It’s summertime in Baltimore. That means scorching hot days punctuated by unexpectedly pleasant ones, snowballs dripping with saccharine sticky stuff and, if you’re lucky, a lazy vacation. It also means that festival season is finally here, and we here at What Weekly couldn’t be more excited.
Please enjoy our list below of Festivals taking place within the next several months, and don’t forget to mark your calendars!
July 14 12:30 – 4pm. FREE
Greenmount West has a new Community Center, so there couldn’t possibly be a better time to come out and celebrate the neighborhood. Burgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers will be provided at no charge, but if you’re nice, you’ll bring a dish of your own for the potluck. Bring your kids for the hula hooping, facepainting, and kids art show…or get in touch with your inner child and participate yourself! DJ Frankie Jones will kick off the afternoon, but don’t miss the reunion of the neighborhood’s marching band, the East Side Rockers, who haven’t performed since the ‘90s. No Channel, a local group from the Annex, will provide closing tunes. Stop by this weekend for some low-key and low-cost fun.
July 20th 11 am – 9 pm. July 21st : 11 am – 9 pm. July 22nd noon – 7 pm. FREE
The 31st annual Artscape festival will be held in Baltimore’s Mount Royal/Bolton Hill area. Each year, hundreds of thousands gather over the course of one long weekend to observe, make, and purchase art. Sculptors, painters, fashion designers, craftspeople and others will display and sell their pieces. Unique exhibitions will be held, and hands-on arts and crafts activities will serve to entertain entire families.
Artscape also features huge numbers of performers, transforming Baltimore’s streets into stages. Expect dance, opera, and street theatre. Two official stages will also see three nights of performance: the Wells Fargo sponsored mainstage, and the Station North stage. The former will host big name acts such as chilled out dub cover band Easy All Stars, and R&B singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist—a 16-time Grammy nominee (but zero-time winner) who apparently, not everyone has forgotten. Local acts, such as Celebration and Arbouretum, will color the Station North stage with Baltimore sounds.
July 20th. July 21st. July 22nd. $50 3-day pass, $20 single day.
If Artscape isn’t really your thing, if Baltimore to you means thrashing, not strolling, or if you’re just itching for something a little louder, consider checking out Ratscape at the HourHaus on West North Avenue. 47 bands will play over the three day period, and Cajun-style cooking and drinks (both included with tickets) will be provided to counter your exhaustion.
The many punk, metal, and hardcore bands featured at Ratscape include The Pilgrim, Arbouretum (who will also perform at Artscape), Weed is Weed, Windhand, Wild Honey, Dragon King, Skelptarsis, and Earthride. Also be sure to check out Headbanging Hot Dog’s vegan treats and Chef Mama Saray Israel’s international ones, as well as music and merch for sale from Hunting Ground, Pizza Party Art and Printing, and Black Mess Metal Emporium.
Aug 4. Aug 5. FREE.
Baltimore’s diversity is one of its most extraordinary features. No matter your ethnicity, come celebrate this diversity at the International Festival, located in Poly/Western High School on Coldspring Lane. Attendees can learn about the cultures which surround them by tasting foreign cuisines and observing traditional performances. One can also come to network, connecting with the many services and organizations who will be present. In a world so divided by difference, Baltimore’s International Festival can help restore a sense of unity.
Aug 18. Aug 19. $15 day pass. $25 weekend pass.
WhatWeekly is an official sponsor of KarmaFest, which is coming to Elkton, MD to get you in touch with your spiritual side. Make the trip to hear lectures, do yoga, and get a massage. Guilt-free health food will be available, and musicians will ensure your ears’ pleasure all weekend. Local vendors of “holistic/mystic” products will show their faces, so you can keep the peace with you once you return home. KarmaFest might be the perfect way to escape the busy city for a weekend, while still keeping it local. If you can’t make it, don’t sweat it: KarmaFest will also be in the DC area (Prince George’s County) from September 28-30th.
Aug 18. Noon – 10 pm $49 advance, $60 at gate. $150 VIP.
Blues rockers Gov’t Mule and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue will headline the twentieth Hot August Blues Fest. Also sponsored by What Weekly, the festival will be held at Oregon Ridge in Cockeysville. Come chill out in the heat to sounds from two stages, which will host bands and artists from all the country. Tons of vendors will provide grub perfectly suited to a picnic, as well as cool jewelry and bluesy memorabilia. And if you have some flex cash from those extra summer hours, consider treating yourself to VIP tickets—no lines, drinks provided, and a special viewing area will be yours.
Aug 30. Aug 31. Sept 1. Sept 2. Ticket info to come.
Until two years ago, Baltimore hosted the famous Whartscape, a summer festival to celebrate local music in the DIY Wham City scene. Last year, it was announced that Whartscape would not be making reappearance on the local calendar. Then, ScapeScape was announced (but local legend Dan Deacon swore that ScapeScape was not the replacement for Whartscape, despite the similar theme and lineup).
The second annual ScapeScape festival will celebrate Baltimore this Labor Day weekend. Local favorites like Wye Oak, Celebration, Dope Body, Weekends, Rapdragons, and Roomrunner (featuring ex-members of Double Dagger!!) will fill three stages: the Metro Gallery, the Metro Gallery parking lot, and the Windup Space. A slew of local artists will also display their work.
Sept 15. 12am – 11pm. $48.50 http://www.missiontix.com/events/product/14646
The first ever annual Charm City Music Festival will also be the first event to be held on a new space on the water, located in Harbor East. Come see Weezer and reminisce about being 13. Other huge acts who will be present are Stephen Marley, Flogging Molly, Southern Culture on the Skids and Eve 6. Kids under 12 get in free, so bring yours. Local bands like the Almighty Senators and reggae acts Jah Works and Ballyhoo! will also perform, and an electronic music tent will feature Baltimore’s best DJs. Baltimore delicacies like steamed crabs and other seafood, as well as local micro brews, will be served as a perfect addition to the harbor atmosphere.