Your guide to the weekend-long Trust for the National Mall mega-concert

Bob Niedt

So now that we've gotten the pope onto the next leg of his East Coast U.S. tour, it's time to turn our attention once again to another major event: The weekend-long Landmark Music Festival for the National Mall. You have questions? Fire away.

Wait, what? I'm pretty spent. It's been a long week. What is this concert you speak of?

This is a really big one: More than 40 performers on five stages in West Potomac Park, between Ohio Avenue and the Tidal Basin.

Name some of the performers



The lineup leans toward alternative rock, though a headliner is Drake. Other performers include the Strokes, alt-j, Chvrches, TV on the Radio, George Ezra, Manchester Orchestra and the Mowgli's. Here's a link to the complete schedule. Shows start at 12:30 p.m. each day with the headliner starting at 8:30 p.m. Drake headlines Saturday; the Strokes headline Sunday.

Who listens to that noise?


Eh, I might wander over. It's free, right? Being as it's on the National Mall.

Slow down. It's far from free. Tickets are $105 for Saturday and $105 for Sunday. A two-day pass is $150. And there are, as music festivals go these days, pricier VIP passeswith perks.

What's the deal with charging people to access the National Mall?

Well, technically, the charges are to access the concert. It's a fundraiser for theNational Park Service to help the agency restore the historic landmarks and terrain of the Mall that many see as hallowed ground.

“This is the first time money might circle back to the Mall,” Robert Vogel, director of the National Capitol Region of the Park Service, who gave the go-ahead for the festival, told The Washington Post. “It’s certainly not a bad thing.”

It's also the first time a section of the National Mall will be accessible only to a paying public and some, including historians, aren't pleased about it.

“We see the National Mall as a public treasure, and it’s supposed to be free and open to the public — the museums, the memorials and the events,” Mark B. Bennett, executive director of the National Mall Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy group, told the Post. “This festival violates the intent of public access, regardless of whatever cause they are supporting.”

What's it going to look like? And will there be food and drink?

This map should enlighten you. And for more info, visit the home page of the festival.