Today, February 19th Mayor Muriel Bowser will sign the Go-Go Bill, and she is holding a community celebration today to designate Go-Go music as the official music of Washington, DC. the DC Council approved the measure unanimously for a second time on February 4 and sent it to the Mayor’s office for review. Mayor Bowser will now sign the legislation, which designates Go-Go as the official music of the District.
Festivities will be held at the Culture House D.C., located at 700 Delaware avenue, SW beginning at 4:00pm.
The goal of the legislation is to support, preserve, and archive Go-Go music in history. The signing is the culmination of a nearly year-long effort to preserve DC’s homegrown music genre. Following the Metro PCS controversy last April, musicians and local advocates took to the streets in protest using the hashtag #DontMuteDC. In June, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie introduced the bill, which will also help create programming to preserve the genre and archive its history. “It’s important for people to not have to wonder or guess about how important go-go is to the District of Columbia,” McDuffie told the Washington Post at the time. At a hearing last fall, a long list of artists and activists testified before the Council about the genre’s significance and what it means to locals.
Go-Go originated in D.C. during the 1960s and ’70s as a fusion between many different musical forms including funk, blues, soul, and salsa.
The name derives from the man known as the Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown.