Under pressure from the city, costs, and neighbors, Capitol Hill Block Party announces 2019 lineup

(Image: Capitol Hill Block Party)

Seattle’s alt-weeklies are dead but Capitol Hill Block Party will live on in 2019. With an earlier than ever and quieter announcement than in past years, producers of the annual three-day music festival in the streets of Capitol Hill announced the 2019 full lineup Tuesday morning for the 23rd edition of the signature Pike/Pine event that is facing yet another new wave of criticism from the business community outside the festival’s fences.

“Providing a platform where local artists can continue to grow and organizations benefit from the additional exposure is an important way to unify the local community and preserve our fiercely independent and artistic nature,” producer and Neumos co-owner Jason Lajeunesse said in the announcement of the 2019 lineup.

Capitol Hill Block Party 2019

The July 19th through July 21st festival will be headlined this year by “bass beacon” RL Grime, electro-pop duo Phantogram, and singer-rapper-flautist Lizzo. Single day, two day, three day and VIP passes go on sale Tuesday morning. Ticket prices were not included in the lineup announcement. Continue reading

After Capitol Hill Block Party 2019, city to ‘assess the viability of this event in this neighborhood’

(Image: Capitol Hill Block Party)

Seattle City Hall is asking the Capitol Hill Block Party to clean up its act on its edges and will be conducting its own round of outreach to neighboring businesses and Pike/Pine residents “in order to better gather feedback on benefits and impacts” from the annual summer music festival “and other major Capitol Hill events,” city officials tell CHS.

Don’t expect there to be any financial mitigation. And there is zero chance the city will cancel permits for the 2019 event. But 2020 — and beyond — is another question.

“It is clear the Capitol Hill Block Party is economically beneficial to some Capitol Hill businesses, and culturally beneficial to the Capitol Hill neighborhood and Seattle,” Chris Swenson, who leads the city’s Special Events planning process, said in a statement sent to CHS. “It is also clear through feedback from Capitol Hill businesses and residents that the Capitol Hill Block Party is negatively economically impactful to other businesses and residents, and presents significant access and operations impacts to neighborhood businesses and residents.”

“The City and Committee take these impacts very seriously,” Swenson added.

For the 2019 Block Party, the city is requiring Block Party producers to make “several physical immediate improvements” including “streamlining access for employees and residents in and around the event perimeter” and “adjusting placement of portapotties and other operational elements to be less impactful to businesses and residents.” It will also require security staffing to be trained “to better support business and residential access.”

But in a message to neighborhood stakeholders sent Thursday, the city says for 2020 and beyond, it plans to consider larger changes to the festival including an effort to “assess the viability of this event in this neighborhood.” Continue reading

Should city help cover community costs of Capitol Hill Block Party weekend? — UPDATE

A group of “residents, property owners and business owners in Pike/Pine” is asking questions about the annual Capitol Hill Block Party music festival in a survey being sent around the neighborhood.

The goal, an organizer says, isn’t to cancel Block Party — but the group does want to do a better job of documenting the challenges the neighborhood around the festival sometimes faces so that the city can better plan the event and how to mitigate major issues.

“In order to start that work towards adequate mitigation, Seattle Office of Film, Music, and Special Events along with Dept. of Neighborhoods and Office of Economic Development asked if we could circulate a survey in order to get more detailed info on the types of barriers businesses, residents, employees, and property owners face over block party weekend,” local jewelry designer and project architect Rachel Ravitch, organizer of the survey, tells CHS.

You can answer the two-question, open-ended questionnaire here through December 15th. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Capitol Hill Block Party 2018

Pike/Pine again swelled with thousands of music fans over the weekend for the annual Capitol Hill Block Party, one of the few music events in the world to turn a few city blocks into a fully-produced, lights + music + sound, big ticket musical festival. The 22nd year for the festival in its modern incarnation, the 2018 event was expected to again draw around 10,000 attendees per day. Gorgeously warm summer weather likely helped the gate. Some logistical issues with ticketing on day one did not. But barring a few cancelations and schedule changes, the rest of the event seemed to go smoothly. And even the loss of one repeat Block Party cancelation offender couldn’t dampen the mood — the loss of one big act opened the way for local talent Sam Lachow to take the main stage at Pike and Broadway with only a few hours notice Friday night. When you hold your event in the middle of one of the densest parts of a growing metropolis, the city’s talents are conveniently close at hand.

More pictures from CHS’s visit to CHBP 2018 are below. Thanks to photographers Nick Turner and Lisa Hagen Glynn for the shots. All other images are courtesy the Block Party. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Alley Party 2018? Benefit for immigrant rights will extend music fest enthusiasm into activated backstreet

In a creative fundraising opportunity, E Pike’s Capitol Cider will use the alleyway west of Broadway between Pine and Pike to celebrate multiculturalism and raise money for the Northwest Immigration Rights Project (NWIRP) during the Capitol Hill Block Party, which takes place from Friday, July 20th to Sunday, July 22nd.

“A lot of us here at Capitol Cider are upset about the current situation regarding immigration and asylum seekers,” Julie Tall, the owner of Capitol Cider, tells CHS.

Capitol Cider has decided to mobilize their resources in Capitol Hill to support the rights of immigrants as the cider bar continues its annual tradition of embracing the activity around the outdoor music festival to throw a celebration of its own. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Block Party announces full 2018 lineup including new ‘psychedelic’ headliner

(Image: Jim Bennett/CHBP)

The Capitol Hill Block Party has announced its full slate of 100+ acts for the music festival that fills E Pike every July. Included in the update is a new headliner to close down the 2018 edition of the event with a Sunday night of psychedelic rock.

New Zealand’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra leads the roster of new names added Wednesday to the 2018 CHBP lineup. Producers also announced some of the plans for adjoining fun at this year’s festival including DJ sets, “activation” of the Chophouse Row development on the edge of the festival’s footprint, and “wellness programs” like morning yoga and workout classes. Continue reading

Diplo, Run the Jewels, and 21 years on E Pike: Capitol Hill Block Party announces 2017 lineup

Neumos, the Pike/Pine club behind the annual music Capitol Hill Block Party, is already celebrating this week with a Wednesday grand re-opening marking its new sound, new lights, and new bar. Tuesday morning, owner Jason Lajeunesse once again returned to Seattle’s KEXP to announce the lineup for the 2017 edition of CHBP, the event’s 21st year as a major music festival.

Slated for the weekend of July 21st to 23rd this year, here are the headliners for 2017, Lajeunesse’s 11th year with the event: 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

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

Capitol Hill Block Party 2016: More sun outside, more neighborhood stuff outside the fences

The crowd during a sunny CHBP 2014. (Image: Jim Bennett/CHBP with permission to CHS)

CHBP-GuideMap-2016Capitol Hill Block Party has expanded its inside offerings for 2016 — an indoor panel discussion at Grims kicks off the festival Friday followed by a slate of indoor shows — but unlike last year, the sun will be shining on the streets of Pike/Pine.

With temperatures reaching the mid 70s through the weekend, this year’s forecast looks ideal for three full days of outdoor music. Nobody is likely happier than Block Party producer Jason Lajeunesse, who recently told his only regrets in 10 years of putting on CHBP were the times it rained. Continue reading