Kennedy Center Celebrates Summer with Rooftop Happy Hours

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The Kennedy Center brings the fun outdoors this summer with four free rooftop happy hours, taking place on Thursdays July 11, July 18, and August 1 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

The series is offered in partnership with local and national partners, who will curate each event. Frank Brown & DC Millennials, Ritmos Raros, Union Stage, and Smithsonian Year of Music bring their unique artistic selections to the Center’s Rooftop, making each happy hour a different musical experience for all those wanting to kick back, relax, and enjoy a summer evening outside. The Center’s Rooftop will transform into a contemporary lounge space, with guests able to sample beer from 3 Stars Brewing and Port City Brewing Company, as well as half-priced beer and wine and select cocktail specials from the bar. Diverse ranges of live music provide the entertainment, including Latin-inspired, tropical discotheque; Japanese pop/rock; and pure, classic country. For the inaugural happy hour, three local DJ’s will collaborate and battle with each other, providing new interpretations of feel-good summertime hits while the sun sets on D.C skyline. 

“This new happy hour series creates an opportunity for guests to take in the iconic view from our Rooftop, hangout, and taste beer—all while listening to music they may have never experienced here at the Center. Young professionals and students have a place here at the Center, and through partnerships with local collaborators, we’re offering new ways for all audiences to engage with each other and the arts.” Matthew Winer, Director of Special Projects & Comedy Programming.

In addition to the happy hour series, a range of summer activities also focuses on contemporary culture and interactivity between artists and audiences. The Second City’s satirical summer sketch show, The Second City’s America; It’s Complicated!, takes over the Theater Lab from June 15–August 11. In addition, patrons can boost their own skills and laugh their way through The Second City’s improv and stand-up workshops, both held over two days, July 13 and 14. During the two-day intensives, participants of all experience levels can learn the fundamentals of comedic performing and have the chance to workshop their own material with The Second City experts. 


Kennedy Center x Ritmos Raros presents Immigrant Sounds Rooftop Party with 3 Stars Brewing Co with Neal Becton aka DJ Neville C (Som Records), Marcello Bentine (Batida DC), and Sir Ramases (Afro Ritmo Records) – July 11, 2019
Ritmos Raros is a moving, but never-ending nostalgic tropical-vinyl-dancefloor party dedicated to the rare and normally unheard rhythms of Africa, Latin America, India, Caribbean, Brazilian, and the Arab variety. 

Kennedy Center x Union Stage presents CHAI and This/Side with 3 Stars Brewing Co. – July 18, 2019
Japanese four-piece CHAI may worship at the altar of kawaii—their homeland’s culture of cute—but they’re not about to be pushed around by the idle bosses and the ignorant patriarchy. The ultra-concise pop of their debut LP PINK is about to be overhauled on their new album. CHAI are ready to light the fuse; CHAI are PUNK. CHAI returns to D.C. following an exciting performance at Union Stage at The Wharf in March 2019. 

Kennedy Center x Smithsonian Year of Music presents JP Harris and More with Port City Brewing Co. – August 1, 2019
Born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1983, JP Harris doesn’t fancy himself so much a musician as he does a carpenter who writes country songs. Harris has been writing and performing country music for nearly a decade now, releasing I’ll Keep Calling, in 2012. , and following with Home Is Where the Hurt Is in 2014. His latest album, Sometimes Dogs Bark at Nothing, received a 2018 Independent Music Awards nomination in the Best Country Album category and was named one of Paste Magazine’s 100 Best Albums 2018. 

For a full schedule of events, please visit 

Ticket Information 

Happy Hour events on July 11, July 18, and August 1 are FREE and open to the general public. No tickets required. Must be 21 or older to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages. 

Need a Lift? The free Kennedy Center Shuttle, the Center’s link to Metro’s Foggy Bottom/George Washington University/Kennedy Center Metro station (blue/orange/silver lines), departs every 15 minutes from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Monday – Thursday; 10 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday; noon to 11 p.m., Sunday; and 4 p.m. on Federal holidays. Standard parking rates apply when attending free events. 


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