Baltimore’s 2024 summer season is going to be packed with music, diversity, fun and a lot of heat.
Mayor Brandon Scott announced the official dates for the AFRAM, Artscape and Charm City Live festivals during a press conference Monday.
AFRAM is a celebration of African American culture, honoring food, music, art and crafts that debuted in 1976. After celebrating the history of Baltimore club music at the 2023 festival, it will return on June 22 and 23 in 2024.
Artscape made its return in September after being absent since the COVID pandemic. The festival, which was traditionally held in the summer, bumped some other neighborhood celebrations and ran up against local institutions’ events with its new fall date. The festival also shut down its Saturday events after facing weather problems from Tropical Storm Ophelia. Scott and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and The Arts confirmed earlier this month that Artscape would move back to a summer date. Scott joked at the conference that with the event taking place Aug. 2 through Aug. 4 of next year, he doesn’t want to hear any complaints about the heat.
Scott also said that the Charm City Live concert series will return on Sept. 21 for the third year. Ari Lennox, who replaced H.E.R., the original headliner, was the August concert’s main draw.
The announcement of the three summer events comes on the heels of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and The Arts announcing last week the return of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade on Jan. 15 and the Baltimore Book Festival later in 2024.
In an attempt to “ease collaboration and planning efforts” for happenings across the city, Scott also said Monday there will be a “new, public-facing special events calendar available for residents and community events planners” in the coming year. The goal of the calendar, which will be maintained by Linzy Jackson III, director of external partnerships, is to “make the events-planning process as smooth as possible” and “make all of this information more accessible and also more centralized,” Scott said.
“Together we can help make the hundreds and hundreds of community events that all Baltimoreans love a more cohesive experience for everyone. Yes, we’re always going to highlight and celebrate all of our big festivals, but the neighborhood-based festivals are equally as important to us and we want to make sure that they’re successful,” the mayor added.
Scott said more information for AFRAM, Artscape and Charm City Live, including which artists will be performing at each, will be made available as the dates near.