The Labor Day Capitol Concert is an annual tradition in Washington, D.C., happening each year on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The performance is free to the public, and the National Symphony Orchestra often performs patriotic songs in honor of the holiday.
How to Attend
This year's concert is happening on Sunday, September 1, 2019, at 8:00 p.m. on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Gates open at 3:00 p.m. Open rehearsal at 3:30 p.m.
The public access points are at 3rd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW and 3rd Street and Maryland Avenue, SW. The closest Metro stations are Union Station and Capitol South. Parking in the immediate area of the U.S. Capitol is extremely limited. Public transportation is highly recommended, but if you must, here is a guide to parking near the National Mall.
In case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Call the NSO Summer Concert Hotline at (202) 416-8114 after 2:00 p.m. for details.
No tickets are required for this event. Attendees must adhere to security screening procedures before entering the event site. Bags, coolers, backpacks, and closed containers will be searched. Food items are permitted. You are encouraged to bring your own water or an empty bottle that can be filled at on-site water stations. Alcoholic beverages of any kind and glass bottles are prohibited.
See more Labor Day weekend events.
About the National Symphony Orchestra
The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), founded in 1931, has performed a full season of subscription concerts at the Kennedy Center since it opened in 1971. The NSO regularly participates in events of national and international importance, including performances for state occasions, presidential inaugurations, and official holiday celebrations. The Orchestra has 96 musicians who perform approximately 150 concerts each year. These include classical subscription series, pops concerts, summer performances at Wolf Trap and on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, chamber music performances in the Terrace Theater and on the Millennium Stage, and an extensive educational program. The NSO performs in concerts on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol to help the nation commemorate Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. These concerts are seen and heard by television and radio audiences in the millions.
About the Kennedy Center
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America’s living memorial to President Kennedy. The nine theaters and stages of the nation’s busiest performing arts facility attract audiences and visitors totaling 3 million people annually; Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts welcome 40 million more. The Kennedy Center is the home to the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington Opera, Washington Ballet and American Film Institute. Performances include theatre, musicals, dance, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, & folk music; youth and family programs and multi-media shows.
And currently under construction is The REACH, the first major expansion in Kennedy Center history designed to bridge the gap between audience and art. The project from renowned architect Steven Holl is set along the scenic Potomac River and will transform the Ken Cen campus from a traditional performing arts center into a living theater, where guests can engage directly with art. The REACH is slated to open to the public on September 7, 2019 with a free 16-day festival.
For more information, see a guide to the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.