Logo of the 2005 HFStival held in Baltimore, Maryland
GenreAlternative rock
Location(s)United States
Years active1990–2006, 2010–2011

The HFStival was an annual Washington, D.C. / Baltimore, Maryland rock festival. Held every summer from 1990 through 2006 by radio station WHFS, and annually since 2010 in commemoration of the now-defunct station's legacy, the HFStival was at its peak the largest yearly music festival on the East Coast. 55,000 to 90,000 people attended the annual event, which had traditionally been held at RFK Stadium until the station moved to Baltimore in 2005. That May, the new WHFS at 105.7 held its first HFStival at M&T Bank Stadium. Though not originally called HFStival, two earlier concerts held on the Fourth of July were the foundation for the first festival and are considered part of HFStival history.


This article needs to be updated. Please help update this section to reflect recent events or newly available information. (November 2010)

The HFStival began as the WHFS Fourth of July Festival, an all-day concert followed by a fireworks display, which was held twice at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, Virginia 1990 and 1991. The first proper HFStival was held in Upper Marlboro, Maryland in 1992, and the following year's event, on July 4, 1993, the event was moved to RFK Stadium for the first time, where it would continue annually return for the next six years. In 1993, when the first RFK lineup was revealed, some controversy arose among the station's listeners over the inclusion of the Stereo MCs; the previous events had only included mainstays of rock and alternative music and the MCs, a hip hop group, seemed out of place. Once the concert went on, however, the audience's enthusiasm paved the way for WHFS to include more artists from outside the station's normal playlist on the HFStival's stages — which would, in future years, include more hip hop acts, electronica artists, and such disparate musicians as crooner Tony Bennett and performance artists the Blue Man Group.

HFStival 1999, headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers, left RFK Stadium for the larger M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland; the following year's festival was held at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, and, with a sold-out crowd of 90,000, it was WHFS's most-attended concert ever. RFK was still the festival's official home, however — not only would the festival return in 2001, but in September, 1999, the first "HFStival Fall Edition" was held there.

2000 is generally considered the HFStival's peak year — that year's concert, headlined by Rage Against the Machine and Stone Temple Pilots with a half-hour documentary produced by Washington, DC, based TV station MHz Networks and hosted by WHFS on-air personalities — would be the last to sell out on the initial day of sale, and attendance has gradually declined since. However, the strong ticket sales of the previous few years' festivals inspired the station to expand the HFStival, beginning in 2001, into a two-day event; between May 27 and May 28, over forty artists took the stage and, in 2002, the two-day formula was repeated to similar success.

On the first night of HFStival 2002, during a performance by Eminem, several members of the audience were injured when the crowd surged forward as the rapper took the stage. When the fans refused to obey his instructions to move back, the performance was suspended, allowing security and first aid personnel to act. The injured people removed from the crowd included five who required hospitalization and one man who suffered a heart attack. The incident cast doubt on whether the event, or the second day, would be allowed to continue — especially in light of the negative publicity the venue received when a concertgoer was hospitalized after a lightning strike at the 1998 Tibetan Freedom Concert. However, Eminem's performance, the following DJ set, and Day 2 of the festival eventually went on as planned.

Lagging ticket sales seemed to threaten the festival's future for a while, first when it was reduced for 2003 from two days back to one, and again when a planned second Fall Edition was cancelled — a scheduling conflict required a change of date and venue, and several big-name artists were forced to pull out, severely affecting ticket sales. Finally, in early 2005, the station abruptly went off the air, replaced by a Spanish language Latin pop format, and listeners feared the HFStival's days had come to an end. Shortly afterward, parent company Infinity Broadcasting revived WHFS with a new frequency and a new city and, with it, brought the HFStival back. HFStival 2005, held at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium, was notably different from previous affairs, featuring a lineup of artists from all points of the station's long history: original punk rockers The New York Dolls shared a stage with hard rock icon Billy Idol, veteran alternative band They Might Be Giants, and current rising stars like The Bravery. Approximately 53,000 seats were filled — nearly equivalent to a sold-out RFK Stadium.

