Capitol Hill Block Party 2015: A Diva Survival Guide! Get ready for the hoards of youngsters to take over the Hill, see a shit ton of great bands, buy goods by our local peeps, and it is a general good time! This is your Capitol Hill Block Party 2015 Guide by the Divas. Just saying this is not our first time to a street show!
Capitol Hill Block Party is this weekend. Team Diva HQ is smack in the middle of it, and we are watching the preparations as we run in and out of the office. Four outdoor stages with hot local and international musicians, three beer gardens, a bevy of food carts and merchant vendors, plus art installations will bring huge crowds to the East Pike/Pine Corridor between Broadway and 12th Avenue.
It can be overwhelming, and if you are a recent transplant you may not know just how much it impacts the neighborhood. For instance, if you use street parking, do not expect to park anywhere near the festivities Friday through Sunday. You can see from the map below that quite a few businesses are within the party, which means you have to have a ticket to get to them.
If you are planning on attending, we have some tips and recommendations. Usual festival tips apply, but because it’s a dense urban village, it’s quite different than heading out to The Gorge. It’s more convenient in some ways, less so in others.
Food and Drink
You can bring outside, non-alcoholic beverages if they are still sealed, and you are definitely going to need a bottle of water (or two), so just make sure it’s in a plastic bottle and you’ll be good to go. As for food, there is a whole cluster of food vendors around Poquitos and Havana in a parking lot on Pike between 10th and 11th, plus tons of other restaurants in and outside the festival area. We adore the cool, casual vibe of Cafe Pettirosso at 11th and Pike (1101 E Pike St). Great coffee, beautiful pastries, a delish bistro menu and a cool craft cocktail bar make it a perfect spot for dates and meetings year-round, and its little outdoor patio makes it especially lovely in fairer weather. It’s right near the Vera Stage, which will be presenting a lot of young and local acts.
The merch booth for the block party will be near the main entrance by 11th Avenue. One of our favorite locals and owner of gift shop and boutique Retail Therapy, Wazhma Samizay, will be co-sponsoring the booth. We have gotten a peek at some cool shirts from The Kills, Ratatat, Father John Misty and Jamie xx. There will also be some local-pride goodies for those who want to proudly wear the 206. Retail Therapy (905 E Pike St) will be open for part of the festival in case you also want to pop in and check out its selection of clothes and gifts. (That includes Tokyo Milk products to make you—or others—smell a little better when things get sweaty.)
Unlike festivals in more remote locales, you don’t need to rely on porta-johns. Just be a good customer; buy something before you make a deposit. Some spaces are 21+ only, so younger attendees will have fewer options, within the festival area. Just a word of advice to those provisioning and making a pit stop at the nearby QFC: The public restroom there is frequently out of order or locked up, so have a Plan B.
There are so many great acts this year, and we are really cheering for the locals. Shabazz Palaces owns the mainstage from 5:15 to 6 PM on Friday. At 7 PM, locals Slow Bird play ambient indie rock, at Neumos. Head back to the mainstage for Jamie xx at 7:45. Get some food, have a breather, but don’t call it an early night. You still have to check out Thunderpussy, who will rock the stage at Neumos at 11:15 PM.
Saturday, a lot of big acts hit the main stage, including The Kills and Ivan & Alyosha. Local rockers Smokey Brights take the Vera Stage in the afternoon, and emerging Seattle electronica producer Zoolab plays Neumos in the evening. Sunday, get started early with the jazzy fusion of Industrial Revelation at 2 PM on the Vera Stage. The evening gets busy with a set from crazy girl rock Chastity Belt at 6 PM, also on the Vera Stage, while later on the main stage is closed out with sets by Father John Misty and Ratatat.
Check out the full schedule on the CHBP website.
The fun of these festivals is largely in being exposed to lots of music, much of which may be new to you. We hope you attendees have a wild, enjoyable and safe time in the heart of Seattle’s music scene and Seattle’s biggest urban village. Get your tickets. Cheers!