Editor’s note: Multiple events scheduled for this weekend have been postponed or canceled due to the weather forecast. Check event websites or social media before making plans.
Thursday, Sept. 29
Dubfire at Eighteenth Street Lounge: If you love deep, dark house music, you may have been lucky enough to see Dubfire on the decks at Eighteenth Street Lounge back in the day. One half of the acclaimed duo Deep Dish, Dubfire has been a fixture in Ibiza and the biggest clubs in the world, but he’s always had an audience in D.C. This weekend, he graces ESL once again — this time at its brand-new digs in Shaw, where he’ll be in the Red Room with Martin Miguel. 9 p.m.
March on Washington Film Festival: Created for filmmakers and artists to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, this year’s festival features more than 20 films and a mix of live and virtual workshops, including dance, spoken word, visual arts and panel discussions. Thursday’s events include a screening of “The Defenders,” a documentary on the lawyers of the civil rights movement, and a discussion led by filmmakers and activists associated with Color of Change and the NAACP. This evening is hosted at Union Market’s Dock 5 at 7 p.m., but later activities can be found throughout the weekend at Eaton Workshop. Times vary throughout the festival. $19-$500.
City of Caterpillar at the Black Cat: Has it really been 20 years between City of Caterpillar albums? Doesn’t feel like it. At least not to them. Maybe that’s because the resurgent Virginia quartet — whose sound falls somewhere between hardcore and post-rock, and whose reputation has grown into something between “cult” and “legendary” — have always been able to make time fly. Their most meticulous songs fold it like origami. Their most chaotic moments crumple it into a ball. Ask Kane to flash back to City of Caterpillar’s actual beginnings back in 2000, though, and he remembers songwriting cram sessions with his bandmates — guitarist-vocalist Brandon Evans, bassist-vocalist Kevin Longendyke, drummer Ryan Parrish — writing detonative music under the influence of Born Against and Godspeed You! Black Emperor in the cramped bedroom of a Richmond rowhouse. Those songs eventually formed the band’s stormy self-titled 2002 debut, an album that helped popularize the sound of “screamo” after the band fell apart in 2003. Then 13 years zipped past, and after reconvening in 2016 to play a friend’s birthday party, the foursome decided to keep at it. Their sophomore album, “Mystic Sisters,” is set to land on Friday, essentially picking up their urgency where they left it, setting cloudy melodies to ornate rhythms, prioritizing mood over message. 7:30 p.m. (doors open). $20.
Interview: City of Caterpillar reunited without having to rebuild its sound
Kanpai to Sake Day! at the Roost: Saturday is World Sake Day, but DC Sake Co., which operates an online sake boutique and hosts pop-up events in the D.C. area, is offering an early start on the celebrations. Sample more than 30 types of sake throughout the Roost, stopping at tables to talk to experts and trying their wares. When you find a style or bottle you like, you can order it at a discount from DC Sake Co. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. $45.
Friday, Sept. 30
Frederick’s Oktoberfest at the Frederick Fairgrounds: Frederick’s long-running Oktoberfest nods to the area’s German heritage — the local Historical Society runs a booth that teaches visitors how to explore their German roots and traditions, and anyone wearing authentic Bavarian lederhosen or a dirndl enters free. But at its heart, this is a big German-themed party. The music is split between accordion-driven German bands and retro and rock groups. Brats and jagerschnitzel are served in the “fest tent,” where local breweries, including Flying Dog, Brewer’s Alley and Smoketown, pour seasonal offerings alongside Germany’s Spaten and Hofbrau. On Saturday, college football games are projected on screens in a special sports tent, and there are music and crafts for kids in their own area. Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. $6-$20; free for children 2 and younger. Discounted advance tickets available until Sept. 29.
Oktoberfest Weekend at the Wharf: Update: Friday’s Polka on the Pier has been canceled due to potential inclement weather. Think of this three-day waterfront festival as multiple events. The main event, Saturday’s Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash, has been postponed until Oct. 16 due to the weather forecast, but other events continue as scheduled.
On Friday night, there’s polka dancing — with free lessons! — and music on the Transit Pier from 7 to 9 p.m., and Sunday is all about the stein-holding competitions, plus German food specials at nearby restaurants. Friday through Sunday. Free.
