With ‘grassroots spirit,’ Summit Block Party grows into third year — Year 4? Who knows!

2013's SBP -- more pictures here (Image: CHS)

2013’s SBP — more pictures here (Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

In its third year, this weekend’s Summit Block Party has talked its neighbors into an uncertain future.

The free event returns bigger than ever this Saturday, August 9th with two band-filled stages, barbecue, live art, local vendors, raffle prizes and more. Closing Summit between E Olive and Howell, the festivities begin at 11 AM and go on until 9:30 at night.

“It started mostly on a whim,” founder Adair Tudor tells CHS. “I was really enamored with the block and really enjoyed seeing how it had a great sense of community. I thought, ‘Yeah, let’s just have a block party.'”

The second year provided Tudor with a chance to expand the event so she added a second stage and a larger crowd came with it. Though she said she doesn’t know what kind of turnout to expect this year, she and fellow organizer Adam Way have had to do a fair bit of outreach to keep the locals involved and accommodating.

“There was a weird amount of tension there for a second,” Way said. “We just talked it out with them and I think it’s in a positive place now. I think it’s going to be great.”

Though many in the block look forward to the event, some have reservations about a full-day party literally on their doorsteps.

“Some people are just averse to the idea,” Tudor said. “There’s definitely some people on the block that are not into it. I would hope they just relax for one day.”

Coming just two weeks after the Capitol Hill Block Party, and sharing a similar title if not a theme, parallels crop up easily between the two events.

“I know it’s easy to compare it to Capitol Hill Block Party, but I don’t really see how,” Tudor said. “The Summit Block Party is definitely way more intimate. This will never be an event you have to pay for.”

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

2014 marks the first year the Summit Block Party welcomes sponsors to the event, and it does so with care. Local businesses such as The Stranger and Caffe Vita will contribute materials and assistance, but Tudor said she wanted to keep corporate money away from the party.

“There is a very DIY, grassroots spirit that we want to maintain,” Tudor said.

The Pharmacy will lead the 16-band line up this year and frontman Scott Yoder spoke candidly about the event and his local band.

The Pharmacy // Ecstatic Cosmic Union // Snuff Redux // Great Spiders // Kleine // Kelli Frances Corrado // Wayfinders // Parker Edison // Bad Tats // CMRTYZ // Diogenes //Carnotaurus // Lifeslow // Funky Photos // Nightspace // Spread Thick Crew

“This is the real Capitol Hill block party,” Yoder said. “It’s not full of people who don’t live here. It should be pretty cool.”

He said he looked forward to hearing the other bands joining The Pharmacy for the event, including Ecstatic Cosmic Union and Snuff Redux. He wanted to go into the event without a lot of prior knowledge and “experience it blind” while enjoying a summer’s Saturday with neighborhood residents.

After touring since May around the country and in Europe, Yoder’s 12-year-old band from Vashon Island hit some speed bumps and the Summit Block Party could actually mean an end for the group.

“This is the last show for a long time, and it might just be the last show,” Yoder said. The day after our conversation with Yoder, the band confirmed on its Facebook page that it would, in fact, be their final show.

Similar question marks hang over the Summit Block Party’s future — like whether it will return in 2015.

“None of us know the answer to that,” Way said. “It’s Adair’s baby and she gets to do whatever she wants with it. I’d love to do it again.”

Tudor did not know whether the Summit Block Party will come back.

“I’m not sure if I’ll want to continue it next year — I never expected it to be this big,” she said. “Someone could pick it up, but they would have to be someone that lives on the block.”

Learn more about this year’s event at summitblockparty.com.

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12 thoughts on “With ‘grassroots spirit,’ Summit Block Party grows into third year — Year 4? Who knows!

  1. Since I’m forced to listen to this each year, I think I’d be a little more supportive if they played any music style I liked. Any chance to meet in the middle with a Ibiza/Café del Mar type of sound?

