Down In The Reeds unites local music lovers

The one-day music festival in Northwest DC celebrates healing power of music

 Down In The Reeds unites local music lovers

The D.C.-based, go go and Afro-beat music collective Crank Lukongo closed out the inaugural Down In The Reeds festival with a genre-defying set Oct. 19.

Down In The Reeds, a one-day fall celebration and music festival, was held at the Parks at Walter Reed on Oct. 19. from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The festival featured diverse musical acts, local artisans, breweries, food trucks, a beer garden and more. 

“Every single community approaches the idea of healing through music in its own way,” said Chis Naoum, co-founder of Listen Local First and Down in the Reeds, in an interview with DCist

Listen Local First is a music initiative devoted to “[raising] the profile of DC’s local music scene” by creating unique performance opportunities for artists and venues, according to the organization’s website. 

Down In The Reeds’ mission was to bring together a “mosaic of entertainment and activations reflective of D.C.’s cultural diversity and in celebration of the healing power of music,” according to the festival’s website.

In an attempt to bridge the cultural, racial and socioeconomic gap between D.C.’s eight wards, the festival curated a wide range of creative locals to perform on two different stages. The main stage opened with the interdisciplinary healing artist Boundless Eclectic and concluded with Crank Lu’Kongo.

The second, or “workshop,” stage presented by Humanities D.C., featured “Making Plant Music with IMKA,” an author talk with Casey Rae and an open blues jam with the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation. 

The festival showcased 18 onstage performers and a music healing tent, which offered opportunities for guests to decompress and enjoy healing soundscapes in a more intimate setting. Attendees had the opportunity to learn more about sound baths and sound healing and were invited to create their own music healing mantra boards. 

Down In The Reeds was free and open to the public but suggested a $10 donation in hopes of funding this healing-filled festival in the coming years.

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