The 2006 HFStival was held the weekend of May 27 and May 28, 2006, at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, which more than doubled its normal capacity in order to accommodate the event's more than 40,000 attendees over the weekend event. The Pavilion's amphitheatre-style main stage featured the event's headlining artists, with the two additional stages located in the parking lot and in the surrounding woods.[1] Despite being advertised up until a week before the event, the "Buzz Tent", a dance / DJ area, was cancelled shortly beforehand.[2]

In early 2007, WHFS was rebranded "Baltimore's FM Talk", splitting off nearly all music to its HD radio channel HFS2. No official information came forth from the station regarding the HFStival, except for an announcement that it would be held in 2007. The only artist confirmed to perform was local metalcore band aFREUDIANSLIP, winners of the station's "Road to the Festival" band competition. The 2007 concert was not held.

The 2010 HFStival was held on September 18, 2010 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.[3] The 2011 edition of the event took place on September 17, again at Merriweather Post Pavilion.[4]


Lineups are listed in reverse order, with the first band listed playing last.

Date Location Lineup
July 4, 1990 Lake Fairfax Park, Reston, VA The Pursuit of Happiness, Neal Coty, Jay Bone and the Hackensack Misfits of Soul, Hearsay, Concrete Blonde, The Tragically Hip, Winter Hours, Lori Carson, Gang of Four
July 4, 1991 Lake Fairfax Park, Reston, VA Violent Femmes, Gang of Four, Too Much Joy, The La's, The Ocean Blue, Robyn Hitchcock, King Missile, Stress, Peter Himmelman, Y-Not?!
July 11, 1992 Prince George's Equestrian Center, Upper Marlboro, MD The Soup Dragons, The Charlatans UK, The Ocean Blue, They Might Be Giants, Graham Parker, Catherine Wheel, Too Much Joy, The Wolfgang Press, Manifesto
July 3, 1993 RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. INXS, Iggy Pop, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Stereo MCs, Belly, Matthew Sweet, The Posies, X, Velocity Girl
May 14, 1994 RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. Inner Stage Outer Stage
Counting Crows, Cracker, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Meat Puppets, James, Pavement, Rollins Band, Violent Femmes, Afghan Whigs Gigolo Aunts, Tuscadero, The Greenberry Woods, Lotion, Madder Rose, Edsel
June 3, 1995 RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. Inner Stage Outer Stage
Ramones, Tony Bennett, Soul Asylum, PJ Harvey, Primus, Hole, General Public, Bush, Mike Watt, Better Than Ezra, Juliana Hatfield, Shudder to Think Suddenly, Tammy!, Mother May I, Candy Machine, Tripping Daisy, Scarce, Archers of Loaf, Hum
June 1, 1996 RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. Inner Stage Outer Stage
Goldfinger, Foo Fighters, Cracker, Afghan Whigs, The Presidents of the United States of America, Garbage, Jewel, Gin Blossoms, Everclear, No Doubt, Lush, Jawbox Gravity Kills, Fred Schneider, Girls Against Boys, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, Dishwalla, Guided by Voices, Solution A.D., Howlin' Maggie
May 31, 1997 RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. Inner Stage Outer Stage
The Prodigy, Beck, Jamiroquai, Echo & the Bunnymen, Local H, Luscious Jackson, The Verve Pipe, Blondie, Kula Shaker, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Cardigans Squirrel Nut Zippers, Ben Folds Five, Third Eye Blind, Reel Big Fish, K's Choice, Soul Coughing, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, The Dismemberment Plan, Poole
May 16, 1998 RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. Inner Stage Outer Stage Trancemissions Tent
