George Clinton landed the mothership right on the National Mall June 27 as part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s annual two-week celebration.
The crowd danced until exhaustion as the P-Funk crew rocked an audience of mixed cultures and race with funk for the first time in the festival’s 45-year history.
True to form, Clinton had a wacky blend of characters on stage including the shirtless contortionist and a yodeling character on roller skates.
No “Flashlight” or “Atomic Dog” was needed to find the party, as sounds of energetic guitar riffs and vibrant horns guided tourists and attendees to a funky ground-zero.
Clinton performed in a refined all tan suit as his entourage poured spirits into the mouths of front row attendees, climbed onto speakers to dance, and party-hopped to the sounds of a legend.
The show was hosted by radio personality Tom Joyner who even joined the ultimate funk master on the stage at one point in the show.
Ian Neville, son of Aaron Neville, made an appearance with his band, Garbage Funk, and singer Meshell Ndegeocello also took to the stage to deliver her own blend of smooth funk.
The festival began in 1967 and is free to the public. Aside from music, foods ranging from Azerbaijan cuisine to down home southern American BBQ could be found in booths around the festival.
Educational seminars and presentations are also given along with morning and evening sessions focusing on culture, folklore, storytelling and a host of other topics.
The festival will reconvene activities, which are all free, July 4-8.