Washington City Paper immortalizes legendary park and music venue

Updated
Band plays at D.C.'s Fort Reno park
Band plays at D.C.'s Fort Reno park
stgermh (spotted via DCist)

Taking a few minutes out of today’s bad economic news, FAA news, and scary campus news to share this with you.

Summer is a season for outdoor events, and some of us here on the Mo’ Joe blog are fans of outdoor events.

The Washington City Paper undertook the mammoth task of creating an oral history of D.C.’s Fort Reno Park in Tenleytown.

Specifically, the paper interviewed a whole lotta musicians and music fanatics about a long-standing outdoor concert series that stretches all the way back to the summer of 1968.

And it’s as thorough as it should be.

As a music town, D.C. has a very proud history. It’s the birthplace of Go-go, emo (sorry), the Bad Brains; it gave us some pretty potent hardcore bands and some revered indie bands and record labels.

Fugazi, Chisel, Dismemberment Plan, Slant 6. Perhaps you’ve heard of them.

Ryan Little writes:

The concerts began during the summer of 1968, the year riots erupted following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Along with Barbara Luchs and other Tenleytown residents, Father George Dennis, a Jesuit priest, filed the papers to form Neighborhood Planning Council No. 3, which organized the series. In the early years, the concerts featured acid-drenched hippie bands and blues-driven roots rock.

The paper talks to musicians who have played the park, people who organize and have organized the concerts, and a 13-year-old whose band, The Black Sparks, performed there in 2010.

It’s worth a read to see how a park that was involved in the only Civil War battle to take place in D.C. (per Wikipedia) became such a beloved music spot.

And it’s worth reading for the anecdote about the time a lightning bolt struck the stage during a Fugazi set.

Washington City Paper immortalizes legendary park and music venue

Updated