To step off the metro station and immediately be captivated by a beautiful band is a wonderful way to start any day. That was how I started my day at the U Street Funk Music Festival.
The U Street Funk Music Festival is an annual event that started in 2014, after Jones Rood and a few of his friends wanted to support local bands. U Street has always been a place for celebration. People have filled the U St. during momentous occasions from the end of World War II in 1945, to the victory of Obama in 2008. Clearly, U Street was a perfect place to hold a funk parade.
The moment I stepped off the metro, I could feel the energy. A band called “P-funk” was warming up, continuously yelling, “Are you ready to funk!” As soon as the saxophone started to play, funk filled the air. Everyone was dancing– they couldn’t help it.
Not only were there 30 plus stages scattered around the U Street area, there were also local businesses abuzz. Vendors were selling all sorts of items, such as homemade earrings and cards, all relating to funk and the city itself.
Starting at three, a huge parade marched down U street. Made up of huge marching bands wearing bright colors, the funk parade drew almost 2,000 people.
Even through the rain, the funk festival thrived. The streets were filled with people wearing shirts proclaiming “funk” on the back. If anything, the rain pouring down on everyone’s faces with the lyrics “weird people, love all” made the experience all the more powerful. Feel the funk.
If you’re bummed you missed out on the funk festival on May 6, follow the U Street Buzz page on Facebook to keep up with future events!
PHOTO BY MILLER TAYLOR