Wheatland Spring Estate Brewing Discussion Panel at ChurchKey: Wheatland Spring is one of the finest breweries to open in the D.C. area in recent years. Owners John and Bonnie Branding have a dedication to farm-grown ingredients, their own well water, and local malt and grain suppliers, which combine to give their beers a delicious regional terroir. If there’s a downside, at least for D.C. residents, it’s that the farm brewery is located in Waterford, Va., and it’s not always easy to convince a designated driver to join you for a trip that can be an hour each way. Thankfully, the Brandings are bringing the farm to ChurchKey for one night. They’re participating in a discussion panel with Sebastian Wolfrum of Epiphany Craft Malt to discuss the difference that local ingredients and small producers make, and how that’s reflected in the beer. Speaking of beer, 10 of Wheatland Spring’s will be available, including the new Ursprung festbier and Fieldborn, a mixed-fermentation ale made with yeast from the farm. Both drafts and bottle pours are available in four-ounce tasters. 6 p.m. Free. Beers priced individually.
Saturday, Oct. 1
Kids Euro Fest Family Day at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library: The European Union’s annual Kids Euro Fest allows parents to take their kids on a European vacation without crossing the D.C. line, thanks to free events held at embassies and cultural centers across the city. The official kickoff event, held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, is designed for children ages 6 to 12. Families can make Lithuanian crafts, learn about beekeeping from Slovakia, watch Irish dance performances or even try their hand at DJing, thanks to the Netherlands. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free; registration required.
234+ Connect Community Day at the National Museum of African Art: The National Museum of African Art’s new exhibit, “Before Nollywood: The Ideal Photo Studio,” honors Solomon Osagie Alonge, who operated the first commercial photography studio in Benin City. The portraits on display, taken in the 1950s and ’60s, complement the lavish images of film stars and producers in the museum’s ongoing “Iké Udé: Nollywood Portraits” exhibition. To celebrate the two, the museum is hosting a multi-day festival, dubbed “+234 Connect” after Nigeria’s international country code. The schedule is full of film screenings, discussions and master classes, but the highlight is Saturday’s Community Day, which includes curator tours of the exhibits; an opening reception for “Before Nollywood”; and free family portrait photo sessions, with the help of on-site stylists. (Registration is required.) The day is capped with an outdoor concert featuring the Afrochique dance team, music by Eme & Heteru and the Caveman, head-wrapping workshops, and food trucks. In case of rain, the concert moves indoors. Family activities 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Concert 7 to 11 p.m. Free.
Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival at Great Country Farms: Little piglets race for Oreos and a “P-Rex” dinosaur chomps down on pumpkins during the Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival at Great Country Farms in Bluemont. This popular family attraction offers a corn maze and a 12-acre play area with a new, extra-long “mega slide,” as well as cider press demos and wagon rides to the pick-your-own pumpkin patch. On the weekends, adults will appreciate live music (the Jimmy Buffett-style Tropical Attitudes Band kicks things off at the festival on Oct. 1) and a pop-up for Henway Hard Cider at the farm’s on-site “Roosteraunt.” Open daily through October. $10-$16. Free for children 2 and younger. Advance reservations are recommended, particularly on weekends.
Art on the Avenue: Update: Due to the weather, this event has been postponed until Nov. 12.
Del Ray’s annual street festival is one of the area’s most dynamic. The artists’ market along Mount Vernon Avenue includes more than 300 vendors selling everything from pottery and paintings to jewelry and clothing for children and pets. The sounds of Irish, swing and blues music fill the air from four stages. Kids can stuff scarecrows, paint pumpkins, race balloon-powered cars and create their own art. Pick up snacks at the pop-up food court, or duck into one of the restaurants and beer gardens along the 10-block party. Word of advice: Parking is going to be more difficult than usual. Even though Braddock Road Metro station is closed, Art on the Avenue is running a free shuttle from the station to the festival. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free.
Open Streets on Georgia Avenue NW: A three-mile stretch of the district-bisecting street spurns cars in favor of foot and bike traffic this weekend. Attendees can expect hourly programmed classes and demonstrations, such as yoga, drum circles, dancing and pop-up bike lanes, while local businesses sell food, drinks and merchandise. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free.
Drive-In Movies at the Park: ‘Hocus Pocus’ at Prince George’s Stadium: Update: Due to the weather, this event has been postponed until Oct. 23.
