A Capitol Fourth, the nation’s premier Independence Day concert, features an evening of patriotic and uplifting music by some well-known and award-winning artists from the U.S. After the show, a great display of fireworks takes place over the famous Washington Monument landmark, the tallest structure in Washington, D.C. The pyrotechnics will be filmed by many cameras located around the city and on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. In 2020, the July 4 event will be all-virtual rather than taking place on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol as usual.
How to Enjoy a Capitol Fourth
This 40th annual bash celebrating the country's 244th birthday will air the pre-taped performances and the fireworks display on television, radio, and digital media.
- NPR member stations throughout the U.S. will broadcast the Fourth of July event in stereo.
- PBS will broadcast the 90-minute show live beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on July 4, 2020.
- In case you miss it, most PBS stations will replay A Capitol Fourth right after the show concludes, typically from 9:30 to 11 p.m. Eastern Time; check local listings. You can also watch the event on some PBS stations within a few days of the Fourth of July.
- A Capitol Fourth will also be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube.
- Troops around the world can watch the concert on the American Forces Network.
Hosts of the online festivities in 2020 are actor and producer John Stamos and Vanessa Williams—a television, Broadway, and film star who is also a recording artist.
The 2020 lineup features Grammy Award winners and other performers located from coast to coast, in places like Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Philadelphia. Beloved artists include Grammy Award winners Patti LaBelle, Renée Fleming, John Fogerty, and Yolanda Adams, as well as Motown celebrities The Temptations. Other artists include Trace Adkins, Andy Grammer, Brantley Gilbert, Lauren Alaina, and Chrissy Metz. Musical stars such as the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the U.S. Army Band Pershing's Own, the U.S. Army Presidential Salute Battery, Patrick Lundy & The Ministers of Music, and members of the National Symphony Orchestra directed by top pops conductor Jack Everly will also perform. Broadway celebrities Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, and Mandy Gonzalez are also guests.
John Stamos will be giving a tribute to the U.S. workers fighting against the coronavirus pandemic, like doctors, nurses, first responders, paramedics, scientists, grocery store employees, truck drivers, and mail carriers. Also being honored are past and present Black heroes as well as wounded warriors and their families. Part of the tribute will include a musical performance of the Oscar-nominated song “I’m Standing with You” by actress Chrissy Metz who has been nominated for Emmy and Golden Globe Awards.
In addition, there will be a chance to look back at the concert’s 40 years of history and iconic performances. Audiences can also enjoy an exciting version of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” as traditionally played at A Capitol Fourth.