Music Revival in the Historic District of Seattle: Upstream Music Fest

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Inaugural Upstream Music Fest + Summit brings music of all genres to Pioneer Square. The three-day celebration closes with 390+ Live Shows and draws over 30,000 attendees. 

Attendees had a glimpse of sunshine during the final day of Paul Allen’s Upstream Music Fest + Summit as thousands strolled through the streets of Pioneer Square gravitating to their favorite music genre.

The inaugural Fest and Summit featured keynotes like Macklemore, Quincy Jones, Dr. Portia Sabin, and Ron Jones. The first-year Fest + Summit saw strong attendance with more than 30,000 attendees throughout the weekend. An estimated 5,000 more people attended the free shows programmed by KEXP in Occidental Park, engaged with the seven art installations throughout the festival footprint, and savored the tastes of the Pacific Northwest in the food and beer garden.

“It has always been our mission to create a festival that would shine a light on the amazing sound of the Pacific Northwest. We couldn’t be happier that the first year of Upstream brought together so many members of the music community and music lovers from around the region,” said Jeff Vetting, executive director, Upstream Music Fest + Summit.”

Mainstage shows at CenturyLink featured Deep Sea Diver, Beat Connection, AlunaGeorge, Flying Lotus, Snarky Puppy, Jay Park, Dinosaur Jr. and Shabazz Palaces. Even with suboptimal weather, the festival had impressive crowds scattered throughout Pioneer Square with some venues lines out the door.

Seattle’s own, Solomon Samuel “Raz” Simone hit the stage at STAGE on the final day with a packed house and huge lines out the door. Raz Simone owned a club by the age of 19, and founded a music company called Black Umbrella. His lyrics are deep, genuine, and unfiltered. Raz has collaborated recently with Korean Hip-hop musician Jay Park with producer Cha Cha Malone in their global label will be called H1GHR MUSIC RECORDS.

Crowd favorites also included local Korean star Jay Park, a hip-hop artist from Edmonds, Washington Star Anna, Thunderpussy and The Thermals who performed to full houses at the Mike McCready and Hockeytalkter Stage at Comedy Underground. 

The festival closed out with a performance by Seattle hip-hop favorite Shabazz Palaces at the main stage next to CenturyLink Field.

All-in-all, great start for Upstream Music Fest + Summit even with the unwelcoming weather the attendees had to endure throughout the festival. Paul Allen’s vision to be the SXSW of the West is still year’s away, but we’re not going to count Seattle out quite yet. To compare SXSW only saw 700 registrants in 1987 to now over 51,000 registrants to Austin every year.    

Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 9.10.35 AM Fans in the stand / EatSeattle
Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 9.12.24 AMJay Park / EatSeattle
Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 8.53.48 AMJay Park fans / EatSeattle
Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 3.11.49 PMJay Park / EatSeattle
3Q6A8234Jay Park / EatSeattle
3Q6A8185Main Stage / EatSeattle
3Q6A8242Upstream Pyramid Art / EatSeattle
METZ Fuel Sunny MartiniMETZ / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
Black Stax_House Of Sparkling Ice at the Buttnick Building_ Sunny MartiniBlack Stax / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
Naomi Wachira Buttnick Building 1st _ Sunny MartiniNaomi Wachira / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
Astro King Phoenix_Kraken Congee_Sunny MartiniAstro King Phoenix / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
NAVVI_Zocalo_Sunny MartiniNAVVI / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
Dinosaur Jr_Main Stage_David Conger (3)Dinosaur Jr / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
Dinosaur Jr Main Stage David CongerDinosaur Jr / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
Dinosaur Jr Main StageDinosaur Jr / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
Aaron Jones and the Way Galvanize David CongerAaron Jones and the Way / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
Aaron Jones and the Way_ Galvanize_David CongerAaron Jones and the Way / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
Wimps_Axis_DavidCongerWimps / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
IMG_5935.JPG Raz Simone / EatSeattle
IMG_5932.JPGRaz Simone / EatSeattle
Warm Gun_Smith Tower_Rafy OchoaWarm Gun / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
TELLERS JM David CongerTellers JM / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
Kuinka Flat Stick David CongerKuinka / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
Shabazz David CongerShabazz / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
INGS_Court In The Square_David CongerINGS / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
Thunderpussy_Occidental_Park_David CongerThunderpussy / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
Thunderpussy_Occidental Park_David CongerThunderpussy / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit
Thunderpussy_Occidental_Park_SunnyMartiniThunderpussy / Courtesy of Upstream Fest + Summit

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About Upstream Music Fest + Summit:
Upstream Music Fest + Summit is a three-day festival and industry summit celebrating the emerging sound and culture of the Northwest. Founded by philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, the music festival includes intimate performances and unique collaborations across 25 venues around Pioneer Square and at the Main Stage in CenturyLink Field’s North Plaza. The two-day industry summit gathers artists, influencers and industry experts at WaMu Theater for keynotes and breakout sessions exploring the new music economy. Upstream offers a unique experience that fosters and supports artists at every level of their career, while offering music lovers a weekend of showcases from the Northwest and beyond.

Written by Charles

Charles Koh founded EatSeattle, and has continued to use his expertise as editor-in-chief to guide the website’s growth over the last five years. Koh’s experience focuses on digital marketing and social media, and has been a part of several companies, some of which he created, specializing in both areas over the course of his career. Koh was previously with Google and Zagat where he helped expand and grow communities worldwide.

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