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How Two Pals Created DC’s Broccoli City Music Fest

With Migos, Miguel, and Cardi B on this year's lineup, it's one of summer's biggest events.
How Two Pals Created DC’s Broccoli City Music Fest
Darryl Perkins, second from left, Brandon McEachern, second from right, and Marcus Allen, right. Photograph courtesy of Brandon McEachern.

2007

Brandon McEachern and Marcus Allen, who grew up together in Greensboro, North Carolina, start a streetwear company in Los Angeles named after their hometown’s nickname, Broccoli City.

2010

McEachern and Allen throw an LA concert to promote green issues (and their brand). “We learned about Earth Day,” says Allen, “and we’re like, ‘Why isn’t this translating to a more diverse crowd?’ ” A pre-fame Kendrick Lamar performs.

2013

After doing several other LA events, the friends launch the Broccoli City Festival, which they decide to do in DC because of its visibility and diverse population. Big K.R.I.T. headlines at Half Street Fairgrounds, selling more than 5,000 tickets.

2017

Having moved to Southeast’s Gateway DC in 2014, Broccoli books Solange for its 2017 fest. By that time, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and promoter Live Nation Urban are interested. “Jay-Z is my favorite rapper,” says Allen. “It’s crazy that we had to turn him down.”

2018

The Live Nation Urban partnership helps Broccoli score big acts Migos, Miguel, and Cardi B and move to RFK Stadium’s grounds. The April 28 gig sells 30,000 tickets. “We just faked it till we maked it for the first couple years,” says Allen. “It’s ill.”

This article appeared in the April 2018 issue of Washingtonian.

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Web Producer/Writer

Rosa joined Washingtonian as an editorial fellow in fall 2016. She likes to write about race, culture, music, and politics. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in International Relations and French with a minor in Journalism. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.