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2023 First Amendment Festival

Saturday, Sep. 9, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 7:00 pm EDT

1A Fest

Celebrate First Amendment freedoms for all with free fun for everyone! Join the Freedom Forum for a festival featuring live music, comedy performances, talks and games. Get behind-the-scenes looks at news, satire and athlete activism. Visit a fictional world with free food – but no First Amendment. Explore inspiring stories of the First Amendment at work and put your freedoms into action.

Support for the 1A Fest is provided by:
Curtis T. Bell Trust, Charles and Andrea Overby, Uber, and Williams & Connolly LLP

11 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Festival games and activities

Be inspired by stories of kids who have stood up for their rights. View news headlines from across the country. Put your freedom into action with kits and tips to petition your representatives. Plus, enjoy family fun outdoor games, face painting, photo ops and a scavenger hunt.

11 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Freedom Lost Café | The Brighton

Immerse yourself in a fictional world with no First Amendment. In NoFreedonia, the food is free, but the cost is your freedoms. You’ll get a taste of what it’s like when the freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition are suddenly stripped away. WARNING: This event is not recommended for people under 13. Parental discretion advised. This experience may contain content you find offensive.

Lunch seatings for Freedom Lost Café are at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

1 p.m. – 4 p.m. – First Amendment Talks

The Onion: Comedy, Controversy and Free Speech
Head writer Mike Gillis and staff writer Nick Mehendale discuss how press freedom protects poking fun at the powerful for satire site The Onion.

TikTok TV: The New News
Vitus “V” Spehar of “Under the Desk News” shares how they use their First Amendment rights to deliver relatable news.

Athletes, Activism and the First Amendment
Nate Boyer, a former NFL player and retired member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, gives the inside story of a conversation with Colin Kaepernick that led to Kaepernick taking a knee — rather than sitting — during the national anthem.

4 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Live entertainment

Side-splitting humor and toe-tapping beats are both protected free speech. And few forms of free expression demonstrate the power of the First Amendment better than comedy and music.

Rahmein Mostafavi
Creator and host of “Couples Therapy: A Comedy Show” at The DC Improv Comedy Club, Amazon Prime and Sirius XM

Ron Funches
Comedian and actor, “Loot”

JWX: The Jarreau Williams Experience
“A funk genius.”

1A Fest FAQ

Venue FAQ

Freedom Forum FAQ


Saturday, Sep. 9, 2023
11:00 am - 7:00 pm EDT


The Wharf – Transit Pier
970 Wharf St. SW
Washington, DC 20024 United States
+ Google Map


Freedom Forum