Photo by PoPville flickr user yostinator
“First things first: Fort Reno is absolutely happening this year. We’ve already secured a permit and the necessary funding to host six shows, which will likely run throughout July. So no need to worry in that regard. That said, we’re hoping to go a bit bigger.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Fort Reno Concert Series, and we’d like to celebrate with an extended season. To make that happen, we’ve decided to seek some additional financial support.
For those not already aware: Fort Reno is a concert series held each summer in Fort Reno Park, which is located in the Tenleytown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. With a few exceptions (which we’ll get to shortly), it’s staffed and organized entirely by volunteers. The performers are all locals or — in a few uncommon instances — artists with deep ties to the D.C. music community. The events are all-ages and free to the public, and the artists don’t take a fee. We’ve tried hard over the years to keep the whole thing pretty simple: It’s just people in a park listening to music made by their peers. Over the years, performers have included Fugazi, Q and Not U, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Slant 6, Dismemberment Plan, Mary Timony, Priests, Mass Movement of the Moth, and many, many more.
While volunteers and artists have continued to generously offer up their time and music free of charge, the concert series has a few unavoidable expenses. We have to rent the Porta John, for one. And we have to pay the fella who supplies the PA. We’re also required to hire at least one off-duty police officer to remain on hand for the duration of each event. And the larger the anticipated audience, the more security we have to hire. So booking an artist of even modest local notoriety can get pricey. These costs aren’t going anywhere. We’ll need to meet them each year for the foreseeable future. All in all, each show costs roughly $750 for sound and security.”