My day at the first annual Landmark Festival

October 1, 2015

COURTESY OF RACHEL BIDERMAN Drake, one of the festival’s main headlines, released a joint-mixtape with rapper Future in the week leading up to the festival.

By ALISON BARTKOWSKI Your Weekend Columnist

This past weekend marked the first annual Landmark Festival held in Washington, D.C. at West Potomac Park. Quite a few Hopkins students, myself included, attended. The festival had a great lineup with Drake and The Strokes headlining and many other locally and nationally-acclaimed artists filling out the lineup.

Tragically, I was only able to attend the second day due to the first round of midterms, but I had a great time.

I ordered my ticket a few days ahead of time and the will call line was very short, so getting inside was a breeze. The festival grounds were relatively small and you could see the monuments towering over the stages, which was a nice touch.

As I arrived I managed to catch a bit of Chromeo drifting over from one of the side stages, but I opted to head straight for the food trucks and got in line for The Big Cheese, a food truck specializing in grilled cheese. The line was long but well worth the wait for a gooey sandwich filled with guacamole. One thing that stood out to me as I munched on my well-earned meal was that the demographic was a lot older than I had expected; There were even families with young kids present.

Next we headed to Alt-J, and though I enjoy their music, it wasn’t anything I could dance to. I left early and headed over to CHVRCHES. Their set was amazing. Lead singer Lauren Mayberry managed to say something hilarious between each of the songs. She even messed up one line from laughing too hard when someone got hit in the face with a beach ball (and admitted it afterwards).

And finally the headliners! I actually ran across the grounds to try and get as close to the front as possible for The Strokes. However, lead singer Julian Casablancas managed to come on stage a full 20 minutes late and seemed to be relatively inebriated. The performance was delivered well despite his condition and I really enjoyed it, especially because they played many songs from their first album.

Landmark wasn’t just about the music. It sought to bring awareness to the current state of the National Mall. Monuments and landscapes are deteriorating and there is a need to restore and improve one of our nation’s most iconic national parks.

There are so many quality concerts in D.C., and with a MARC train ticket only $8 each way, it is a worthwhile journey. It is worth noting that the MARC does not run late on weekends, and it can be tricky getting back (my friends and I had to split a $170 Lyft ride), so it’s best to stay the night if possible and catch the train back in the morning.

Hopefully the festival will continue to grow and have even more well-known artists next year. It is quite reasonably priced, with early bird two-day tickets priced at $100. Make sure to check it out next year if your midterm schedule allows it.

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