2023: ‘The year of Go-Go.’ DC leaders convene music summit

Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law making Go Go the official music of DC in 2020.

WASHINGTON — Presenting key ideas Some of DC’s most important cultural and historical conferences were held at the iconic Ben’s Chili Bowl location on U Street in northwestern DC.

Ben’s appears to have been the site of the District’s first GoGo Music Summit, which convened city leaders from various institutions, along with musicians, producers and other stakeholders with roots in the gogo music scene.

Born out of the “Don’t Mute DC” movement was a bill signed by District Mayor Muriel Bowser in 2020 declaring go-go the official music of DC.

But what does that mean and how did city leaders implement it?

Thursday, the first beat dropped when I figured it out.

Hosted by the Mayor’s Nightlife & Culture Office, over 50 people gathered in Ben’s back room and began pitching ideas on how the city could support Go-Go.

“It’s the essence of Washington DC,” said Jimmy Watkins of Humanities DC.

Musicians in turn spoke to the crowd, especially city leaders, imploring them to easily access resources for artists to perform at city venues and find ways to market their efforts.

“We need help. People need help. They need to know where the resources are,” Watkins said.

It appears to be the first in a series of meetings planned to be hosted by city leaders to put together a strategy for the government built around Gogo.

Local professor and go-go musician “Bootsy Vegas” said, “I love it. I’m glad the city is open for this discussion. It’s been a long time coming. We have been waiting for the day when we felt that the government would not only support us with money, but also with public policy.”

“Gogo is alive and growing,” said local music legend “Shorty Corleone.” “It’s the next thing that changes music.”

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