We’ve been waiting all summer for this year’s Dirtybird BBQ to come around, and now that it’s passed, we’re right back to counting down til next time. This year’s venue was a huge upgrade over last year’s, taking place at the Broad Street Garden at Seattle Center. There was plenty of grass to lounge on, trees and canopies to provide shade, and the perfect dose of sunshine.
It was a toasty 83 degrees when we ventured to the barbecue, but we were more than pleased at the quick line to get in, and a free bottle of water in our hand upon entry. Sadly, there were no water refill stations, which would have been a nice bonus. But every time we sought out a new free bottle of water, we found one without issue. With plenty of shade, free water, and plenty of room to take breaks, we were never overwhelmed by the weather which most Seattleites were calling “OMG so hot.”
Barbecue plates were $20 each, but gave you a variety of options from brisket to pulled pork or barbecued chicken, all with a drink, a choice of sides, and some with a cornbread muffin. We were pleasantly surprised by how many standing tables were available to us. Not having to sit on the grass and hunch over our saucy food awkwardly was a huge bonus.
We wrapped up our lunch and headed over to the carnival games where we tested our strength with the giant hammer and our precision with the water gun race. Every member of staff we encountered was in a good mood and happy to be there, but none were as stoked as the carnival booth staff. Yeah guys, we noticed!
Every piece of the day, from getting in, getting our food, finding a place to enjoy the show, or even grabbing a porta-potty was such an easy process. The only thing that really took any time was waiting in line for alcohol. And after a 10-minute wait, most people just wised up and bought two at once. If you didn’t have cash on you, you had to suffer the surcharge of the ATM or the extra-long credit card bar lines. If you had cash and a bit of patience, getting a drink was about what you’d expect at a show.
Now for the people who brought us all together: the artists. There was plenty going on at all times to complement the music, but never overshadowing it. Christian Martin and Kill Frenzy warmed things up as most people arrived and got settled in with their BBQ plates. Shiba San had us bouncing to the beat before Justin Martin took over to switch things up a bit and drop some Snoop Dogg & other old school hip-hop. Four solid acts before, Claude VonStroke, the King of Dirtybird, stepped up to the decks to guide us through the remainder of our Dirtybird journey for the day.
There wasn’t a bad set all day, and though we liked everything we saw, there’s something about house music that lets you enjoy it on a level that walks the line of background and foreground. What we mean is that we never had to interrupt a conversation with a friend to rage to a drop, but at the same time could pay adequate attention to the sets while relaxing on the grass. Basically, house is made for barbecues in the sun with your friends, and we feel grateful to have experienced it with a bunch of our favorite artists.
All in all, with a kickass venue, beautiful weather, a crowd full of good vibes, and an event staff having as much fun as the attendees, there’s no way we’ll miss another Dirtybird BBQ. Big ups to our friends at Upper Left Live for putting on such a smooth event. We had a great time and can’t wait to see you guys at Shadows — more info on that when we have it!
Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!