HFStivalHFStival takes place at Merriweather Post Pavillion, Maryland

HFStival 2011 dates – 17th September

Buy festival tickets
Clutch, Diane Birch, Dr. Dog, Flogging Molly, Funkmnkyz, Gin Blossoms, Justin Trawick Group, Lionize, Lloyd Dobler Effect, Middle Distance Runner, Minus the Bear, Pasadena, Tennis System, The Avett Brothers, The Five One, Vessel

The History of HFStival

The HFStival is an annual rock festival sponsored by Washington, D.C. / Baltimore, Maryland radio station WHFS. In the 1990s and early-mid 2000s, the HFStival was the largest yearly music festival on the East Coast. 55,000 to 90,000 people attended the annual event, which had traditionally been held at RFK Stadium until the station moved to Baltimore in 2005. That May, the new WHFS at 105.7 held its first HFStival at M&T Bank Stadium. Though not originally called HFStival, two earlier concerts held on the Fourth of July were the foundation for the first festival and are considered part of HFStival history.

The HFStival began as the WHFS Fourth of July Festival, an all-day concert followed by a fireworks display, which was held twice at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, Virginia 1990 and 1991. The first proper HFStival was held in Upper Marlboro, Maryland in 1992, and the following year’s event, on July 4, 1993, the event was moved to RFK Stadium for the first time, where it would continue annually return for the next six years. In 1993, when the first RFK lineup was revealed, some controversy arose among the station’s listeners over the inclusion of the Stereo MCs; the previous events had only included mainstays of rock and alternative music and the MCs, a hip hop group, seemed out of place. Once the concert went on, however, the audience’s enthusiasm paved the way for WHFS to include more artists from outside the station’s normal playlist on the HFStival’s stages — which would, in future years, include more hip hop acts, electronica artists, and such disparate musicians as crooner Tony Bennett and performance artists the Blue Man Group. The weather during the 1993 concert was so hot (reaching more than 100 degrees on the stadium’s floor) that the concert date was moved to May for subsequent years.

HFStival 1999, headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers, left RFK Stadium for the larger M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland; the following year’s festival was held at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, and, with a sold-out crowd of 90,000, it was WHFS’s most-attended concert ever. RFK was still the festival’s official home, however — not only would the festival return in 2001, but in September, 1999, the first “HFStival Fall Edition” was held there.

2000 is generally considered the HFStival’s peak year — that year’s concert, headlined by Rage Against the Machine and Stone Temple Pilots, would be the last to sell out on the initial day of sale, and attendance has gradually declined since. However, the strong ticket sales of the previous few years’ festivals inspired the station to expand the HFStival, beginning in 2001, into a two-day event; between May 27 and May 28, over forty artists took the stage and, in 2002, the two-day formula was repeated to similar success.

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