In the wee hours of Friday morning, Jason Lajeunesse and the Block Party crew initiated the tightly coordinated sequence of events needed to prepare Capitol Hill Block Party 2014 for liftoff. Before the first glimmer of sunlight touches Pike/Pine on Friday, streets needed to be closed, stages erected, and wires ran every which way.
With less sweat, but just as much determination, we present our annual pre-party ritual: the launch of CHS’s Block Party open threads. CHS will update through the weekend on the people making Block Party happen, the crowds, and the community around the festival.
You can also follow @jseattle for updates. Let us know if you see anything — or anybody — interesting, too. You can email us or call/txt (206) 399-5959 for the *really* interesting stuff to let us know what you’re seeing. Or hearing.
- Luckily, rainfall earlier in the week seems to have purged crummy weather conditions heading into Block Party. The forecast for the rest of the weekend looks ideal, with temperatures in the mid-70s through the weekend afternoons and sunscreen-worthy clear skies.
- Three-day, two-day, and single day passes are still on sale here. You can also purchase tickets at the gate or at the E Pike Caffe Vita. There are also various local businesses giving away tickets as prizes or offering them as a gift with purchase. Check out the CHBP Facebook page to find the latest promotions.
- With an event as large as Block Party in an area as dense as Pike/Pine, unofficial spinoffs are part of the fun. This year some people are setting up a hip-hop BBQ, promising “meat, heat, and blunts.” Let us know if you see any other interesting things along Block Party’s peripheral blocks.
Music kicks off Friday afternoon with Shy Girls on the Main Stage and Lemolo on the Vera Stage. Lemolo’s Meagan Grandall, who graduated from Seattle University, will also be the first of a hand full of musicians to play CHBP with strong Capitol Hill ties. Benjamin Verdoes of Iska Dhaaf has a daytime gig teaching at Nova High School. Childbirth has Pony Time’s Stacy Peck and Kithkin has former CHS intern/current Seattle Weekly reporter Kelton Sears.The members of Constant Lovers and Gibraltar are known Hillebrities.
- In recent years Block Party organizers have taken strides to help non-booze businesses be part of the 3-day event but the torrent of concertgoers is just too overwhelming for some who are used to Pike/Pine’s chiller daytime hum. Dr. Jen’s House of Beauty will be closing Friday-Sunday. Retail Therapy will also likely close on Saturday. Sugarpill owner Karyn Schwartz said she would be playing it by ear throughout the weekend as most of her regulars will be staying far away. “Unless you have beer or a bathroom, most people aren’t interested,” she said. Other businesses on the periphery like Elliott Bay Book Company, Lobby Bar and Lost Lake will be open and won’t require a ticket for entrance.
- Earlier this week, CHS wrote about just how one-of-a-kind Block Party is as *probably* the only major commercial music festival to take place on the streets of a city neighborhood.
- The 11th Ave Vera Stage is a bigger deal this year:
The expanded Vera Stage is a direct result of feedback from Block Party attendees,” said Jason Lajeunesse, the festival’s owner and producer. “For the last couple years, about half of the national acts played the 21 and over Neumos stage, which meant some people missed out on their favorite bands. This year, we’re making the incredible lineup of national acts available to everyone.”
- In the spirit of the new view behind the Vera, you’ll note the area around Block Party is still busy with construction activity. The fences, signs, giant cranes and construction vehicles definitely will give Block Party attendees and accurate feel for the current state of the neighborhood.
- Closing out Friday night on the Main Stage will be Texas-based rockers Spoon. You can check out the rest of Friday’s schedule here.