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Tuesday
Aug012017

Capitol Hill Block Party 2017: A Fresh Take 

Sometimes when you go to a festival year after year you get a bit jaded; you know the pace and exactly where to go for who you want to see (which is not a bad thing...) But, there is something about the feeling of not knowing what to expect; taking the time to figure things out and enjoying the initial moment when you walk through the gates that resonates with us all. I think we all chase that feeling of novelty at one point or another. So we decided to send fresh eyes to cover the festival to get a vantage point from a young and less experienced photo journalist who had never been to the Capitol Hill Block Party. We all envy this person…

 

Being a Capitol Hill Block Party virgin, as I entered the festival I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I had heard rumors of its wild and reckless nature, but it wasn’t until I walked through the gates that I realized the glory that is Block Party. Music and of course the "faint" smell of weed and sweat filled the air. Immediately, I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore!

This siren of a three-day festival erects in the heart of Seattle and it's the best kind of pandemonium. Seattleites from all walks of life congregate in the streets of Capitol Hill, forget all their worries, and let loose to the rhythm of fantastic live music.

From the start, the mainstage was an absolute party. Performances from Danny Brown, Snakehips, and Angel Olsen kept the crowd roaring. Onlookers enjoyed the show from their third story apartment windows and seemed like angels when they tossed popsicles at overheated festival attendees below.

Even security was getting in on the fun, nodding along to the music and keeping the crowd cool between sets. My camera did take an unexpected shower - but hey, that buff hose-wielding security guy was just doing his job.

The Vera Stage kept things fresh, with appearances from the likes of Knowmads, Torres, and Perfume Genius. My favorite performance came from the fabulous Mykki Blanco. Her far from conventional 45 minute set kept the crowd bumping. Things got real when she tore off her wig, jumped offstage, and pranced around the crowd spitting rhymes and grinding on fans. As one does...

As the day progressed and the sun fell, tensions and expectations were higher than ever for the festival's headliner: a little DJ by the name of Diplo. The moment he took the stage, everyone’s inner party animal came out. The crowd turned into an absolute mosh pit. It was impossible not to join in on the party. I’d like to thank the kind fellow who helped me change lenses in the midst of the flailing bodies, I’d be lost without you man.

All in all, Capitol Hill Block party was pure fun, though I am thankful to have made it out in one piece. ‘Till next year!

 Words // Photo by Peter Sullivan

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