Sound Transit begins pilot allowing buskers at Capitol Hill Station

A busker at Capitol Hill Station's grand opening earlier this year

A busker at Capitol Hill Station’s grand opening earlier this year

Just like a real big city neighborhood, Capitol Hill now has a subway station. And like a big city of the future, you can use your phone in the subway tunnels. Starting today, our subway will get another important feature — station buskers.

Sound Transit began a six-month trial Thursday allowing busking on Capitol Hill Station and University of Washington Station property:

Sound Transit believes that allowing buskers to perform at the University of Washington and Capitol Hill light rail stations will help retain existing users, as well as attract new users, and is consistent with promoting transit-related activities. Accordingly, Sound Transit is adopting this pilot program for a 6 month period to assess the feasibility of adopting a permanent policy regarding performances by buskers.

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CHS Pics | Seattle Acoustic Festival at All Pilgrims

Newly expanded to three days — “We wanted it to stay small and focused but we’ve decided to let it grow a little bit” — the Seattle Acoustic Festival’s 2016 edition started off Friday with small crowds and a non-amped-up night of music inside Broadway’s All Pilgrim. The festival continues through Sunday night. Continue reading

Seattle Acoustic Festival quietly grows to three days at Broadway’s All Pilgrims

The Seattle Acoustic Festival returns to Capitol Hill this week with pay what you can pricing, a gloriously underrated musical venue in Broadway’s All Pilgrims, and an expanded three days of performances.

“We wanted it to stay small and focused but we’ve decided to let it grow a little bit,” organizer and musician Elijah Dhawan tells CHS.

The 2016 festival starts Friday and runs through the weekend across three stages at All Pilgrims, 500 Broadway E. This is the third year Dhawan and co-organizer Paul Mauer have held the festival. The two also organize an annual acoustic festival in Olympia. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Block Party ready to welcome Paul Allen-backed Upstream to Seattle music festival scene

As Capitol Hill Block Party owner Jason Lajeunesse decompresses from the 20th edition of the annual E Pike music festival, it’s hard not to turn an eye to 2017. The CHBP crew have already started the process of booking bands for the 21st installment of the event, but planning this time around is coming with a little more urgency and trepidation than in years past.

Last week, Paul Allen announced Upstream, a large South by Southwest-style music and ideas festival that will takeover a massive footprint in Pioneer Square from May 11th-13th.

With a goal of booking 200 artists, primarily drawn from Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, the festival has the potential to lock-in bands with contracts that prevent them from playing other nearby festivals or venues during the summer. Continue reading

On the List | Linda’s Fest turns 7, Summit Block Party takes 2016 off


A Linda’s Fest moment past. Rock on. Etc. (Image: CHS)

Outdoor summer events on Capitol Hill roll on in August with an E Pine staple of stiff drinks and loud music. Saturday, six bands will take over the back parking lot of Linda’s Tavern for the 7th annual “raddest free rock show of the summer.”

Linda’s Fest goes down August 20th and features a slate from Seattle’s punk scene:

  • Fred & Toddy of Dead Moon
  • Acapulco Lips
  • Steal Shit Do Drugs
  • Sashay
  • Bad Future
  • World Bank

This year’s festival will also be the first to be surrounded by a fully occupied Pike Motorworks building. CHS previously wrote here about the flood of new apartments towering above Capitol Hill’s nightlife venues.

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CHS Pics | 206 Zulu Park Jam in Cal Anderson

Zen Seizure gets off the ground in his set at Sunday's Park Jam

Zen Seizure gets off the ground in his set at Sunday’s Park Jam (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Capitol Hill’s parks were busy this weekend. Saturday, the inaugural Lusio light art festival added its glow to Volunteer Park’s nighttime shadows. Sunday, Cal Anderson also hosted a first time ever event.

206 Zulu brought its Park Jams series to Capitol Hill for the first time and filled Cal Anderson Park’s meadow bowl with local DJs, musicians, and visual artists.

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For first time, 206 Zulu Park Jams make Capitol Hill stop

13320010_10208439208153407_1791696448705913684_n (1)With Capitol Hill Block Party 2016 passed, this weekend brings free music to Cal Anderson Park. Attendees will be able to enjoy the “the four elements” — DJing, breakdancing, emceeing, and graffiti art not filtered through the Pike/Pine scene.

Sunday evening, Cal Anderson will play host to local DJs, musicians, and visual artists as part of its turn to host a 206 Zulu Park Jam. The jam is organized by nonprofit volunteer organization 206 Zulu, the Seattle branch of a group started in the 70s to bring live music, particularly hip hop, to parks as a way to create a safe place for young people in the Bronx. Zulu has since extended its mission to providing family-friendly music and arts programming in cities throughout the United States. Continue reading

Born and raised on Capitol Hill, now playing Capitol Hill Block Party

Musician Joe Gregory was born and raised on Capitol Hill and can remember attending the Capitol Hill Block Party when it was a tiny, alternative, upstart music festival.