      • And how are we supposed to do that? I have lived on Summit for over six years and have never seen anyone try to involve the block in this ‘block party’. Are we expected to pull contact information out of our asses or magically know when it is being planned so we can be involved?
        I had to read about this in the Stranger so I assume at that point that it is already a done deal and any opinions anyone else has about it are pointless.

      • so… after 6 years of living on the block you have never made any contact with the other people who live there year round? because all the organizers and volunteers in previous years have been people from the block.
        all the tenants of the 2 buildings that are, basically, centrally located on the block, and facing one another, are out there on the street when it isn’t raining. our presence is certainly no mystery! now what we are about and what we are trying to do.
        short of going to each and every door to have a sit down and explain in full detail what this is going to be like, i think the people organizing the event have done a really great job. there is a wealth of info on the web…facebook, blogs, and even it’s own site… and i know FOR FACT that the neighborhood has been fliered for weeks!
        Adair, herself, has gone door to door handing out info fliers, speaking with all the other property managers, trying to get people from the block to participate. at any level at all! there is a Facebook group page for anyone to sign up to volunteer.
        it gets a bit wearisome to hear people complain, while at the same time not doing ANYTHING to help out.
        bottom line… the overwhelming majority of people in this neighborhood are totally excited and supportive of the event. i suppose there will always be a curmudgeon who’s only satisfaction lies in fault-finding.
        but, since no one else yet has, allow me to be the first to invite you to loosen up and have a great time! FOR FREE!!!
        none of us makes a fucking penny off of this, by the way. and last year, i’m pretty sure i ended up paying out of pocket for some stuff, so that as many people as possible can come here and have a great time.
        i suppose we could all just go hide in our respective apartments and give the street back to dope dealers that ran this neighborhood a few years back how would that be? would that end the complaint?

      • Holy crap, guy. That’s a ton of pissed-off, defensive assumptions you’re making off of 4 sentences of me simply expressing a desire to be more involved or even kept up to date about a giant party being held in the street outside my apartment.
        1) Did I say anything about hating block party? I’m pretty sure I didn’t. I have actually enjoyed myself at block party in the past. I like hearing new bands and meeting people. You’re a very angry assumptive ass.
        2) Telling me to “Google it” means you miss the point. There was no indication on the street that planning was in process. No one got to know about it until after planning was already wrangled. I would have enjoyed being a part of it and getting to know my neighbors better but was never given notice or opportunity to try. Telling me that the onus is on me to magically know when you are planning this thing and to contact you is ridiculous. If you have time to get on your knees and suck off the Vera Project and the Stranger then you have 5 fucking seconds to tell the block you’re throwing a giant party in it’s name. It’s not too much to ask and there’s no reason to be a dick to me for suggesting it.
        3) You assume I don’t talk to my neighbors but I do. All the time, actually. I even talked to one of the managers of one of those two buildings about this party after I read about it. I was actually worried about the scale. You see, after I heard it was happening I did a Google search to see what was going on this year.
        I also talked to talked to my manager. The only thing he’s seen about this was some flier shoved under our gate last week. A flier which had next to no information on it.

        So what you’re saying is: The entire fucking city gets radio talk, ads in the paper, multiple full-colored fliers and it’s own article on CHB to tell them about this party but the block gets a vague piece of paper shoved under one door a few days out and a note the night before to move their car off the street? That sounds totally reasonable and I couldn’t imagine why some of our neighbors aren’t happy. I’m also guessing buy your attitude and the fact that half this article is about people being annoyed with you there’s been some complaints already.
        In fact if this defensive, aggressive dick-waving ‘us against them’ crap attitude of yours reflects on the general attitude of the organizers then no fucking wonder no one else on the block wants to be involved, you self important prick.

        Jesus. All I’m saying is how hard would it have been for someone to just put a fucking email address on a piece of paper that said HEY SUMMIT! WE’RE THROWING A BLOCK PARTY! WANT TO HELP? CONTACT US! And posting 6-7 in the actual neighborhood?
        ^^^ Look, I even did the hard part for you already! Just cut and paste!

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