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Once the daily sessions wrap up, the Festival continues with music, poetry, and a special film screening from the United Arab Emirates and across the United States on the Main Stage, with most events starting at 6:30.

Purchase food at our concessions or bring your own, and enjoy a picnic on the National Mall. All concerts are free and open to the public.


Ralph Rinzler Main Stage, National Mall | Starting at 6:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted

  • Two men seated on stage playing tabla drums and rubab stringed instrument.
    Wednesday, June 22

    Yo-Yo Ma hosts an evening of music and poetry from Afghanistan and beyond, including Homayoun Sakhi, Salar Nader, Ahmad Fanoos, Elham Fanoos, Mehran Fanoos, Hamid Habibzada, Nazira Wali, and Alex and Sophie Sherzai, plus featured poets Khet Mar, Zohra Saed, and Genya Turovskaya. Special guest appearance by Chelsey Green.

    Supported by the Timashev Family Foundation and presented in partnership with Asia Society—NY, American Anthropological Association, and Events DC

  • Two images side by side of bands posing on stage and on a stairwell.
    Thursday, June 23

    From international jazz to homegrown go-go, enjoy a diversity of sounds and rhythms.

  • A man aims a camera at a bee hovering over a yellow flower.
    Friday, June 24, 6 PM

    Acclaimed wildlife filmmaker Martin Dohrn documents the life of bees as we have never seen before.

    Supported by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios

  • Two images of women side by side, one holding a banjo and the other a cello.
    Friday, June 24, 7 PM

    Old-time and bluegrass music icon Alice Gerrard celebrates the opening of the National Museum of American History exhibition Music HerStory: Women and Music of Social Change. (Leyla McCalla, previously scheduled, is unable to perform due to unforeseen circumstances.)

    Co-presented with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, and the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative

  • A man in a Pirates jersey plays a handdrum, while a group crowded behind him dances and plays along, under dramatic orange light.
    Saturday, June 25

    John Santos Sextet & Friends, Los Pleneros de la 21, Los Pleneros de la Cresta, and Plenazo Cangrejero pay tribute to master Puerto Rican plenero and community leader Héctor René “Tito” Matos Otero. 

  • A band of five men dressed in black and one woman in floral dress and pink shawl pose on a staircase.
    Thursday, June 30

    Conjunto band Los Texmaniacs and singer-songwriter Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernandez share songs from their forthcoming Folkways album, Corazones and Canciones. Local son jarocho collective Son Cosita Seria opens the concert.

    Co-presented with Smithsonian Folkways

  • Two images side by side, one of a man in black bowler hat and handlebar moustache, the other of a band of men and women posing between green tree trunks.
    Friday, July 1
    Folkways@Folklife: Sunny Jain’s Wild Wild East and REBOLU

    The diversity of America’s sonic landscape is on display with Jain’s blend of Bollywood classics, Spaghetti Westerns, jazz, and surf rock and REBOLU’s salsa-inspired music rooted in Afrocentric rhythms of Colombia’s Caribbean coast.

    Co-presented with Smithsonian Folkways

  • Film still of a man breakdancing on a red and gray stage.
    Saturday, July 2

    A multimedia, multinational show with musicians Freek, Fafa, and NOON; poets Maitha Al Suwaidi, Dorian Rogers, and Jaysus Zain; breakdancers Lana Ramadan and Zilla; “calligraffiti” artists Mang and Diaa Allam; visualist Tegan McDuffie; and filmmaker Philip Rachid aka Soultrotter.

    Curated by Bill Bragin, artistic director of The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi


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