WASHINGTON, D.C. — They came. They saw. They rocked. They made a video.
More than 60,000 fans turned out each day to see bands including Staind, Green Day, Live, Fuel, Fatboy Slim, 3 Doors Down, Incubus and Lifehouse perform at the HFStival held at RFK Stadium Sunday and Monday.
The twelfth annual event, which volleys between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, brought more acts to the nation’s capital than ever before and expanded to two days from its usual one. Three stages — including the main stage, a street stage and a local band stage — kept the crowd hopping for about 20 hours.
Monday’s concertgoers were in for an added treat: they appeared in Good Charlotte’s video for their next single, aptly titled “Festival Song,” which was shot during their set.
“I grew up coming to the HFStival,” said Good Charlotte frontman Joel, who hails from nearby Waldorf, Maryland. “I wrote this song about being here, how we wanted to quit our jobs to be in a band. We have all our friends, the fans and the radio support right here.”
Sunday’s last-minute appearance by Green Day provided one of the festival’s highlights as the band set fire to its instruments after delivering a high-energy set that included “Welcome to Paradise,” “Hitchin’ a Ride,” “Waiting” and “Minority.” Live — who earned a pair of late-night performances on the main stage — also set the crowd buzzing after being joined by Tricky for “Evolution Revolution Love,” from the latter’s Blowback, due June 26.
Weezer also got tongues wagging, performing for a select group of radio contest winners in a small conference room at the stadium Monday.
The Cult, American Hi-Fi, Saliva, SR-71, Coldplay, Stabbing Westward, Linkin Park, Tantric, Powderfinger and Idlewild also hit the stage.
“The best shows are the festivals,” Lifehouse frontman Jason Wade said. “It’s great to see everyone singing along to every song.”
“Festivals in America have gotten really cool,” Live’s Kowalczyk said. “They’ve been big in Europe for so long, the idea of bringing lots of bands together for the camaraderie of it. I love it.”
HFStival has been a vital stop on many a breaking band’s tour itinerary. No Doubt, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, Limp Bizkit, Hole, Beck and Everclear have taken the stage in past years.
Due to the prestige of the gig, concertgoers were eager to make predictions about mainstream fame.
“Stone Temple Pilots brought the young and old together last year,” Tim O’Neill, 30, of Bowie, Maryland, said. “Saliva could be the breakout act this year.”
“Staind and Linkin Park made it great,” Brianne Laplant, 16, of Eldersburg, Maryland, said.
While the music was the main focus, the crowd provided a sideshow of its own as girls flashed the audience whenever the camera put them in the spotlight.
Despite so-called “blanket tosses” and some attendees getting sprayed from bottles of urine during New Found Glory’s performance, injuries at the festival were minimal, WHFS promotions director Donna Jean Rumbley said. “For 120,000 people, the crowd was well-behaved. No casualties.”