(Image: Alex Crick for CHS)
Capitol Hill Block Party wants to keep the heart of the neighborhood alive as so much of it changes.
In its 18th year, the weekend event which closes down six blocks of Pike/Pine and draws upward of 30,000 music lovers remains an annual subject of excitement from fans and the rarest of summer musical festival beasts: a three-day commercial concert venue carved out of a living, breathing city neighborhood.
With A$AP Rocky, Chromeo and Spoon headlining this year, rock fest tourists and plenty of locals will once again swarm the cordoned-off area in the heart of Pike/Pine starting July 25 for a weekend of sights, sounds and selling your soul for a parking space.
Only in America
Owner Jason Lajeunesse has not needed the Capitol Hill Block Party to make his mark on the neighborhood. CHS dubbed him one of the ‘Princes of Pike/Pine’ — along with business partner and frequent collaborator David Meinert – due to his extensive stakes in many nearby restaurants and venues, including Neumos and Lost Lake.
After spending nine years planning the Block Party’s music as co-producer, Lajeunesse took ownership of the event in 2012.
He believes Capitol Hill Block Party is a product of the neighborhood which gives it its name.
“I think it’s important to promote the neighborhood year round,” he said. “The Block Party sort of grew with the local and regional bands. As the bands got bigger, so did the Block Party.”
With four indoor venues, two outdoor stages and dozens of restaurants and bars in the area, the Block Party has the distinction of being the only event of its kind in America.
“To our knowledge Capitol Hill Block Party is unique as the only ticketed three-day street festival in the country,” Chris Swenson, program manager with the Seattle Office of Film and Music, said. “It’s a little like scooping up half of Sasquatch and plopping it in the middle of a neighborhood for a weekend. The city’s primary concern is safety and, because of the unique layout of the event, each year safety officials and agencies spend many months establishing organizer requirements and emergency plans specific to the site.” Continue reading