23rd Annual Capitol Hill Block Party— The Best Event of the Summer


While the streets of Capitol Hill are usually busy during summer, they were noticeably packed July 19-21.

Situated just a few blocks from Seattle University’s campus, the annual Block Party serves as the most exciting mid-summer event for those hanging around Seattle all summer.

In its 23rd year, Capitol Hill Block Party took to the streets to deliver a variety of musical performances that captivated the neighborhood for the weekend. Beginning in 1997 as just a one-day event with only one stage, the festival has grown tremendously—adding acclaimed acts such as Lizzo and RL Grime this year among the already recognizable list of Macklemore, MGMT, and Atmosphere.

Friday was highlighted by Mitski and Phantogram who overtook the main stage to deliver memorable performances. Mitski’s seemingly simple routine—involving just a chair and table as props—proved to be captivating as she elegantly moved across the stage.

After playing her biggest hit, Mitski urged fans to go see other sets if that’s what they needed to do. She was answered by thousands of fans staying right where they were—there to see her.

Fans waiting between sets were rewarded with a flurry of otter pops being flung from the buildings lining the stage. Those that didn’t catch one to cool off, they were hit with spraying jets of water in the meantime.

The streets were—unsurprisingly—overflowing on Saturday, with everyone in attendance patiently anticipating Lizzo, arguably the most desired act of the weekend. Snakehips warmed up the stage, blasting a variety of hits from “All My Friends” to “Don’t Leave.”

Lizzo put on a performance to remember.

“Y’all been waiting for this?” She asked the sea of people. Her hits have been playing in Seattle shops all summer long, and festival-goers finally got the chance to hear the music live. So yes, everyone had been waiting for this and sang along enthusiastically with her self-confidence inspiring songs.

Among the plethora of musical acts, the side street of food trucks neatly tucked away under hanging lights proved to be a nice getaway for anyone thirsty, hungry, or just needing a place to sit. Choices ranged from the classic bubble tea to mac and cheese dumplings to the ever-so-popular Seattle dogs.

On the final day of Block Party, Aminé and RL Grime closed out the festival. StrFcker entertained the main stage for those waiting, notably covering the well-known “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” while throwing blow up dolls into the lively crowd. Aminé’s set was highlighted by his song “Caroline” and set the mood for the rest of the crowd staying for RL Grime.

The beer garden was also pumping music throughout the weekend. And for those not wanting the night to end, Neumos and Barboza hosted performances late into the night.

While Capitol Hill Block Party has added big names to its lineup every year, one of the most notable aspects of the event is its inclusion of local talent. Pacific Northwest artists had the chance to perform as well, most occupying the Vera stage.

Capitol Hill Block Party offers the perfect reason to come back to Seattle mid-summer. For those staying nearby, there’s no excuse not to attend the summer’s hottest party.