Labor Day Concert in Washington, DC

The U.S. Capitol Building with crowd outside
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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

The 2020 Labor Day Capitol Concert is canceled and will not take place, but is scheduled to return the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, September 5, 2021.

The public access points are on Third Street between Pennsylvania Avenue NW and Maryland Avenue SW. The closest Metro stations are Union Station and Capitol South. Parking in the immediate area around the National Mall of the U.S. Capitol is extremely limited, and using public transportation is highly recommended.

In case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater.

No tickets are required for this event. Attendees must adhere to security screening procedures before entering the event site. Food items are permitted, but bags, coolers, backpacks, and closed containers will be searched. 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.

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 NSO 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 televised and seen and heard by millions across the country.

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, while 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 the American Film Institute. Performances include theater, musicals, dance, concerts, youth and family programs, and multi-media shows.

The REACH, the first major expansion in Kennedy Center history designed to bridge the gap between audience and art, opened in September 2019. The project from renowned architect Steven Holl is set along the scenic Potomac River and transforms the Ken Cen campus from a traditional performing arts center into a living theater, where guests can engage directly with art.