D.C. Law 23-71. Go-Go Official Music of the District of Columbia Designation Act of 2020.


To designate go-go music as the official music of the District of Columbia, and to require the Mayor to create a plan to support, preserve, and archive go-go music and its history; and to amend Title 47 of the District of Columbia Official Code to repeal a curfew on youth in dance halls and balls.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "Go-Go Official Music of the District of Columbia Designation Act of 2020".

Sec. 2. History of Go-Go Music.

(a) Go-go music originated in the District of Columbia during the mid-1960s to late 1970s.

(b) Initially, "go-go" was a term used to identify a music club where young people gathered and where, between songs, the percussion section of the band would continue to play while the band leader engaged the audience through melodic call-and-response sessions.

(c) Go-go is a fusion of musical forms, drawing inspiration from funk, blues, soul, and salsa, and blending them seamlessly, with its syncopated polyrhythms and multiple percussion instruments.

(d) During the 1980s, the Department of Parks and Recreation "Munch for Lunch" program used its Showmobile, a stage on wheels, to provide free go-go concerts in various locations several times a week for lunchtime crowds to enjoy.

(e) The 1987 hit "Da Butt" by Chuck Brown and the group Experience Unlimited, also known as E.U., was performed for the soundtrack for Spike Lee's film School Daze, giving Go-Go a national stage.

(f) Many local residents who went on to join groups such as Rare Essence, Trouble Funk, Junkyard Band, Backyard Band, TCB, TOB, and Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers, gained their musical experience in District public-school marching bands.

(g) Chuck Brown has been repeatedly and officially honored as the "Godfather of Go-Go."

(h) Go-go music encapsulates the range of personal experiences in local communities around the District and expresses them in a unifying force.

(i) Go-go music is a multifaceted art form that fully captures the cultural and artistic expressions of the District.

(j) Go-go music is hereby designated the official music of the District of Columbia.

Sec. 3. Go-Go Music Preservation Plan.

No later than 240 days after the effective date of this act, the Mayor shall create and submit to the Council a plan to support, preserve, and archive go-go music and its history, including the responsibilities of various District agencies such as the Archives, the Office of Cable Television, Film, and Music Entertainment, and the District of Columbia Public Library.

Sec. 4. Section 47-2820 of the District of Columbia Official Code is amended as follows:

(a) Subsection (c) is repealed.

(b) Subsection (d) is repealed.

Sec. 5. Fiscal impact statement.

The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 4a of the General Legislative Procedures Act of 1975, approved October 16, 2006 (120 Stat. 2038; D.C. Official Code § 1-301.47a).

Sec. 6. Effective date.

This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), a 30-day period of congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02(c)(1)), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.

Law Information


  • D.C. Law 23-71 (PDF)
  • D.C. Act 23-218 (PDF)
  • 67 DCR 2096


Apr. 11, 2020

Legislative History (LIMS)

Law 23-71, the “Go-Go Official Music of the District of Columbia Designation Act of 2020,” was introduced in the Council and assigned Bill No. 23-317 which was referred to the Committee of the Whole. The bill was adopted on first and second readings on Jan. 7, 2020, and Feb. 4, 2020, respectively. After mayoral review, it was assigned Act No. 23-218 on Feb. 19, 2020, and transmitted to Congress for its review. D.C. Law 23-71 became effective Apr. 11, 2020.