On Sunday he and his band J GRGRY are joining the ranks of CHBP performers. “It’s really exciting to actually finally 20 years later be a part of it,” said Gregory.

It has been a quick rise for the group. J GRGRY has been around for about a year. The group was asked to play CHBP earlier this summer after several successful shows at Neumos.J GRGRY consists of Gregory, guitar player and Gregory’s longtime friend Robert Cheek, drummer Andrew King, and bass/key player Ryan Leyva. The group’s first performance together was at The Crocodile in December 2015. After that first show, J GRGRY submitted for the opening slot for Geographer at Neumos.

“So many people came out for us and we sold a ton of presale tickets – it was just an overwhelming response and the club was like, ‘Holy shit, who are you guys?’” said Gregory. “It ended up being such a cool show, and then I think because of my onstage aesthetic they thought about asking me for the Prince show.” Continue reading

20(ish) years of the Capitol Hill Block Party

LaJeunesse hears from business partner Joey Burgess at the 2015 festival (Image- CHS)

LaJeunesse hears from business partner Joey Burgess at the 2015 festival (Image- CHS)

Old Block Party flyers courtesy Gapay

Old Block Party flyers courtesy Gopay

The 2016 Capitol Hill Block Party is being advertised as the 20th edition of the music festival, but it might be older than that.

It all depends on who you ask.

“I started the Capitol Hill Block Party in 1997 because I was frustrated with the corporate feel of Bumbershoot and the amount of baby carriages,” Jen Gapay tells CHS. “I also wanted to create more of a cool party scene in an urban environment like Capitol Hill.” Gapay said that she wanted people to have a chance to drink, listen to music, and listen to street performers “in an actual street.”

The Block Party’s origin is attributed to Gapay of Thirsty Girl Productions, though a skate shop and longtime Pike/Pine business Crescent Down Works may have hosted some version of the event before Thirsty Girl’s first party in 1997.

Meanwhile, current Block Party producer Jason Lajeunesse says he only has one regret about his reign as king of the CHBP. Lajeunesse, who has been involved in the event since 2006, says the times Block Party has gotten wet are what keeps him up at night. “I would go back and make it not rain,” he tells CHS. Continue reading

Rancho Bravo Block Party: Pike/Pine gears up for Capitol Hill music fest

13422205_1078791615489255_8095959058564414073_oCapitol Hill Block Party marks 20 years as a music festival starting next week on Friday, July 22nd but the neighborhood’s love for music is already leaking out and some wacky things are happening… like Rancho Bravo as a performance venue.

The 2016 edition of CHBP will include an expanded footprint and some free fun outside the fences. This year’s Block Party is set to feature free nightly shows at Unicorn, daytime performances and Sunday morning yoga at Chophouse Row, and a poster show at the V2 space as part of Thursday’s Capitol Hill Art Walk: Continue reading

On the List | HONK! Fest West brass band festival comes to Capitol Hill

Brass musicians march at a past HONK! Fest 4th of July show (Images: Mike Antares)

Brass musicians march at a past HONK! Fest 4th of July show (Images: Mike Antares)

HONK! Fest West is extending its reach to Capitol Hill.

The free outdoor music festival started in Seattle in 2008, and this year it runs from June 16 to 19 with a visit to Capitol Hill in the middle. Capitol Hill will have its day Friday with professional brass bands playing free live concerts at four locations on the Hill. Festival organizer Mike Antares estimates that about 26 bands will play on the Hill.

“HONK! Fest is about the accessibility of music, which is why they’re in parks, streets, and public spaces,” Antares said.

This is the first year that the festival has included Capitol Hill. Festival organizers were brainstorming earlier in the year about how to reach out to other communities in the Seattle area. “Capitol Hill was at the top of the list,” said Antares. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Block Party expands footprint inside Pike/Pine venues

IMG_9940113412096_10153445323016106_7333791700513337204_oFaced with limited street space and growing popularity, producers of the Capitol Hill Block Party are slightly expanding their footprint in 2016 with a new slate of programming inside neighborhood venues.

As part of Tuesday’s full band lineup announcement for the July 22-24 event, CHBP also revealed how it may continue to grow one of the few ticketed music festivals that takes place on a city’s public streets. This year’s event will include free nightly shows at Unicorn, daytime performances and Sunday morning yoga at Chophouse Row and a poster show in conjunction with the Capitol Hill Art Walk.

“Capitol Hill is the artistic and cultural epicenter of Seattle,” said owner Jason Lajeunesse in a statement. “This year, we want to activate the entire neighborhood and community to celebrate arts and culture with us.”

As usual, the 20th anniversary of the three-day event will bring a mix of big indie acts that won’t completely overwhelm the handful of dense Pike/Pine blocks. Tuesday’s full lineup announcement included the addition of rapper Mick Jenkins and the band Washed Out, who recorded the summery theme song to the TV show Portlandia.

Three-day passes are currently on sale for $174.72 (including taxes and fees) and single-day passes are $63.21. You can buy yours and learn more at See the full lineup below. Continue reading