The first day of October brings the official beginning of spooky szn, and what better way to kick off the witchiest month than with a drive-in screening of “Hocus Pocus.” The 1993 Disney film, starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, has become a cult Halloween classic, and this family-friendly event at Prince George’s Stadium encourages costumes (you have figured yours out, right?) and provides free snacks for kids 12 and younger. 7:30 p.m. Free. Advance tickets required — one per vehicle.
Adams Morgan Porchfest: You don’t need to go to the sold-out All Things Go to experience a music festival this weekend; Porchfest will bring over 70 local bands to Adams Morgan’s streets for nonstop performances on 17 porches, patios and stoops. Pick up free wristbands at the corner of Columbia and Adams Mill roads for discounts at businesses like Roofers Union ($5 select IPAs) and the Diner (all-day happy hour and discounted lavender lemonade). Expect a range of genres from bluegrass and classic rock to rap and reggae. 2 to 6 p.m. Free.
Atlas Brew Works Ninth Anniversary Party: Atlas Brew Works has come a long way in the last nine years: There’s now a second taproom near Nationals Park, the Ivy City brewery is humming along, and its beers are found in bars and stores across the region. Join the celebrations on Saturday with $5 beers all day, music, and a dunk tank featuring brewery employees and local celebs, including D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6). Tickets include one beer; VIP tickets include two beers, early admission and a special beer to take home. 1 to 5 p.m. $15-$35.
International Observe the Moon Night at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: The James Webb Space Telescope is sending us amazing images of never-before-seen galaxies. Rovers are exploring the geology of Mars. NASA is smashing a spacecraft into an asteroid 7 million miles away. With attention seemingly everywhere else in the universe, it must be a tough time to be the Earth’s closest celestial body. Thankfully, International Observe the Moon Night is here. Staff from the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club are hosting an evening of stargazing at the Air and Space Museum’s Chantilly location, allowing the public to look through their telescopes at the moon — and beyond. Check the website before heading out, as the event may be canceled due to bad weather. 7 to 9 p.m. Free.
Fall Family Fun at Miller Farms: Miller Farms has been owned by the Miller family since 1873, and it’s billed as the largest vegetable grower in Prince George’s County, with more than 200 acres dedicated to production. County residents know Miller Farms’ Clinton market as a go-to place for a variety of goods — produce and meat, sure, but also a full-service bakery, soft-serve ice cream, a nursery full of mums and, in early summer, pick-your-own strawberries. Come fall, the farm opens its fields and barn to the community on Saturdays and Sundays for Fall Family Fun, with hayride tours of the fields, a corn maze, jumping pads and slides, games, and meet-and-greets with farm animals. Piles of pumpkins encourage browsing, and the day isn’t complete without a taste of the bakery’s apple cider doughnuts, available glazed or covered in cinnamon sugar. Open Saturday and Sunday through October. $14.95 online, $16.25 at the gate; free for children younger than 2. Advance reservations recommended.
Virginia Wine Festival: Even basic general admission for the Virginia Wine Festival gets you unlimited tastings from wineries and cider houses located across the state. Besides more than 100 different pours, tickets include the Virginia Oyster Pavilion, where a la carte oysters from the Chesapeake are for sale. The festival at One Loudoun, a fancy mixed-use development in Ashburn, also brings in food trucks and live music, and bottles can be purchased to take home. VIP tickets allow early admission and a tasting of Virginia “reserve” wines. Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. $15-$79.
Vienna Oktoberfest: Oktoberfest fills the streets of Vienna’s historic district with craft vendors, beer gardens and live entertainment. The town green is given over to children, with games, bouncy obstacle courses and a stage that hosts singing princesses and well-known entertainer the Great Zucchini. Adults can hit the beer garden and listen to blues, disco and German music on one stage, or browse stands run by local restaurants, offering barbecue, empanadas or drinks from Vienna’s Caboose Brewing. 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Free.
Rocktobierfest at Rockville Town Center: Update: This event has been canceled due to the weather.
Sample beers from eight local brewers and distillers, including Lone Oak, Crooked Crab, 7 Locks and Waredaca, while listening to cover bands and traditional German tunes in the streets of Rockville Town Center. A vendor area includes makers selling candles, jewelry and other gifts. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.
Dogtoberfest at Dacha: This Oktoberfest spoof at the beer garden’s Navy Yard location promises more than just pet-friendly treats and dog owner meetups: Arlington’s Animal Welfare League is hosting a pet adoption event, with adoptable cats and dogs for a reduced $25 fee. 1 to 4 p.m. Free.
