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D.C.’s second annual In It Together Fest returns tomorrow with a four-day-long celebration of DIY music and art that features more than 70 local and touring bands spread across 19 venues.
Although In It Together Fest 2 has a larger lineup than last summer’s inaugural festival, co-founder Mike O’Brien says the biggest changes to the event occurred under the hood.
O’Brien says the organizers worked to strategically schedule events on Saturday, the festival’s busiest day, by planning early afternoon shows at DIY venues like the Beehive and Crack Rock Creek Church that wouldn’t conflict with the main festival showcase at St. Stephen’s. This year’s showcase will also be more streamlined, too, hosting 10 bands (including Cayetana, Thou, and several D.C.-area acts) playing alternating sets on two stages.
“Hopefully people will be able to see more of what they’d like to see,” O’Brien says.
In addition, the organizers collaborated with the nonprofit Collective Action for Safe Spaces on a sexual harassment workshop for festival volunteers and staff members at participating venues.
“We want to make sure that all the spaces that are participating are equipped with the appropriate knowledge and, to some degree, training regarding how to deal with potentially hairy situations that come along with hosting events,” O’Brien says.
This year the festival’s proceeds will be donated to Collective Action for Safe Spaces, senior outreach organization We Are Family, and the DC Abortion Fund.
O’Brien says In It Together Fest represents the pure artistic output of individuals and groups in the D.C. area, and, true to its name, the festival exists to promote a culture in which creativity is fueled by philanthropy and an inclusive spirit.
“We’re doing this…because we want to elevate everyone,” he says.