The Crystal Method, Green Day, Scott Weiland, Foo Fighters, The B-52's, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Everclear, Barenaked Ladies, Wyclef Jean, Marcy Playground, Soul Coughing, Semisonic, Tuscadero Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Samiam, God Lives Underwater, Save Ferris, Fastball, Harvey Danger, Fuel, Agents of Good Roots, Love Nut, Grant Lee Buffalo Propellerheads, Josh Wink, Scott Henry, liquidtodd
May 29, 1999 PSI Net Stadium, Baltimore, MD. Inner Stage Street Stage Trancemissions Tent
Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Offspring, Moby, Goo Goo Dolls, Live, Sugar Ray, Orgy, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Silverchair, Blink-182, Lit, Jimmie's Chicken Shack 2 Skinnee J's, Freestylers, The Living End, Buckcherry, Ozomatli, Citizen King, Beth Orton, Fountains of Wayne, Sev (band) Moby, Josh Wink, Thunderball, Hive, Feelgood, Todd Terry, DJ Rap, Scott Henry, Lieven
September 25, 1999 RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. Main Stage Street Stage Locals Only Trancemissions Tent
Limp Bizkit, The Chemical Brothers, Run DMC, Bush, 311, Everclear, Filter, Buckcherry, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, Powerman 5000, Fuel Long Beach Dub Allstars, Staind, Sev (band), Bis, Uncle Ho, Splitsville, Jact Underfoot, Laughing Colors, Mary Prankster, Colouring Lesson, Good Charlotte, Live Alien Broadcast, Modern Yesterday, The Waking Hours Thievery Corporation, Dieselboy, DJ Touche, John Tab, Feelgood, Lovegroove, Scott Henry, Lieven
May 28, 2000 FedExField, Landover, MD Main Stage Street Stage Locals Only Trancemissions Tent
Rage Against the Machine, Stone Temple Pilots, Blue Man Group, Third Eye Blind, Cypress Hill, Godsmack, Filter, Deftones, Staind, Bloodhound Gang, Vertical Horizon, Sev The Kottonmouth Kings, Eve 6, Nine Days, SR-71, Good Charlotte, Tugboat Annie, Jepetto Smartbomb, Brickfoot, Phaser, Lake Trout, Mary Prankster, Laughing Colors, Rebel Amish Radio, Jepetto Dieselboy, Dave Ralph, Cut La Roc, Sandra Collins, John Tab, Lieven, DJ Feelgood, Scott Henry
May 27 – May 28, 2001 RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. Main Stage, day 1 Street Stage, day 1 Locals Only, day 1 Trancemissions Tent, day 1
Fatboy Slim, Live, Green Day, Incubus, Tenacious D, 3 Doors Down, The Cult, Fuel, Lifehouse, Sevendust, Coldplay, SR-71, New Found Glory Good Charlotte, Nothingface, New Found Glory, Dust for Life, Saliva, American Hi-Fi, Powderfinger, Guttermouth, Cactus Patch The Long Goodbye, Ballyhoo!, Barcelona, combinationLOCK, Fidel, Rebel Amish Radio, Ebo, Great Mutant Skywheel Bradley Jay, Thunderball, Lieven, Max Graham, MJ Cole, Keoki
Main Stage, day 2 Street Stage, day 2 Locals Only, day 2 Trancemissions Tent, day 2
Mike D & Mix Master Mike, Staind, Live, Fatboy Slim, 3 Doors Down, Fuel, Linkin Park, Stabbing Westward, Coldplay, Lifehouse, Good Charlotte, American Hi-Fi, Little Kingz SR-71, Powderfinger, Saliva, Cold, Sum 41, Tantric, Idlewild, Cactus Patch Margret Heater, Juniper Lane, Supine, Lennex, The Beans, Live Alien Broadcast, Jepetto, UXB John Tab, MJ Cole, Micro, Charles Feelgood, Scott Henry
May 25 – May 26, 2002 RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. Main Stage, day 1 Street Stage, day 1 Locals Only, day 1 Buzz Tent, day 1
Paul Oakenfold, Eminem, Hoobastank, Sum 41, The Strokes, Our Lady Peace, N.E.R.D., Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Quarashi, Sev, The Lloyd Dobler Effect, Little Kingz New Found Glory, Goldfinger, Trik Turner, Citizen Cope, The Vines, Greenwheel, Ash, Graeme's World Boy Band Imbue, Margret Heater, Cactus Patch, Fidel, combinationLOCK, Jah Works, Swift Holly, Val Yumm Deep Dish, Morel, John Tab, Scott Henry, Timo Maas Starecase Sound System
Main Stage, day 2 Street Stage, day 2 Locals Only, day 2 Buzz Tent, day 2
X-Ecutioners, P.O.D., Papa Roach, Sum 41, Hoobastank, Unwritten Law, Our Lady Peace, New Found Glory, Good Charlotte, Dashboard Confessional, Trik Turner, Little Kingz Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Phantom Planet, The Vines, Citizen Cope, Gob, Loudermilk, Abandoned Pools, The Lloyd Dobler Effect Jepetto, UXB, Lennex, Moodroom, Phaser, Rotoglow, Rezin, Green Machine DeepSky, Micro, Sandra Collins, Dave Ralph, Paul Oakenfold
