The Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival (DBAF), an annual celebration of the neighborhood’s cultural community and the artists, writers, and performers who inspire its creative spirit, returned to The Plaza at 300 Ashland for its 2023 edition last weekend. The schedule of events included a roster of music and dance experiences, along with performances by artists from across the borough. And, while the weather hampered some programming, the show went on!

Day 1 of the festival was upstaged by the remnants of Hurricane Idalia, but Saturday saw some of Brooklyn’s best perform back-to-back sets that spanned a wide variety of musical genres and sounds. The L Train Brass Band fired up the Plaza with 45 minutes of rollicking pop, hip-hop, and funk songs remixed in a big-band style – and no one could refrain from dancing or singing along!

Afrofuturistic soulstress, Lollise, took the stage next, donning her signature out-of-this-world outfits. The Botswanian artist captivated the audience with her most popular songs, including The Booty and Afronaut, exploring themes of sexual liberation, Afrofuturism, and colonialism.

Lollise’s performance was followed by two sets featuring DJ Hard Hittin’ Harry, seamlessly blending diverse musical styles for festival-goers partying in anticipation of the headlining set.

To close what turned into a gorgeous day, Chop and Quench (also known as The Fela! Band), brought their full musical heft to deliver an unforgettable performance. Bathed in the plaza’s pink and purple lights and backed by the setting sun, the ensemble drew in the crowds with two hours of music that celebrates the late Nigerian musician Fela Kuti.

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership would like to thank the artists, musicians, arts organizations, and audience members that helped make this year’s Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival such a special event.

Stay tuned to hear about more festivities in Downtown Brooklynfollow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, and come back to for regular updates. See you at DBAF2024!