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Everything You Need To Know About Project GLOW

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Since it's debut in 2022, Project Glow, debuted by Insomniac Events and Club Glow, has cemented itself as a premier East Coast EDM music festival with its diversity of electronic music, major headliners, and world-class lighting, sound, and effects.

Just the Facts

What? A two-day EDM music festival.

Who? Every year, over 40,000 ravers flock to the nation's capital from across the East Coast, along with other festival-loving travelers.

Where? Project GLOW is held on the RFK Festival Grounds in Washington DC. Its a great location due to its accessibility to several other states, especially with how sparse EDM music festivals are in the area.

When? The last weekend of April.

The Project GLOW Experience

The experience for me starts months before the festival- Insomniac does a great job of building up hype by publishing the lineup in January, as well as a Spotify playlist with a mix of songs from all of the artists. I love trying out artists I haven't listened to yet to see if I will enjoy them when I get to the festival. For me, there's nothing more exciting than hearing a song live that I've been blasting in my car for the last few months.

They also mail your ticket and wristband, which not only helps hype up festivalgoers but helps to streamline operations upon arrival. You simply show your ID and ticket, prove you haven't brought any contraband, and start raving.

This festival has three main three stages. I love that Project GLOW always has a very diverse lineup with people of color, artists from multiple countries, LGBTQ+ artists, and emerging artists. Some of my favorite artists at each stage in 2024:

Eternal Stage:

Blossom Zedd Illenium

Ship Wrek Two Friends It's Murph

NOTD Troyboi Gudfella

Pulse Stage:

Nora En Pure Acraze Lane8

Sultan + Shepard Hugel Calussa

Secret Garden:

Baby Weight DJ Sedrick

The Illustrious Blacks TheBlackGod

Because I have attended this festival every year, I could see how it has changed since its debut in 2022. Insomniac has gotten significantly better at keeping the grounds clean throughout the festival, reducing crowding, and providing safety services. They have even changed up the layout of the grounds to increase sound retention between stages and make the Secret Garden more visible.

There were multiple fun art pieces to take photos with, and even a gaming lounge. While I wished there were more benches or tables to sit and eat or rest on, there were at least some grassy areas to give a break from the blacktop. I like to bring a large pride flag that can double as a picnic blanket, allowing me to sit on the grass even when it's muddy.


How to Get the Most Out of Project GLOW

Where to Stay

As a native to the east coast, Project GLOW was the first music festival I attended. I have driven to the festival from my home when I lived in DC, spent the weekend camping nearby, and taken the metro from a friend's house.

If you don't live in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area, you can stay at a hotel or campground nearby. Project GLOW has partnered with several hotels to help ravers find relatively reasonable prices, or you can do some hotel hunting on your own. It is important to book early because they fill up a month or two before the festival. There are also several neighborhoods with home rentals nearby, though they can be expensive and also sell out early.

If looking for campgrounds, Cherry Hill Park is great for RVers with higher budgets and Greenbelt Park has affordable primitive sites with plenty of amenities.

How to Get There

The parking at Project GLOW is organized and not too expensive. If you have a car, this is a pretty simple solution. But if you plan on drinking without a designated driver or want to avoid buying a parking pass, you can also take the metro, stick with rideshare, or stay nearby and walk.

What to Bring

Ear plugs- The lineup is always fire, and they aren't kidding with the sound levels! You can even hear the bass from miles away as you approach the festival. While this makes raving at Project GLOW amazing, it also makes high-fidelity earplugs important to protect your hearing.

Hydration pack- In order to cut down on waste, free water stations are provided throughout the festival. You can fill up at one of these stations any time you want in order to stay hydrated without constantly buying disposable water bottles. You can get a hydration pack at most athletic stores, or one with fun decor meant for music festivals.

Small backpack- You can also wear a backpack to hold your water bottle and other Items. It needs to be a small bag or purse with a maximum or 12" x 12". Anything else will get you sent back to put it away. Here is a full list of things you can and can't bring.

What to Wear

Good shoes- Project GLOW is held at the RFK festival grounds, which is a mostly ashpalt with some grassy areas. It's a huge area with few places to sit down, so you will be doing lots of walking. Many people, including me, prefer to dress to impress when it comes to shoes, and others wear comfy sneakers to help stay comfortable. The most important thing to consider is wearing closed toed shoes, as it gets pretty crowded and you might get your feet stepped on a few times.

Clothing- Seeing other ravers express themselves through their clothing is one of my favorite things about music festivals. You can go all out, theme your clothing, wear a costume, or simply wear what makes you comfortable. Because it's spring in Maryland, the weather is pretty mild, but it is still a good idea to have layers of some sort so that you can adjust to the heat during the day and the chill at night.

Poncho- There is a high probability that it will rain during the event - it simply showers a lot in Maryland during this time of year. Even if the weather is predicting clear skies, having a lightweight poncho that folds up into your bag is a good idea. Consider getting a reusable one, as it is better for the environment and for your wallet than the disposable ones. You can also use your reusable poncho for other outdoor activities such as hiking.

Fanny pack- Because Project GLOW is a city festival, it is important to keep a close eye on your valuables. If you drop something you may never see it again, and a friend of mine even had her phone stolen at Moonrise. Wearing a fanny pack will keep your items on you at all times, and can be a fun addition to your outfit. You can also rent a locker when buying your ticket.

Money and Budgeting

Project GLOW is cashless, including the vendors. Be prepared to use credit, debit, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, or Android Pay for anything you need to buy.

Food and drinks can get pricey at this festival. Thankfully they are pretty good, with varying types of food. Most of it is "festival food", but there are normally at least two or three vendors with options that aren't fried or greasy. Make sure to bring a water bottle or hydration pack so you aren't stuck buying water. Instead, you can refill at the free water stations.

Art and clothes from the vendors inside of the festival can get pretty expensive but are also a fun way to remember your experience. Plenty of my festival gear and outfits came from music festivals, and I also like to collect fun kandi beads to give away as gifts. It's helpful to set a budget to ensure you don't go overboard buying souvenirs.

Is VIP Worth It?

This is my third year going to Project GLOW, and I've tried both GA and VIP tickets. If you buy a VIP ticket, you get express entry through the VIP entrance, access to special viewing areas and lockers, extra food and beverage options, extra activities, and reserved restrooms. If you struggle with crowds or want extra photo opportunities, these options could be helpful.

The VIP perks are fun if you want to splurge, but are certainly not necessary to enjoy the festival. Project GLOW is well organized which keeps lines moving, and there are enough bathrooms that you can avoid the ones with long lines. You can also show up a few minutes early to your favorite sets to get a good vantage point near the stage. However GA areas don't have much shade, so make sure to bring a hood or hat and wear sunscreen.



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Hi, I'm Koi!

I'm an environmental project manager who decided to make a change from office life to to outdoor projects and small business ownership.

My goal is to help promote forward movement in outdoor spaces and live events towards full accessibility and diversity by giving everyone the inspiration and tools to create their own adventure.

I love self expression, hiking, music festivals, and Burning Man, and want to show that celebrating diversity in the outdoors makes it better for everyone.

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