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HFStival Rock music festival

The HFStival is an annual rock festival sponsored by Washington, D.C. / Baltimore, Maryland radio station WHFS. The HFStival claims to be the largest rock festival on the East Coast. 55,000 to 90,000 people attend 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.


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 Fairfax, Virginia; on July 4, 1992, the first proper HFStival was held in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and the following July 4, the event was moved to RFK Stadium, to which it would 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 The Red Hot Chili Peppers, left RFK Stadium for the larger PSINet Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland; the following year's festival was held at FedEx Field 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 (and, so far, only) "HFStival Fall Edition" was held there.

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