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The Capitol Hill Block Party Experience: 2016 Review

Capitol Hill Block Party brings together hundreds of artists, vendors, staff, and attendees each year for three days filled with bliss and excitement, good friends, fantastic food, and unbelievable music. This year was no exception. What we remember each time varies from year-to-year, person-to person. The moments we experienced this year will surely tide us over until next Block Party.

We highly recommend Capitol Hill Block Party, and for returning veterans, new attendees, and all those who missed Capitol Hill Block Party this year, we share our experience with a vibrant picture of what transpired this year within six blocks of Capitol Hill.

The Festival

The challenges of orchestrating a music festival are never more clear than when it’s crammed into a 3 block radius. All the intricate details that enable or prevent a smooth-running system are laid bare. Noise pollution between stages, grouping artists by genre and popularity, and making sure there is enough space to accommodate attendees, staff, and media.

CHBP did an excellent job of preventing noise pollution with the position of their stages this year. Artist grouping was spot on, and traveling between stages, beer gardens, and bathrooms was fairly easy throughout the day. In a festival that continues to grow (despite its grounds remaining the same), we commend the CHBP organizers for managing to keep things mostly stress-free.

Entry points were easily accessible and lines were short. Security was thorough with their searches, but completed them quickly. There were lots of vendors this year as we walked in the gates, who in part help sponsor CHBP. It was slightly overwhelming being confronted by so much “sign-up for this,” “support that,” and “download this app” just a few short steps through the entry way. Plenty of rewards, treats, samples, and other nic-nacs were handed out after participating, but a little less next year maybe.
chbp 2016

The Crowd

As the sun set, and the night drew in larger artists, more fans spilled into the stages. Positioning yourself at your stage of choice for the last two shows of the night was definitely key after sundown if you wanted good view. Though no matter where you are, people will try and push past you in a desperate dash to the front, until every last nook and cranny are filled 50 feet from the stage.

This was most prevalent during Seattle-native and favorite Odesza. The tidal wave of people leaving the stage afterwards was difficult to navigate, but the entirety of the show (set, production quality, atmosphere) made it all worth it in the end. Every year it becomes more true at CHBP: when the sun starts setting, post up wherever you can and don’t move. If you do, you’ll never see your spot again.

Standout Dance Acts

Three days is a long time and a lot of artists of all stripes and genres, but we felt a few truly stood out.

All around great set. Dancey, fun, good opener to the weekend to really get people moving. Gave the crowd what they wanted in ending with “Lean On’

Any time a DJ plays with a live band the results are usually great. This was no exception.

Rarely do you get a good dose of house at Block Party. Tourist was a great into-the-sunset performance, a stellar opportunity to just disappear in the beat and the crowd. There was enough room to dance, as well, which was great.

As always, our hometown heroes put out a set full of funky originals and remixes. The sheer number of fans made it a bit harder to enjoy, but it’s still always a treat to see our guys back home.

With a plethora of new, local, and headlining artists such as Odesza, MØ, Tourist, Emancipator, and CHVRCHES, this year’s Block Party was one we’ll not soon forget. Here’s to next year!

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Powered by coffee, music, and people. Originally from NH, I've relocated to beautiful Seattle, WA. So happy to be writing for you!

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