Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae Perform At This Year’s Summer Spirit Festival

Summer Spirit Festival photographed by Zenarfoto for Okayplayer.

The Summer Spirit Festival, a two-day event of awesomeness at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland, was an extravaganza that featured headlining performances from Erykah BaduJanelle Monaé and The Roots.

Held each August in the good town of Columbia, rhythm & blues fans are treated to some of the best and brightest performers within the genre. As a living, breathing and ever-changing sound, one isn’t presented with the tunes of yesteryear (think MotownStax and Atlantic Records from the ’60s). Instead, the Summer Spirit Festival serves as an event to showcase artists who either got their start in the ’90s or 2000s bring their newest works live to the stage.

Past acts have included D’AngeloAnthony Hamilton and Lauryn Hill, who only bring the funk, the fire and more to the DMV music loving crowd. As our own Erykah BaduJill Scott, Janelle Monaé and The Roots put on a performance that showcased them inventing new ways of interpreting their classic material, the Summer Spirit Festival proved that it was worth expanding from one day to two.

If you didn’t get the chance to attend this year (or even if you did and simply want to relive the experience), don’t worry we’ve got you covered with a gallery full of photos from the weekend festival.