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OP-ED: Is the Capitol Hill Block Party lineup disappointing?

Capitol Hill Block Party just announced its lineup last Monday, March 5. Immediately, their Instagram post had comments of people expressing their disappointment in this year’s featured artists list.  “Here I thought the music scene would be better compared to my hometown in Utah… sad that Kilby court block party in Utah blows this disappointing lineup out the water 😒 3rd time in a row,” says user @gregstatuss, followed by other users agreeing with their statement. @andrewrichards reminisces about the city’s music scene, saying, “Seattle has one of the worst music scenes in the country right now.” 

Seattle’s The Needling, the city’s popular source of parody fake news, followed with an article titled “Scientists Discover Aging Reversible After Local 38-Year-Old Recognizes More Than 3 Names on CHBP Lineup,” which seemed to align with what locals currently have in mind about the festival. 

Sophia Bruscato | The Seattle Collegian 2023 Edition of Capitol Hill Block Party

Music festivals date back to Ancient Greece, specifically the “Pythian Games, a precursor of the Olympics, which was held from the late sixth century BC at the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi,” according to History Extra. Apart from a celebration of beauty and music competitions, festivals have been a place of community, where those who enjoy similar music gather together. Thousands of years later, festivals became a huge industry that–like any industry in the modern Western world–moves millions of dollars each year. What people seem to forget is that such events are a great way to discover new artists and expand musical taste, too.

Last year, I attended the last day of CHBP. Like many others, I didn’t know a single name in the day’s lineup. I remember getting bored at the festival’s main stage performance, where hundreds of people gathered. I decided to walk around instead, feeling isolated since I wasn’t enjoying the music. That’s when I heard this indie-rock-sounding song coming from a different stage, and right as I walked past it, I heard the line “I put that blame on you” sung over and over again, which at that moment pierced through my heart and grasped my full attention. I stood closer to the stage and felt the relief of listening to music that spoke to me. 

Sophia Bruscato | The Seattle Collegian Jadu Heart performs at CHBP 2023

When the song was over, I asked a stranger who the performers were, and she pulled up her phone and searched for the day’s lineup, pointing at the duo’s name. That let me know she also didn’t know who they were, but the look on her face told me she was enjoying it as much as I was. I wrote down their name and the line of the song I liked, “Blame,”and listened to it over and over once I was home. British Electronic Music Duo, Jadu Heart, now occupies my Spotify playlists and what I listen to daily. That single moment made the whole festival worthwhile, and even precious to me, making up for the fact that I was clueless about who was playing that year. 

Sophia Bruscato | The Seattle Collegian Food trucks & festival-goers in Capitol Hill, 2023

At $235 for the 3-day General Admission ticket, I understand wanting to be excited about at least some of the names featured in this year’s CHBP. Unlike the 38-year-old from The Needling’s article, I only recognize one name, Chappell Roan, whom I became acquainted with through one of The Collegian’s articles from last year, titled “Chappell Roan celebrates Queerness at Sold Out Showbox performance.” So, let us briefly find out who some of the other artists are:

Kaytranada is a Canadian DJ, rapper, and music producer who won two Grammy Awards for his latest album, “Bubba,” including Best Dance/Electronic Album in 2019.

Kim Petras is a German singer-songwriter whose several singles have charted on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Songs chart. In 2023, Petras was the first openly transgender solo artist to win a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. 

Sophia Bruscato | The Seattle Collegian Festival attendees gather around Jimi Hendrix’s statue on Broadway, 2023

Still Woozy, an American singer-songwriter, started his career with the alternative rock band Feed Me Jack in 2011 and has since released a solo album, an EP, and several singles. According to him, his first single, “Vacation,” takes that title because of the artist’s “spaced-out” nature. He also released the song “Anyone But You” for last year’s movie of the same name, which featured Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell. 

Cannons is an American Indie Pop band whose song “Fire For You” reached number one on Billboard’s Alternative Airplay chart in early 2021. Their latest album, “Heartbeat Highway,” was released in late 2023. 

Elderbrook, an English electronic musician, began his career in 2015 with his first EP, including the song “How Many Times.” Later, German duo Andhim remixed it, making it one of Mixmag’s best songs of the year. In 2018, his song “Cola” was nominated for Best Dance Song at the Grammy Awards. 

Sophia Bruscato | The Seattle Collegian People gather at Cal Anderson Park after performances, 2023

Cobrah is a Swedish rapper and songwriter who describes her work as “goth, queer, scandi realness.” Her latest EP, “Succubus,” was released in late 2023, a day after she announced a two-week tour across North America, which started on February 22, 2024.

That is to say, there is a lot of talent featured in this year’s edition of the festival, with something for everyone to discover. 

Sophia Bruscato | The Seattle Collegian Me and my partner at CHBP, 2023

During this year’s Super Bowl season, I came across a humorous Tweet expressing that the user had no clue about football but hoped “both teams have fun and are themselves.” Later that week, while driving on I-5 with my partner, he asked me something about driving (which I don’t do), to which I quoted the tweet by saying I hoped everyone on the road had fun and were themselves. Jokes aside, that is my mindset for many things in life, including this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party, happening on July 19 through 21.

Author

Content Editor at Seattle Collegian

Sophia is an internationally published author with her book Primeira Pessoa, as well as a young classical singer. Born and raised in Brazil, music, writing, and Astronomy are her greatest passions. She believes the greatest role of a writer is to bring forth the truth, the honesty, and the humanity that echoes within each one of us. Journalism, while Art, is for her a portrait of the fraternity of the Earth. At the moment, she works for both The Seattle Collegian and the M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery, while completing her AA degree with a focus on Anthropology & English.

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