The city’s Department of Neighborhoods has started the process to gather feedback on festivals, marches, and free speech events on Capitol Hill — including the Capitol Hill Block Party, the three-day, for-profit music event that transforms Pike/Pine into a party and concert venue every July.
Along with a survey running through December 2nd to weigh general feelings from the community about the Hill’s wide variety of special events, the city will be “gathering feedback from local businesses and residents through surveys, interviews and focus groups.”
“The goal is to use data gathered through this process to provide recommendations to the City’s Special Events Committee, the body responsible for permitting these events,” an announcement of the start of the survey process reads.
This summer in the weeks before the 2019 Block Party, CHS reported on rising tensions around the event that draws around 30,000 attendees and has grown from a street festival into a ticketed, three-day musical extravaganza. The city also hired the Fife Consulting firm to lead an outreach process with people and businesses in the neighborhood. The company is also completing a study of large outdoors events across the city.
City events chair Chris Swenson told CHS this summer he expected his committee would use the feedback and study to decide on whether Block Party can go forward as is, or in a modified form. These modifications could be light like keeping the event but changing days, hours or footprint, or more significant, such as the consideration of other neighborhoods, formats and weekends, Swenson said.
This summer, Block Party organizers added more free events held beyond festival gates.
The new survey does not specifically drill in on feedback about the Block Party though many will take the opportunity to weigh in on the event, pro and con. The process will also assess the impact from events like Pride and the proliferation of related street parties and beer gardens that have sprung up around the celebration of queer culture.
The Department of Neighborhoods says it will be open through December 2nd.
You can take the Capitol Hill Special Events Community Survey here.
UPDATE 11/21/2019: Block Party producers are calling on the music festival’s fans to contribute to the feedback effort. An email was sent out Thursday to the CHBP marketing email list with the subject line: “Capitol Hill Needs Our Help” and a link to the survey.
City officials, meanwhile, have alerted CHS to a separate survey effort aimed at “businesses, organizations, and property owners” that gets into the nitty gritty on the neighborhood’s major annual events and recurring rallies and protests:
Depending on how many boxes you check, the survey for business and property owners can be more than 60 questions long.
You can take the Capitol Hill Special Events Business, Organization, Property Survey here.
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