District of Punk: Exploring DC's Historic Punk Scene
5 Ratings
Uncover the rebellious spirit of DC's historic punk scene on a tour exploring the city's unique culture, major contributors, and lasting impact on the local music scene. Book now!
Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cancellation: 1 day learn more
  • The Lansburgh - The former location of the Lansburgh Center, a popular venue for punk shows in the 1980s.
  • 9:30 Club - This tour visits the former location of the first 9:30 Club, now one of DC’s most iconic performance venues.
What's Included
  • 1.5 hours immersed in DC’s vibrant punk scene
What's Not Included
  • Private transportation
Additional Information

This excursion is available on the final Saturday of every month in the autumn of 2023.

In the era of the 1980s, as the Reagan Administration reintroduced the Selective Service, flower children morphed into yuppies, and a punk movement blossomed in response to an indifferent government. Punk is commonly linked with cities like London, New York, and LA, but Washington DC also had a vibrant scene centered around the Gallery Place area. On this exploration, you’ll learn about the uniqueness of the Washington DC punk scene, its key figures, and how it continues to influence the city’s music scene to this day. The tour concludes at the MLK Jr. Library, home to the DC Punk Archive.

Gallery Place Chinatown Station
The meeting point is at the F and 7th Street Exit of the Gallery Place Metro Station
Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

Customer Ratings
(5 Ratings)
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1 star
Apr 28, 2024
Fun, Unique, & Accessible - This was an amazing and unique tour that gives a side of DC you won’t get elsewhere. Katie is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the subject. Highly recommend for visitors and people local to DC. Tour is also 100% accessible for people in wheelchairs.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Mar 31, 2024
District of Punk - We did the "District of Punk" tour with Katie from Off The Mall Tours. We toured the locations that informed the DC punk scene of the 70s, the DC hardcore scene of the 80s, and the DC post punk of the 90s - including the defunct DC Space (now a Gregory's Coffee), The Lansburg Cultural Center (now a multi-purpose building/Shakespeare Theatre) and the original 9:30 Club (now a recently vacated J Crew store). While touching on the seminal DC bands of the time like The Teen Idles, Void, Bad Brains, Minor Threat and Rites of Spring, Katie also told the story of how important (yet often ignored or mistreated) the women of the DC punk scene were, like the bands Chalk Circle and Fire Party. We also went to the DC Punk Archive at the Washington DC Public Library and we were given access to leaf through their collection of zines that documented the DC scene, donated by activist and author Mark Andersen. Katie was a knowledgeable guide and I recommend this tour to any punk rock fan.
Review provided by Viator
Jul 2, 2023
Downtown DC Punk Tour - So when I signed up for the tour, I thought it was going to be elsewhere in DC, like in Adams Morgan or somewhere uptown. Instead, Katie took us on a tour in downtown DC and took us back in time to before the new development overtook the neighborhood. I learned so much about locations and buildings I walked past without batting an eye, not even realizing that those locations are important locations in the history of DC punk. Loved the experience and highly recommend this tour if you are a punk rock fan and want to learn about what DC was like in that era.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Aug 19, 2022
Punktastic! - I loved the multi-sensory approach to this Tour-- music, historical buildings, personal stories, and we even had a Punk Band musician join us for his lived experiences to share!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Aug 18, 2022
An Interesting and Entertaining Trip Back in Time - I loved learning about an important, grassroots movement from our city's rich musical history. Washington DC had a rich and influential punk culture during the late 70s and early 80s and Katie took us back to a time when the city wasn't quite as gentrified and the musical experience was incredibly authentic.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Select Date and Tickets
up to 15 guests
1 Adult
June 2024