May 24, 2003 RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. Main Stage Street Stage Locals Only Buzz Tent
Godsmack, Audioslave, Good Charlotte, Jane's Addiction, Chevelle, The Roots, AFI, Jack Johnson, The Used, The Donnas, Finch Getaway Car, Vendetta Red, Hed PE, Hot Hot Heat, Interpol, Northern State, Smile Empty Soul, Switchfoot The Lloyd Dobler Effect, Juniper Lane, Bicycle Thieves, Niki Barr, Custom Blend, Urban Style, High School Hellcats, Malvado Sandra Collins, Josh Wink, Scott Henry, DB, Sage, John Tab
May 22, 2004 RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. Main Stage Street Stage Locals Only Buzz Tent
The Cure, The Offspring, Jay-Z, P.O.D., New Found Glory, Violent Femmes, Cypress Hill, Papa Roach, Lostprophets, Yellowcard, O.A.R., Voodoo Blue Modest Mouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lit, The Living End, Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday Jimmie's Chicken Shack, Stars Hide Fire, Washington Social Club, Army of Me, Jah Works, Aphile, Ballyhoo, Subculture, underscore, Evenout Reid Speed, DJ Swamp, Loco Dice, Feelgood, Scott Henry, Hybrid, JuJu, John Tab
May 14, 2005 M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD Main Stage Street Stage Locals Only Trancemissions Tent
Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Billy Idol, Good Charlotte, Social Distortion, New York Dolls, Garbage, Echo & the Bunnymen, Interpol, They Might Be Giants, Louis XIV, The Bravery, Gold Mind Squad Sum 41, Unwritten Law, Pepper, Stereophonics, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, Citizen Cope, Washington Social Club The Pietasters, Adelyn, Victory Twin, Plunge, Colouring Lesson, Crash Boom Bang, Can't Hang, Vote Quimby, Girl Friday, Third Kind Sandra Collins, Scott Henry, DJ Rap, Grayarea, Photek w/ MC Sharpness, Reid Speed w/ MC Armanni, Evil Nine, Buster, John Tab
May 27 – May 28, 2006 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD Main Stage, day 1 Side Stage, day 1 Locals Stage, day 1
Matisyahu, Kanye West, Cypress Hill, Rise Against, Panic! at the Disco, Atmosphere, The Misfits, OK Go, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, All Time Low Cute Is What We Aim For, Rock Kills Kid, The Working Title, J Paris, VooDoo Blue, Anti-Flag, 2 Cents, Nico Vega, Dropping Daylight, Too Late The Hero, Downtown Singapore The Big Hurt, Fools and Horses, Throttlerod, The Black List Club, Jah Works, Colouring Lesson, Blonde Hair Blue Eyes, Doug Segree
Main Stage, day 2 Side Stage, day 2 Locals Stage, day 2
Counting Crows, Dashboard Confessional, The Strokes, AFI, H.I.M., Coheed and Cambria, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, The Fixx, Matchbook Romance, All Time Low Flyleaf, Kill Hannah, Plunge, The Riverboat Gamblers, boysetsfire, Forty Acres, People in Planes, Damone, Augustana, Love Arcade, As Fast As Havok in Hollywood, FallTown, Jarflys, Niki Barr, East Is East, Agents of the Sun, Rezin, Octane
September 18, 2010 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD Main Stage Local Stage
Third Eye Blind, Billy Idol, Everclear, Naughty by Nature, Ed Kowalczyk, The Presidents of the United States of America, Fuel, Lit, Marcy Playground, FunkMnkyz Jimmie's Chicken Shack, SuperBob, Jah Works, Fools and Horses, Lionize, Honor by August, Middle Distance Runner, RPM – Restoring Poetry in Music
September 17, 2011 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD Main Stage Local Stage
The Avett Brothers, Flogging Molly, Dr. Dog, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, Clutch, Minus the Bear, Gin Blossoms, Diane Birch Lionize, Pasadena, Justin Trawick, FunkMnkyz, Middle Distance Runner, Lloyd Dobler Effect, Tennis System, Vessel

See also