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Updated: Fort Reno Might Not Be Happening This Summer, for Real This Time

Photograph by Flickr user Jimmy Emerson.

After two consecutive years of narrowly avoiding cancelation, the Fort Reno summer concert series appears to be in jeopardy again. In an email to Washingtonian, a National Park Service spokesperson writes that, as of Tuesday, the agency had not yet received a permit application for this year’s shows from Amanda MacKaye, who has organized the shows for more than a decade.

Although MacKaye waited until late June last year to announce the series was in financial trouble due to security costs—which gives her a little over a month to clear the air—there are other signs that suggest Fort Reno isn’t happening in 2016.

For one, there hasn’t been a call for music submissions, which last year began in March.

The website hasn’t been updated either—it still says “Fort Reno 2015” at the top of the page, an unsettling premonition for fans of the music series, which has been held every summer at the park in upper Northwest DC since 1968.


fort reno

Last year, MacKaye, who did not respond to questions about Fort Reno’s status or future, asked the public for help in covering the $2,460—$66 per officer, though it eventually rose to $70—it would cost to maintain lawful park security for shows. Whether or not DC music fans will be called upon again to save Fort Reno in 2016 remains to be seen.

UPDATE, May 13: A National Park Service spokesperson tells Washingtonian that the agency normally receives a permit application for Fort Reno in early April, making MacKaye nearly a month late if she’s planning to file one. However, there still is time. The spokesperson says that applications need to be filed at least 48 hours in advance of the proposed event. Last year’s first Fort Reno date was July 6. And for anyone looking to read more information about securing these permits, visit this website.