Capitol Hill Block Party (CHBP) started as a tiny one-day concert in 1997. The festival’s founder Jen Gapay started the event after she was shunned by the “corporate nature” of festivals like Bumbershoot, Gapay told the Seattle Met. The festival has grown from a simple single stage setup into a bonified Northwest music festival destination. CHBP now has a regular attendance of 30,000 people that scour the Capitol Hill Block Party festival grounds that feature five stages, and an entire neighborhood of restaurants, food trucks, coffee shops, and amazing vibes.
CHBP isn’t like any other festival in the state. Many festivals like Summer Meltdown and Paradiso are hosted in scenic amphitheaters that are hours from major metropolitan areas. CHBP takes the opposite approach and thrives in center of Capitol Hill, one of Seattle’s happiest neighborhoods. Instead of scenes filled hills, trees, and dust, CHBP is a packed city corridor with people spilling out from bars and restaurants, people partying in the streets, apartment dwellers hanging off of their balconies over the streets, shooting eager sunburnt festival goers with Super Soakers while sipping out of red cups.
Last year’s lineup featured artists such as Danny Brown, Diplo, Run The Jewels, Grynch, Bad Tenants and Nick Weaver. This year’s lineup features another well-rounded lineup of superstars and local talent. There’s a bevy of exciting artists in 2018’s lineup that are sure to have memorable performances. Father John Misty is one of those artists, he’s a soulful singer/songwriter with an indy blues-rock sound and hypnotizing vocal range.
Chet Porter is stationed in Toronto, Canada and makes bubbly electronic music that puts smiles on faces and movement in hips. Porter has toured with artists like Odezza and Big Wild all over North America and by his own admission makes “music to pet dogs too.”
BROCKHAMPTON might be the most interesting collective of artists on the bill. This group was founded by Kevin Abstract and features 13 other members who’re comprised of DJ’s, MC’s, band members photographers, videographers, and graphic designers. Together they’re a self-sustained media machine that makes independent hip-hop with a heavy emphasis on instrumentals and interesting alternative sounds. This isn’t your average boy band, they’re cooler, funkier, darker, and dirtier. In my book, that means they’re much more fun.
Cashmere Cat is a Norwegian producer that has worked with Kanye West, Ariana Grande and The Weekend. His productions have landed him work with today’s biggest artists but has carved out his own niche of musical style while touring that isn’t just regular club-hop or pop music. He has a massive worldwide following and stands alone as a true headliner.
La Fonda is new on the scene but they’re already making waves in the indie-pop scene. This band is lead by two sisters, Veronica and Valerie Topacio. They’re joined by Bryan Dever, Jesse Cole, and Patrick Hodge on the bass, guitar, and keys/synth respectively. La Fonda is defined by the sister’s beautiful harmonies and catchy lyrics and supported by a smooth alt-rock guitar sounds, deep baselines and Beach Boys-esque vibe with a dash of Seattle grunge. There sound is made for live performance, and they crushed it at last weekend’s Hoopfest Kickoff Concert.
A man who simply needs no introduction. DJ Hanzel A.K.A Dillon Francis is an unquestioned fan favorite for making moombahton a mainstream dance music style, throwing down insane live sets and entertaining millions of social media followers with his silly and comedic characters, skits and videos. If you only go see one artist all weekend, I’d have a hard time arguing against Dillon Francis.
Sol is a legit world traveler and purveyor of dream chasing and life living. The Seattle native MC has never shied away from lyrics that stir the restless artist inside of us all. Lyrics about doing what you want instead of doing what you should. And living a life that’s centered around a heavy influx of memories and experiences, while putting less attention on money and possessions. Sol recorded his first album “Yours Truly” in 2012 and it allowed him to travel the world with nothing but a carry-on bag which evolved his sound and inspired him to record the follow up “Eyes Wide Open” EP. Sol takes common themes and delivers them in his own smooth and seductive style that parrots the truths of his human experience.
Two Feet is my sleeper artist for this year’s festival. Two Feet has an unmistakable style that is definitely dance music, but it has blues, soul, and jazz influences that are incredibly emotional. His music might move your soul as much as it moves your body.
Food is a vital part of the human experience, satisfying hunger is at the root of human survival and evolution. Is there any better way to spend time than bonding with friends over a good meal? At CHBP there are just as many options to satiate your tastebuds as there are your auditory obsessions. CHBP partners with Mighty O Donuts, Thai-U-Up, Wood Shop BBQ, and others to secure a food-truck-court.
On top of that, you’re surrounded by some of the best food Seattle has to offer, Capitol Hill is a beacon for worthwhile cuisine. If you’re into classy establishments, check out Capitol Hill Cider on the corner of Pike and Main, close to the Starbucks, just outside the festival’s border. It has a 1920’s speakeasy vibe and one of the largest selections of hard ciders in the state. Their food offerings are wholesome, filling and nutritious to balance out all of the sugar and alcohol from the cider.
If you’re looking to get in and out quick, try Ian’s Pizza On The Hill. Located on Broadway across from the Cal Anderson Park. You can usually get in and out of this joint with a slice or two with no hassle, perfect for fueling up pre or post festival if you’re not into lines.
Lost Lakes Cafe & Lounge will probably have a line, but it’s worth the wait if you’re the patient type. Classic diner and American fair that is made with the quality that Seattle cuisine is known for.
In the heart of the chaos rests the recipe for some of the crispiest fried chicken and weirdest comfort food in the state. Bok-a-Bok fried chicken is located directly next to Neumos concert house. If you want the Bok-a-Bok fat-kid pro tip. You order the three-piece chicken strips and two biscuits. You make two chicken-biscuit sandwiches covered in spicy honey and wash them down with the remaining strip that is drenched in barbeque sauce. Then you go about your festival adventure satisfied of mind and spirit, ready to dance your ass off.
There are over 25 restaurants, bars, and shops to get food and beverages from, a large retailer presence to fill your closest with new gears like BAIT and ROVE, and other services like barbers, salons, and spas. CHBP is your one-stop destination for music, food, drink, revelry, spirits, and fun come July 20 through July 22.
2018 Capitol Hill Block Party Festival Info
All Ages | July 20-22 | Main Entrance: East Pike Street and 12th Ave | Second Entrance by Oddfellows Hall | Three day VIP pass: $300.00 | Single day VIP pass: $125.00 | Three-day tickets: $155.00 | Two-day tickets: $110.00 | Single day ticket: $65.00