washington, DC. Located on the Anacostia River near the RFK Stadium and managed by Living Classrooms, Kingman Island is the perfect backdrop for an affordable day long festival for all ages.

Frequently Asked Questions

what are the hours?

Doors open at 11:30am.  The festival will be in full gear from 12:00pm - 9:00pm.  

How do I get there?

The main entrance for Kingman and Heritage Islands Park is found on the west bank of the Anacostia River. This entrance is located at the back of RFK Stadium Parking Lot 6, approximately 0.1 miles south of Benning Rd. NE.

 575 Oklahoma Avenue NE, Washington DC, 20002*

*  Note: This is an approximate address, entrance to the park is located off RFK Lot 6, directly across from address given above.

Google Maps

Help us in our effort to make this a 100% green festival by leaving your car at home and walk, bike, or take public transit instead!

DC Streetcar

  • Board an eastbound DC Streetcar. (Eastbound vehicles travel from Union Station toward Oklahoma Avenue along H Street NE and Benning Road NE)
  • To get to Kingman Island, passengers can board at any of the following stops (also shown on the transit map)
  • Union Station (located past the bus deck and on the median of the Hopscotch Bridge)
    • 3rd & H St NE (across the street from the Giant)
    • 5th & H ST NE
    • 8th & H St NE
    • 13th & H St NE
    • 15th & H St NE (near Starburst Plaza)
    • 19th & Benning Road NE
  • Ride to the Oklahoma & Benning Road stop, which is the last stop on the eastbound run
  • Exit onto the median and wait for the pedestrian street signal to cross Benning Road (toward the 7-11 and RFK parking lots)
  • Walk along Oklahoma Avenue to RFK parking lot entrance
  • Look for a large white sign and black gates to find the festival entrance

More info on DC Streetcar:


The closest metro to the park is the Stadium-Armory station.

Take the Blue or Orange line to the Stadium-Armory Station. Exit the station in the direction of RFK Stadium. Follow 19th St. NE north toward the stadium and continue on past the stadium to C St. NE. Turn right onto C St. and head east until 21st NE. Turn Left on 21st St. and cross to the sidewalk on the east side of the street. As 21st St. divides into Oklahoma you will find yourself walking along the east side of Oklahoma Avenue. Look for entrance to Kingman Island Boardwalk sign along sidewalk and then enter RFK Parking Lot 6. Once in RFK Parking Lot 6 continue straight back toward the Anacostia River, traveling under the Metro. Look for our large white sign, black gates, and a path leading back toward the Anacostia River. (Distance from Stadium-Armory Station is approximately 1.0 mile.)


Kingman Island is conveniently located along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail and is readily accessible from all points of the city by bike. A bike Valet will be available at the festival for a small fee (no locks required). 


As an environmentally-friendly festival, we encourage guests to walk, bike or take public transportation. Parking is available for a fee in RFK Lot 7.  If you're going to drive, plan to carpool with some friends!

What Can I Bring?

  • Kids
  • Small, soft-sided coolers
  • Chairs, blankets
  • Dogs (must be leashed)

Don't bring tents, or outside alcohol. Seriously. 

Can i purchase food?

Yes, the festival always has delicious local food available for purchase from a variety of vendors, including a number of our favorite DC local food trucks. Check back closer to the festival for more details about what cuisine you can expect.

Will there be vegetarian options?

Yes, we will have a wide variety of options for our veggie, vegan, and gluten-free friends.  All menus will notate which items accommodate dietary restrictions.

can i purchase beer and alcohol?

Your ticket to the festival will include one reusable cup that can be saved as a festival souvenir. Beer will be poured by Sierra Nevada and Atlas Brew Works and Tito's Vodka and Spindrift will be serving up delicious cocktails.  Individual drink tickets can be purchased in advance at or at the festival itself.  

Outside beer and alcohol will not be permitted beyond the festival's entrance.  

Will there be activities for kids?

Kingman Island is a place for families to enjoy so we encourage you to bring your children to enjoy the beauty of the island and the fun that awaits you at the festival.  We are working with our festival partners to create a fun and entertaining area for kids and families to enjoy.  This will likely include crafts, games, and kids' music.  Check back closer to the festival for a complete description of the fun that awaits your little ones!

can i leave the festival and return later?

Yes, upon entry into the festival you will receive a wristband that will serve as proof of ticket purchase.  If you are going to leave the festival and plan on returning later in the day, please check-in with the front gate upon your departure and notify them of your plans.  You will not be provided with an additional cup upon your return so please keep it safe!

Is there a lost and found?

Yes, we will have a lost items area set up at the Information Tent located at the front entrance.  If you find something that has been lost, please be a good neighbor and bring it to the Information Tent!

Do I need to bring cash?

If you would like to make any purchases at the festival, we encourage you to bring cash with you, as credit card lines tend to be longer.  There will be a select number of ATM's on the island for your use if needed (fees apply).


don't see the answers you're looking for here?  Ask us on social media!



Special Thanks to Our 2017 Sponsors:

Guitar Sponsors

Fiddle Sponsors

tambourine sponsors