Broccoli City, an urban initiative redefining cool by bringing overall health to the forefront, has finally announced an official date and line up for their healthy living and eco-fueled D.C. celebrated festival. Broccoli City Festival, held at the historic Gateway DC, is known for cultivating connections with millennials through healthy living and music. This will be the fifth year of celebrating and bridging the gaps in society for the organization.
“It’s not an all black thing. It’s not an all white thing. Being urban and the whole millennial thing is a mindset.” – Brandon M.
In Conversation with the Founder: Brandon McEachern
Founder of Broccoli City, Brandon McEachern, was disheartened at the fact that not enough people talked about Earth Day and healthier living as a whole. He didn’t learn about Earth Day thoroughly until he moved to Los Angeles and felt the obligation to educate his community about it. This obligation was the birth of Broccoli City, a platform created for millennials to engage and learn more about Earth Day and the true meaning of a wholesome lifestyle.
It all started with a t-shirt line to encourage the activism of taking care of yourself and the earth– which then, in 2010, evolved to a musical gathering in Downtown LA called Global Coolin’ Block Party. The event was held at LA Green featuring dope upcoming artists at the time, such as Kendrick Lamar and Dom Kennedy.
After some humble beginnings, the event was put on hold due to the the trying task of keeping up with everyone in busy Los Angeles. After a few years and some marination, in 2013 Broccoli City Festival was born. It was brought to one of the most eclectic and underlined cultural cities, the nation’s capital, D.C. The decision to migrate to D.C. was no random act– as it’s one of the most millennial saturated cites in the U.S.
Aside from cultivating a clean lifestyle, the Broccoli City Festival assists in creating platforms and environments for young millennials to navigate and build. It’s not only an event to learn, but also one to network and connect.
Committed to making a change, Brandon and the Broccoli City team have done more than just bring festivities to town. They also give back to the community of D.C. often, even offering some awesome perks for people who help make a difference within the community. These acts include planting trees and street clean ups.
The Beginning of Broccoli City Festival
The first Broccoli Ctiy Festival was a huge hit–having our very own, Vashtie, as the host and special guests: Big Krit, JMSN, SZA and local favorites perform. Healthy nutrition promoting food vendors, yoga, pop-up markets and educational booths were also there. It was a huge hit not only with the community, but with government officials as well– as it bridged the gaps between youth, the district’s officials and a better life all around.
The following year got even better. Vashtie had the pleasure of hosting again while other artists, such as JSMN, returned to hit the stage that also welcomed some new artists to the movement–Kelela, Cam’ron, Just Blaze, and Chuck English to name a few.
Over the years, Broccoli City Festival doubled in attendees, jumping from 7,000 to 14,000 attendees in just one year. As the attendees increased, so did the interest of more artists. The festival has had the pleasure of having artists like Future, Jhene Aiko, Erykah Badu, Willow & Jaden Smith, The Internet… The list goes on! Yet, Brandon humbly considers the people who know about the festival a “secret society.”
Even as the Broccoli City Festival evolved into a movement, Brandon found bumps in the road of success. “There are not too many African-American festival promoters,” Brandon stated reluctantly. “Shoutouts to all of the black promoters: Vashtie, AfroPunk, Trillelectro…shoutouts to anybody making a platform for us!” With expectations of him sticking to only the fun aspects of the hip-hop community, there was push back when he tried to push forward the ideas of “health, community and juices.” Still, he holds on to his purpose and voices his positive outlook on the trend of looking and feeling good and how it ties back into a cohesive active and clean lifestyle.
“It’s an interesting space to see people now on Instagram, you know, vanity and wanting to be pretty and wanting to look good. It alternatively turns into health because you have to be healthy to look good. I’m kind of happy that everyone is vain [laughs] and everyone trying to get right because now I think that the conversation has shifted. I feel like we’re all woke now.” – Brandon M.
Broccoli City Festival Today
The announcement of the official date, Saturday, May 6th, and lineup was posted via social media but with some special instructions for the “secret society” to catch the pre-sale, as these tickets sell out super quick!
— Broccoli City (@BroccoliCity) January 25, 2017
2017’s Broccoli City Festival will be headlined by the always turnt Rae Sremmurd and the soul angel, Solange–with appearances by 21 Savage, Aluna George, Lil Yachty, Kevin Abstract, Rapsody and more.
Brandon had this to say on choosing the festival’s acts:
“When you think about a person and who somebody is there’s different aspects of a person. There are so many different levels of who we are and that’s what we try to bring to the festival. We all got a little Solange in us and we all have a little 21 Savage in us.”
Although big names are appearing, Brandon takes initiative to stay connected to rising talent, indie artists and labels. Why? Well, there’s a clear connection in the hustle of being an independent artist and Broccoli City: The reinventing of a grassroots approach to the community. This is a great opportunity for artists to get their name out there if they don’t get that chance to get to a huge festival or get that spark that they need to get noticed.
Besides the music–more excitingly–Broccoli City has extended the festival to a full week’s worth of more community based activities!
This year, Broccoli City will be launching Broccoli City Week, a week long hub for all those who strive to create a better world one way or another. Dubbed as a “Positive Freaknik,” this week long curation of activities kicks off Saturday, April 29th and will include: a fitness day, 5K run, conference, interactive experiences discovering D.C. and an opportunity to volunteer in exchange for a free ticket called “Power of One”– which has amassed over 4,000 of volunteer hours through the initiative.
More than the apparent fun and educational aspects, the connections made within the attendee community are priceless. Not only does Broccoli City put millennial and urban communities on to health, it also contributes to the culture of networking with like minded people. Bloomed from this was also the culture of banding together and helping each other out. With a proven track record, building with each other has been a big theme within the community. People have discovered great opportunities, started businesses and even surpassed the follower count of Broccoli City’s social media pages!
Planning on attending? Here’s some words of advice from Brandon to the people planning to come out: “Wear deodorant, tell your friends and have a good time, man!”
To obtain additional updates, check out @BroccoliCity on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and SnapChat!
For more information on tickets and packages, click here. Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, January 27th!