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Sunday, September 16, 2012

The H Street Festival In Pictures Part I

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This streetcar looks a little different than I expected 

Here's a sample of the pics I shot during yesterday's amazing H Street Festival. BTW, early numbers are in, and I'm told that we likely had between 65-70 thousand attendees. That's nothing short of amazing!
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H Street Festival flickr set. You can see all of my photos in my H Street Festival 2012 Flickr set.

25 comments:

pat said...

we got there late, around 6 and it was still crowded, the food vendors either had phenomenal lines or no food left.

Anonymous said...

Whoever told you "65-70,000 people" must have a drinking problem.
There wasn't enough open space to fit that many people considering the number of vendor booths, food preparation areas, blocked sidewalks, and restaurants that barricaded large areas with tables where people could sit and drink.
"Estimates" like this are why the NPS stopped releasing crowd numbers after the Million Man March.

inked said...

1:16,
I don't think anyone was suggesting that there were 65-70,000 people all there at once. People appeared to be coming and going all day. I had friends who stayed for about 2 hours and then left. So your space argument doesn't seem all that relevant.

Anonymous said...

man it was crowded. i hope they expand the festival down west a few more blocks next years

Jon Snow said...

I agree it was crowded. I have been a resident for 8 years and I remember some of the humble beginnings. I actually think it was too crowded. You could't even move. The section from 12th to 14th, was so crowded, it seem like it took 30 minutes to move a block. As Pat said, the food lines were way too long. I know there were lots of vendors but the lines were pretty crazy. NEW place opened up called NEWSOME. Between the 10th and 11th block in the old Newsome Real Estate building. We tried some of their food, it was great. What a cool bar and cretive space. I think it will a new hit on H Street. It was a great day for H Street. A lot of people have put tons of hard work in to this neighborhood and its great to see the fruits of their labor. The best part of the festival this year was all of the diversity. It great to see this city (NE) become ONE city and bond over a central theme.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the festival, thanks to the organizers. Good vibe and the music especially seemed pretty good this year.

The crowd estimate seemed reasonable to me, if last year there were 50k, there were definitely more this year. Impressive to have a crowd that size where everyone seemed good natured and positive. Looks like next year we'll need to expand down the street Westwards!

Anonymous said...

The crowd size estimate came from Hazmat.

Anonymous said...

The link is broken at the end of the post.

Anonymous said...

I think that Main Street has tried to get permission to extend beyond 8th but have so far not been allowed. Maybe after this year they will change their minds.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the H St fest can expand further west next year to control crowds better and allow for more space. Maybe shouldn't allow so many vendors and have a tighter limit as to how far a restaurant/bar can go out into the street, this will allow for a better flow for the crowd. Who ever was in charge of crowd management/crowd control did a bad job. I had a good time probably because my wife and I went around noon. I'm glad that the popularity has risen for the Hst Fest each year but the management needs to step up.

Anonymous said...

This shit was off the hizzle

Anonymous said...

I agree that it was way too crowded. I walked from 14th to 10th and back, and it took me 2 hours. That's without stopping anywhere (the lines were way too long). Next year, maybe they could free up some more space by limiting food vendors to H St. merchants. That would keep the food vendors out of the middle of the street. To compensate, they could allow the H St. restaurants to expand their seating areas a bit to make up the difference. I'm not sure if this is a good idea. But something has to be done.

Anonymous said...

Amazing, amazing day. So much damn fun. I think a lot of the crowding issues would be resolved by extending the festival down to 4th St, which would essentially double the size of the area and also loop in the bars/restaurants that are quickly popping up on the western end of H.

inked said...

9:51,
Fixed it.

dave b said...

Why not allow people to drink within the festival area? It is nearly impossible to eat, drink, and see attractions at the same time. It really kills the flow.

Artscape in Baltimore is a much larger fetival and they seem to allow it without issue, or at least with tolerable issues.

You can walk around with beer at the BBQ Battle on Penn Ave, but that is a controlled entry event.

Oliver said...

Which band was that - the one pictured above? They were awesome. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/inked78/7993423476/)

Anonymous said...

definitely overcrowded. it was pretty hard between 3 and 6 to get beer and food at the same time. why not let people drink on the street, or block off one half of the festival for open containers and have the other side more family/stroller friendly?

Anonymous said...

What about utilizing more of the area in the blocks off H on the numbered streets? Maybe less foot traffic and visibility for vendors but something has to be done to keep things moving. All in all, pretty amazing event.

Hillman said...

Very festive atmosphere. People were in good spirits.

Had several friends that have come in years past and came this year and say they won't be coming again.

Too crowded.

Half an hour wait in line for food.

Not worth it.

I ended up on the impromptu patio space of several of the bars, just to escape the crowd and be able to do something other than plod along in my allotted two square feet of pedestrian space.

I know DC has some fear of festivals where you can drink along the route, but that would have helped a lot. If we could loosen the nanny state up a bit on this issue that'd probably help.

And making the route longer would clearly help.

I personally didn't have a problem with the businesses being able to establish sidewalk space.

But I did hear that some were charging you a 'cover' just to use the outdoor space. I didn't witness this personally. If so then that's a pretty crappy business practice and probably against the law.

The waiter at the Crown Vic was awesome. He actually cleared me and friend a space for an upstairs table with a view. That guy worked his butt off. Sadly, I saw the table next to him leave him a $1 tip.

Anonymous said...

DC won't let people roam with alcohol, it's not the festival organizers.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what many above said- I love the festival, and it's great to have seen it grown so much. But...it was too crowded and I left earlier than usual because of it. It seemed like the sidewalk cafes were larger, and there were some tents blocking the usual flow (preivously, streetcar track lanes were clear for people to walk).

Maybe scrap the fenced in sidewalk cafes next year and go with an open drinking area like the BBQ fest on PA Ave?

Anonymous said...

hah "Crown Vic"

Keren said...

The visibility of the festival was awesome - plp from all over, media coverage, ect. And it is great to see how large H street has gotten.

My only complaint is that this year (definitely unlike previous years) I found that the festival was not family friendly - mostly due to crowding. For a few day afterwards I thought it was just me - like maybe I was just tackling the festival the wrong way. But after talking to a few other families I realized I am not the only one who had that problem. I left the stroller at home along with any bulky bags or toys and yet we still couldn't get through the crowds. We ended up leaving w/ in a half hour of arriving because we realized that we were not going to be able to navigate the crowd. Normally I don't complain about these types of things and chalk it up to trying to bring my kids someplace that kids don't belong but the H street festival has always been marketed as a celebration of H street. And toddlers and young children are part of the H Street community.

Ess said...

I also think 12-14th was super crowded because they put the Joy of Motion dance stage in the MIDDLE of the street, creating two bottlenecks on either side. I love the mini dance classes, but move it to the side!

Cecile Oreste said...

Yes, we would have liked to have the Joy of Motion dance floor closer to the sidewalk similar to last year's festival. I think the organizers needed to have some kind of fire lane which is why it was moved to the middle of the street.