Sweetlife Festival stands out in a sea of DC events


Courtesy of Sweetgreen

2015’s Sweetlife Festival is looking to be one of the most successful years in the event’s short but sweet history.

Evan Candelmo, Online Arts & Entertainment Editor

Filled with monuments and museums, one may not expect the D.C. area to be the up-and-coming spot for the best new music festivals. In the past, an average tourist could find a heritage festival or free local concert on the National Mall. Recently, they could stick around for the Concert for Valor, headlined by Bruce Springsteen and Rihanna, or Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day, featuring A-list rock bands No Doubt and Fall Out Boy. Later this month, Kendrick Lamar and Calvin Harris will be leading the list of over 20 bands for this year’s Sweetlife Festival. Sponsored by surging salad company, Sweetgreen, the event will take place on May 30 and 31 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md., less than an hour away from the nation’s capital.

This year’s festival, being only the eighth in the company’s history, is bigger and better than ever, with two days as opposed to one, meaning more artists than usual.Despite its short history, WJ students have been quick to catch on to Sweetlife. Junior Ryan Cirillo has been going since his freshman year.

“I first heard about Sweetlife through friends, [and, despite it raining two years in a row,] I always have a blast. Sweetlife is different from other festivals because it features such an eclectic group of artists, yet the general audience is very young. It also harps on sustainability and the environment, which I love,” said Cirillo.

Junior Taylor Dennison feels similar and notes its unique aesthetic achieved through local vendors and artists being mixed with mainstream ones.

“I think it’s great that lesser known bands get a chance to go somewhere that attracts a large audience due to more popular acts. It gives them a chance to get known,” said Dennison.

For others, like junior Danielle Sklarew, 2015 will be her first year at the festival.

“I had always wanted to go, and I knew the line-up was great this year. Sweetlife is allowing [Line-Up Magazine, a WJ student-owned] publication to advertise at the venue so I’m going with [Evan Candelmo, editor-in-chief], and a few other students to get the word out,”said Sklarew. 

This year, besides the headliners, the line-up has new emerging acts such as MisterWives and Bleachers, top 40 hit-makers Tove Lo and Vance Joy, and old-timers Billy Idol and Pixies.

While Dennison is excited to see Billy Idol, as he was her first concert, others like Sklarew and Cirillo cite bands like new brat-pop band Holychild and alt-pop staple Marina & The Diamonds as their must-sees. There truly is something for music fans of all taste in this year’s line-up.

“I love love love the line-up but I don’t like that fact it’s a two-day festival [this year]. I might get tired [the first day] and I feel like the second won’t be as fun as the first [because of that],” said Dennison. The two days have sparked lots of concern with WJ students as the event will stretch into the late evening on Sunday night, a school night.

With its constant rate of upping itself, there’s no doubting Sweetlife will soon be named with the likes of Bonnaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza. But many from WJ can say they knew it way back when.