Fort Dupont, Carter Barron outdoor summer concerts return in scaled-back form

Let's begin with the good news: The popular summertime concerts and performances at Fort Dupont Park in Southeast Washington and Carter Barron Amphitheatre in upper Northwest are returning this summer, despite sequestration-related budget cuts that threw their fate, and the fate of programming at many national park sites, into question. This year,  Carter Barron will even host free outdoor movies, sponsored by Comcast.

The bad news? The once-robust schedules at the outdoor venues have been slashed considerably. "It’s what the parks can support," said Carter Barron ranger Rita Gunther. "It’s not simply the sequester, but a host of factors."

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 21, 2012: Heatwave perform at Fort Dupont Park. For six weeks each summer, thousands upon thousands of fans gather at Fort Dupont Park in Anacostia for weekly concerts by veteran funk and soul bands. The concerts, which are organized by the National Park Service using a modest budget of 200,000 dollars, are barely promoted, yet draw massive crowds. (Photo by ASTRID RIECKEN For The Washington Post)
A concert at Fort Dupont Park.  (Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)

Fort Dupont, which hosted six of its popular free concerts last year, announced that there will be just three this summer. Carter Barron hosted 12 concerts and dance performances last year. Three were concerts for which concertgoers had to buy tickets, and the remaining nine performances were free. This year, there are just two free concerts (including the Going Out Guide's Reggae Night show on Aug. 9) and the two movie screenings, of  "The Avengers" and "Oz the Great and Powerful." Below, find the full schedule.

2013 schedule (all shows are free and first come, first served):

Fort Dupont:
July 27 Cops Come Knockin/ Be’la Dona.
6 p.m. Gates open at 4:30 p.m.

Aug. 3 Jazz Night at Fort Dupont with  Boys and Girls Club / Jazz Ambassadors of the U.S. Army Field Band.
6 p.m. Gates open at 4:30 p.m.

Aug. 10 Secret Society/ Sylver Logan Sharp
6 p.m. Gates open at 4:30 p.m.

Carter Barron
Aug. 9 Reggae Night (Sponsored by The Washington Post/Going Out Guide)
7:30 p.m. Gates open at 7 p.m.

Aug. 23 "The Avengers"
Dusk (approx. 8:15 p.m.). Gates open at 7 p.m.

Aug. 24 "Oz the Great and Powerful"
Dusk (approx. 8:15 p.m.). Gates open at 7 p.m.

Aug. 31 25th Annual DC Blues Festival
12:15 p.m. Gates open at noon.

Lavanya Ramanathan is a professional eater/drinker/thinker for Weekend and the Going Out Guide. University of Texas. Northwestern University. Rap fan.
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