Music Festival vibes.

The Instagram flyer caught my eye as soon as I saw it. I had never even heard of Broccoli City, but I clicked the link and bought a ticket without even thinking twice. Who was I going with? Will I even be free that week? Who’s couch was I staying on when I get to D.C.? How was I even getting to D.C.??! I didn’t even care, I just knew I was going. Literally ten minutes

after printing my confirmation email, I get a FaceTime call from my friend Megan, saying she bought her ticket as well. Avoiding the $96 Amtrak ticket, I paid for a $24 round trip ticket on the MegaBus, and knew that whoever was in D.C. that weekend would see my face.

A week after returning from 4/20 in California, I found myself packing my bags to prepare for another journey. My friend Megan and I were the first two to touch down. We met up at our hotel and pregaming was the first thing on our minds. We ended up going to a Mexican restaurant, known for their strong margarita pitchers, which was also crowded with Howard students celebrating finals week ending. Our next destination was called The Park, a very upscale and mature lounge. The vibe was nice, and all three floors were crowded with people dancing to the DJ; it was a great place to be on a Friday night.

Friday consisted of me "working from home" at Starbucks for a few hours, then linking with my friends for brunch at Cafe Saint-Ex, where $1 mimosas came with a side of breakfast. I definitely had one too many because I could not focus while walking around the National African-American Museum. It was a great opportunity to experience, but I will have to go back when I'm not inebriated so I can pay attention to all of the details and exhibits. A few of us ventured up the block to Pennsylvania Avenue to see the White House. Tourists on all four sides of the building, we witnessed a few protests, and a few annoying caucasian people wearing "Make America Great Again" hats. Totaling up, there were 8 of us total, and we ended up going to The Park again for happy hour after leaving the museum. By the time each of us ordered two drinks and an appetizer, it was time to cancel our dinner reservations. The whole crew ended up sharing jerk wings, mac and cheese, spinach dip, and french fries to start our pregame before going to the club. The club is a blurry memory, but our group managed to pop bottles and stand on the couches in our section, which is now a standard anytime I go to a club. By the way, the security in D.C. clubs are the worst, just remember that.

Saturday started with brunch again, and taking an Uber to what we thought was the Broccoli City festival. After our Uber driver dropped us off in a random location, I looked up and saw we were on Martin Luther King Blvd. Now everyone knows, if the street is named after MLK, you are in the hood, but we were good. Everyone in the group was frustrated at being lost, so a few of us decided to run into the closest liquor store and grab a 12 pack of Lime-a-ritas as we waited on our third Uber to not cancel.

Finally, we arrived and walked towards the entrance of the festival. Two of our friends didn't have tickets to get in, but somehow we finessed a way for both of them to get through security and get in free. We all split two edibles that we bought in the parking lot and the weed man gave me a pair of stoner socks, which are pretty comfortable. Frantically, we skipped through the huge crowd to see Nipsey Hussle performing. Losing half of our crew to them sneaking into the VIP section, it became our goal to also find a way into VIP, so we walked towards the secured entrance. Watching security checking for VIP wristbands or tickets on mobile phones; I mysteriously get an AirDrop screenshot of some stranger's VIP ticket. I put the photo in the group chat so quick, and all of us entered VIP as if we paid for the tickets. Finessing our way through the crowd after missing Daniel Ceasar, we were so close to the stage to see Cardi B, Nipsey Hussle, Miguel (my spirit brother, *pictured), and Migos.

Broccoli City was a joy to attend, and a great start to the summer music festivals; especially seeing Cardi's last performance before having her baby. I hope to enjoy a few more festivals before the summer is up, including Afropunk and Made In America. Hopefully the line-ups aren't trash, so I can enjoy the vibes and finesse my way to the stage through more large crowds. Book your tickets and text your friends now, or lookout for more blog posts on my future trips and movements.

-Mike