Music and healthy living collide at Broccoli City Festival

It’s not everyday that the worlds of music and health collide, but that’s exactly what happened at this year’s Broccoli City Festival.

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

It’s not every day that the worlds of music and health collide, but that’s exactly what happened at this year’s Broccoli City Festival, featuring musical headliners Solange and Rae Sremmurd.

The festival, which first debuted in 2010 and celebrated its seventh annual event on May 6 in Washington, D.C., sought to merge the intersections of music, healthy living and minority communities, fulfilled through emerging and established musical artists of color, health-oriented vendors and environmentally-conscious company sponsors.

TheGrio was in on all the action, thanks to the Toyota Green Initiative (TGI), which hosted an eventful weekend that shined a spotlight on leaders and entrepreneurs in the healthy food industry seeking to make their communities healthier. TGI also introduced festival attendees to Toyota’s lineup of energy-saving hybrid vehicles.

Some of the entrepreneurs included Robert “Rob Veggies” Horton, founder and executive director of Trap Garden; Jerri Evans, CEO of Turning Natural Juice Bars; and Yoli Ouiya of Yoli’s Green Living.

Trap Garden provides fresh produce to food deserts in low-income communities, while Turning Juice Bars transforms fruits and vegetables into liquid magic. After her mother lost her battle to cancer, Evans decided to carry on the matriarch’s juicing business, which provides drinks with catchy pop culture names like the Swizz Beets, Green Latifah and Mikale Jackson.

But not only did Toyota Green highlight game changers on a mission to color their communities green; it also collaborated with TGI coalition members like Boss, a fitness trainer who created “Just Train Kids,” which focuses on combating childhood obesity and chronic illnesses; Mali Hunter, General Manager and Partner of Tree Sound Studios, the first and only sustainable recording studio in the South; and Stic of hip-hop duo Dead Prez, who has dedicated his work to wellness as the founder of RBG Fit Club.

At the festival — which was originally intended to celebrate Earth Day — TGI showcased an interactive display of their latest line-up of energy efficient hybrid vehicles, allowing attendees to explore what Toyota has to offer to auto consumers, including the Toyota Prius C and Rav4. Who said you couldn’t drive stylish and be eco-friendly at the same time?

Another popular attraction at TGI’s Broccoli City Festival showcase was Toyota Green’s human-generated bicycle phone charger. The riding of the stationary bike produced just enough energy to charge your mobile device, all while burning a few calories — not to mention saving energy in the process.

When attendees weren’t checking out the many health-oriented attractions around them, they were enjoying the sounds of musical artists like 21 Savage, Lil Yachty, Nao, Rapsody, Smino, Nick Grant and even Brandy’s new boyfriend, Sir The Baptist.

Though D.C.’s rainy weather tried to overshadow the festival’s day of activities, it was no match for the crowd of enthusiastic music lovers who were (if not already) exposed to new ways to improve their lives and their environment.

Sounds like a match made in heaven.