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New owner, same layout, more stuff (including free family party) at 2012 Capitol Hill Block Party

(Image: CHS)

Starting just before 3a Friday, you will start sharing the core of Pike/Pine with around 30,000 of your closest, music-loving friends. By Monday morning, there will only be what’s left after a giant party to remind you of the good times. The 2012 Capitol Hill Block Party hits the ground this week a changed festival. It’s a broader event featuring arts and, yes, a family day, but in most ways not a lot has changed as the new three-day era of the festival matures, optimizes and settles in for the long haul. Here are some notes on what’s new, what’s not and more from the 2012 CHBP.

  • The Block Party has a new chief partier — Neumos’ Jason Lajeunesse has stepped up to take over ownership of the festival. Grady Chapman returns as production manager. Caffe Vita and Via Tribunali’s Mike McConnell also remains a partner in the festival.
  • The Seattle Times talked to Lajeunesse as his first Block Party as the main man — Dave Meinert’s old job — approaches. 

So how did this all happen? Lajeunesse was sitting in a Block Party meeting last April when Meinert texted him from across the room: “You should buy the Block Party.”

“Yeah, that’s funny,” he replied.

  • The weekend’s big acts: FridayFitz and the Tantrums, SaturdayMajor Lazer, SundayNeko Case. CHS posted about the 2012 lineup here. Neko’s off the stage by 10p, by the way, helping to wind the party down gently.
  • You’ll reportedly be able to listen to live streams from the weekend via the CHBP web site. You can also listen to a CHPB radio station in the days leading up the festival to get jazzed up for the weekend.
  • The weather is predicted to be great:
  • The Block Party organizers have continued efforts to do more to incorporate local businesses in the festival. The CHBP Facebook page is full of ticket purchase promotions involving deals at local merchants.
  • Speaking of tickets, Capitol Hill-based The Stranger is again handling sales in 2012.
  • Sales have been slower than 2011 when 3-day passes sold out by July 7th.
  • 3-day passes are $85. Single day tickets are $30. Plus fees, etc.  They’re again expecting long lines for will call so attendees are encouraged to print their own tickets.

    Around 10,000 people per day will rock out in Pike/Pine this weekend (Image: CHS)

  • In addition to The Stranger, two more local businesses are playing big roles in the 2012 Block Party. The Ghost Gallery’s Laurie Kearney is organizing CHBP’s new arts component. The video festival was held Friday. The grounds over the weekend will include multimedia installations from local artists and businesses including Pike/Pine’s Digital Kitchen. DK will show off Stanley, an interactive digital piano — “He’ll play your favorite jams — Including songs from everyone performing at Block Party.”

Neighborhood FAQ

If you are a member of the Capitol Hill community (more specifically the pike/pine coridor), we understand that the Capitol Hill Block Party can be hard to maneuver around and through as well as be a slight disruption to your everyday life. Below are a few answers to your questions regarding neighborhood access, etc in hopes to make things more convenient. Any unaswered questions can be directed to [email protected]


Street closure begins on Friday, July 20th, at 2:45 AM and affects Broadway to 12th, and Pine to Union


Gates open Friday // 3pm, Saturday //  1pm, Sunday // 1pm

Outdoor music ends Friday // Midnight, Saturday // Midnight, Sunday // 9pm

Sound check will take place at 11am each morning of the festival and last for 30 minutes


Closure will begin on Sunday July 22nd at 9pm but there is no gaurantee that streets will be open or entirely cleaned intil 5am monday morning


Businesses fully located within the gate will not be accessible to the public, unless attending Capitol Hill Block Party.

These include: Havana, Poquitos, Ballet, Lobby Bar, Comet Tavern, Neumos, Fish Fry, Moe Bar, Sole Repair, Quinn’s, Caffe Vita, Big Marios, Cha Cha’s/Bimbos, Super Genius, Wild Rose, Chinos, Polyclinic

Businesses outside of gates:

 Elliott Bay Books, Oddfellows, Rancho Bravo, Gary Manuel Aveda Institute, Mode Fitness, Value Village, Velo Bikes, Barca, Vermillion, Annex Theater, 35

th North, No Parking Unicorn, Post Options, Boom Noodle, Cupcake Royale, Retrofit Home, Sweatbox, Platinum Records, Via Tribunali, Emerson Salon, Retail Therapy, Frame Central

  • Here’s a map of the festival layout. Stages have remained in the same location as 2011.
  • Yup, there are CHBP apps this year.
  • The area near the Shell gas station will again be closed off to freeloaders and party-goers looking to hang out outside the fences.

  • Capitol Hill Block Party 2011, originally uploaded by spratt504.
  • The other neighborhood business playing a new, large role in the Block Party is Cupcake Royale. The COMMUNITYFAMILYFUNFEST takes place Sunday… and it’s free:

Before gates officially open, sunday morning will be dedicated to a family focused event: CHBP and Cupcake Royale present a free family fun event on Sunday July 22 before the start of the festival from 9am-11:30am. There will be free ice cream, lemonade and doubt dutch from 9am – 10:30am, followed by a free show at Neumos with Caspar Baby Pants from 10:45am until 11:30am.

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new neighbor
10 years ago

When should I expect the parking insanity to begin? I live nearby and street park. I’m already planning not to go anywhere by car the entire weekend, so as not to lose whatever parking spot I’ve got, but I’m curious when that usually starts.

Capitol Hill Parent
10 years ago

So Casper Babypants is starting the event for Cupcake Royale at 9:30am at Neumos July 22nd or is the event starting at 9:30am at Cupcake Royale

10 years ago

So I’m pretty new here, but is it not odd that a “public” event that takes over the streets costs so much?

Constant Walker
10 years ago

In this case, public = outdoors. Skinny as they are, musicians need to eat, too. And it costs a lot to clean up the mess of the not-so-tidy public.


[…] 2012 festival saw the event rise above some sticky neighborhood issues of the past to successfully broaden to include visual (and other!) arts as well as include new features like a Sunday kids concert. […]