Melan at the Eaton: In 2020, R&B songstress Melan beamed into D.C.’s music scene with her first single, “Full Moon,” a twinkling lullaby that doubles as a young girl’s coming home to self and a sleepy ode to another lunation. She blends melodic flows and upbeat instrumentation, creating lush and spacious soundscapes. Her world, sensual and reflective, is for all those still finding their voice and experimenting with their own definition of “cool.” Last September, Melan released her debut album, “A Cool Girl Dream,” a 17-minute affirmation of self-respect, femininity, freedom and fun. On her single “Soul Stream,” she sings, “Turned L’s into lessons / Rollin’ through my soul stream / I let my soul sing / And I do my own thing,” backed by slow-bouncing, jazzy production. Whether you want to dance or cry, Melan is here for you. 9 p.m. Free.
Interview: Melan is here for you, whether you want to dance or cry
MK at Echostage: Pop music is cyclical, a fact most obvious on the dance floor, where a DJ can seamlessly mix between 1992, 2002, 2012 and 2022 without missing a beat. Marc Kinchen, a.k.a. MK, is one of the rare selectors who can do it with his own songs. Kinchen’s remix of Nightcrawlers’ disco-inspired “Push the Feeling On” became such an iconic house track that the group deleted the original from its catalogue and changed its sound to match his; the song has since served as the basis for hits by Pitbull and Riton. Far from a one-trick pony, the Detroit-born talent has scored his own bright and bouncy house hits and has worked with and remixed pop’s biggest names. 9 p.m. $25-$35.
Sunday, Oct. 2
Takoma Park Street Festival: Update: This event has been canceled due to the weather.
Takoma Park’s 41st annual street fair closes Carroll Avenue from Philadelphia Avenue all the way to the D.C. border, turning the city’s main drag into a giant block party. Eighteen bands perform on three stages, ranging from children’s acts to Chopteeth’s Afrobeats and the Nighthawks’ blues. The 150 booths lining the road include handmade crafts, goods from local shops and tables run by community organizations. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.
Piketoberfest at Pike and Rose: The Pike and Rose district in North Bethesda hosts a fall festival with a beer garden sponsored by Owen’s Ordinary, live music, DJs, games and activities for children, and a maker’s market with local vendors. Noon to 4 p.m. Free.
L’Rain at Songbyrd: As L’Rain, Taja Cheek makes music that defies genre, classification and easy comprehension. The multi-instrumentalist and singer cuts and pastes layers of music — guitar and bass, synths and samples, vocals and percussion — into collages that grapple with art’s purpose and possibilities amid the vagaries of life. “This album is an exploration of the simultaneity of human emotions,” she wrote of last year’s “Fatigue,” “the audacity of joy in the wake of grief, disappointment in the face of accomplishment.” For listeners, the juxtapositions and cognitive dissonance can be intoxicating. 7 p.m. $15-$17.
Monday, Oct. 3
The Mars Volta at the Anthem: In the same way that the Mars Volta rose from the ashes of At the Drive-In at the turn of the millennium, the former’s new album was a response to the art of the latter. After touring with a reunited ATDI for three years, guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López needed relief from frantic tempos and timbres. When it was time for the Mars Volta to return from its own hiatus, Rodríguez-López and company wanted to change tack. “For me, the most exciting new direction is something we haven’t done: to cut things down, to do our version of pop,” he told the New York Times. The resulting self-titled album has stripped back the band’s maximalist prog-rock tunes to craft songs more focused and concise. But longtime fans shouldn’t fret: Recent sets have relied heavily on the freakouts of debut album “De‐Loused in the Comatorium.” 8 p.m. $55.
Wednesday, Oct. 5
Profs and Pints: With October just days away, ’tis the season for all things spooky. Profs and Pints is hosting a series of Halloween-themed chats over the next week, and guests can grab a brew and listen to professionals and academics speak on topics like ancient vampire folklore, medieval monsters and the witch trials in early America. Adding to its existing locations at Little Penn Coffeehouse and the Bier Baron Tavern, Profs and Pints is expanding its talks to the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital and reviving events at Metrobar. Check its website for a full list of upcoming topics and locations; the series begins with a discussion of ghost photo controversies, led by an art historian and curator, at Little Penn in Penn Quarter. 6 to 8:30 p.m. $12-$15.