Things to Do

Fourth of July, Sweeney Todd, and the M3 Rock Festival: Things to Do in DC, July 1-5

Plus: A car barn-turned-concert venue.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Hey y’all!

We’ve got Sweeney Todd, the M3 Rock Festival, and Fourth of July fun.

Watch fireworks, avoid the crowds.

Here’s what you should check out this weekend:

Watch the all-stars: The US Women’s National Soccer Team will play Mexico in two friendly matches, one tonight and the other on Monday night. You can cheer them along at the NoMa beer garden Wunder Garten (with a portion of bar proceeds going to the US Soccer Foundation). Thursday 7/1 at 7 PM and Monday 7/5 at 5 PM; Free, find out more here.

Something for everyone: This weekend, the Kennedy Center’s REACH will host another mini-festival full of fun activities to “Relax | Relate | Release.” There’s a lot to choose from, including an arts market, roller skating, double dutch, Afrobeat dance lessons, yoga, a capoeira class, and more. Thursday 7/1 through Saturday 7/3; Free, find out more here.

Under the stars: Wolf Trap is hosting two nights of the Sondheim classic Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street backed by the National Symphony Orchestra. Follow along to your favorite songs about throat slashing, forbidden romance, and extremely unsavory meat pies at the outdoor amphitheater. Friday 7/2 and Saturday 7/3 at 8 PM; $42 and up, buy tickets here.

It’s back: The M3 Rock Festival brings scores of ‘80s metal fans to see retro rock bands at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Now in its 12th weekend, the fest will again include Hagerstown’s own Kix as headliners, with a lineup of Slaughter, Guns N’ Roses’ Steven Adler, Lita Ford, the tribute band the Iron Maidens, and more. Friday 7/2 through Sunday 7/4; $80 and up, buy tickets here.

Family fun: Mount Vernon will host a full day of events in its annual Fourth of July celebration. George Washington’s reenactor will be in attendance, of course, and the party will include a performance by the National Concert Band, a demonstration of an 18th-century hot-air balloon, daytime fireworks, and a naturalization ceremony to honor new citizens. If you’d like to stay home, there will also be a livestream of the day’s events here. Sunday 7/4 from 9 AM to 5 PM; $26 grounds admission, buy tickets here.

More on the Fourth: For food recs, check out Washingtonian’s guide to Independence Day specials at restaurants and bars around town. If you’re looking for neighborhood parades, both Palisades and Capitol Hill will host their traditional Fourth of July celebrations. And if you’re avoiding the National Mall but still want to get a good view of the fireworks show, there’s still tons of spots around town where you can snag a great seat. Here’s a map of where to watch the show and avoid the crowd.

The sweat files: It’s been brutally hot, so my coworker Damare Baker put together a useful map of the public pools and spray parks in DC where you can cool down.

It’s old, now it’s new:

Capital Turnaround will soon host live entertainment.

Today I wrote up a short preview of Capital Turnaround, an upcoming live concert spot that used to be an important transportation hub.

It’s a car garage unlike any other in the city: The historic Navy Yard Car Barn, which operated between 1891 and 1965, was the final stop for the old red line, where train cars would loop around to restart their routes. Now, it’s a revamped concert and entertainment venue named Capital Turnaround, a nod to the act each train car used to perform.

Though the space opened at the end of 2019 for private events, it’s now working with Union Stage, the small bites-and-beer spot at the Wharf known for intimate shows. Most recently, the ’90s cover band White Ford Bronco played to celebrate its post-pandemic reopening. Union Stage will run live entertainment and bookings for the 850-person venue, kicking off shows on August 6 with a yet-to-be-announced surprise headliner.

In September, Capital Turnaround will put on a live podcast event with True Crime Obsessed hosts Gillian Pensavalle and Patrick Hinds. Then later that month, the popular no-holds-barred storytelling group Story District will throw a reunion show and dance party. In October, catch Todd Rundgren (of ’70s rock band Utopia fame) and in December, see Jackass comic Steve-O who will stop in DC for his Bucket List Tour.

Thanks for reading! Tell me what you’re up to at home by dropping me a line at

Rosa is a senior editor at Bitch Magazine. She’s written for Washingtonian and Smithsonian magazine.