The Day on the Green was a late Bill Graham concert series in the Bay area in the mid to late 1970s. He featured the big acts of the day on a single large bill. Ho hum today but back then an innovation. Graham in part did so to help exhausted touring talent take a break from playing to collapse in multiple small venues. His festivals let everyone reach the same aggregate audience at the same time. To make it a special event for fans, Graham pioneered setting stages up as fantasy castles or other ‘fun’ images.
D.C. had an faint echo of that vibe today. Only thousands of people of all ages came to sit in the sun, rock out and simply enjoy immersion in the World Cup. From a DeMint-esque point of view, it was all obviously open subversion. The South African/Mandela/UN/One Government/Kenyan socialism kind. In Dupont Circle, several jumbotrons showed the U.K-U.S. match for free (a tie at 1-1) Everywhere we turned, young and old wore U.S. flags or the Union Jack, sported body paint and generally reveled in America’s participation (an implicit welcome back to) the global sport and community.
There were still a handful of Serious Policy People walking around the ever growing, swirling crowd. It’s Dupont Circle. Sweltering proudly In their utterly inappropriate black suits (it’s Saturday, people) clutching their briefcases doubtlessly filled with precious draft Op Eds. But their stern, judgmental mien usually melted fairly soon. By the time the various traffic lights changed in sequence to allow pedestrians to negotiate Dupont CIrcle traffic without suicide, one could see those Serious Men of Policy — more often than not — start grinning and dropping La Facade D.C.. Now, that’s magical.
A pleasant departure from the D.C. norm. So many diverse people supporting their teams and diving right into the excitement of huge vocal surges. Fans also happy for each other all being part of something greater in the world. A nice day. We could use more of them. Back to the posting tomorrow.