Landmark Music Festival Takes Over the National Mall

Jim MacKay

- CBS Local DC

WASHINGTON — The first-ever Landmark Music Festival opens this weekend, and artists such as Drake and The Strokes will help inaugurate the city’s newest annual entertainment event.

The festival is taking place at West Potomac Park and will raise funds to help restore the National Mall. The Trust for the National Mall is spearheading the effort to clean up the area, which is one of the primary tourist attractions in the District. The festival’s website says there are more than $750 million in backlogged repairs to monuments and landmarks.

The weekend will help launch the Landmark Campaign, which is intended to raise money for those repairs and add a variety of improvements and upgrades to the National Mall, including an outdoor amphitheater on the grounds of the Sylvan Theater.

Teresa Durkin, Senior Project Director at the National Mall, says the planned amphitheater will be located in the immediate vicinity of the Washington Monument, as designed by Weiss/Manfredi.

 Cameron Thompson/NewsRadio 99.1)

The Make Your Mark Tent, where festival-goers can learn about the National Mall and the repairs it needs. (Credit: Cameron Thompson/NewsRadio 99.1)


 Cameron Thompson/NewsRadio 99.1)

Artist renderings of the planned upgrades to the National Mall, including Constitution Gardens and the Sylvan Theater. (Credit: Cameron Thompson/NewsRadio 99.1)


“Weiss/Manfredi had the brilliant idea…to lift up the land, create an amphitheater, and between the amphitheater and the monument itself, create a stage,” Durkin said. “So that people would be actually looking at the monument as the backdrop to whatever performance was going on.”

Visitors are also encouraged to tour the National Mall while taking in the music. To help make the festival an all-day experience, more than a dozen restaurants and food providers will be on the grounds, including Ben’s Chili Bowl and Amsterdam Falafelshop.

The first artists took the stage around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, and dozens more followed, including local rapper Wale, and Drake closed out the first day of performances.

Sunday’s schedule of concerts also runs from 12:30 p.m. until about 10 p.m., with The Strokes closing out the festival.

For more information on the website, go to