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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Memo to the Block Party Staff

posted by on July 26 at 16:39 PM

Last night, standing outside Quinn’s, which isn’t that close to the stage, I was lifted off my feet. I’m not being poetic. And I’m not light—six-foot-five, 215 lbs. I lost touch with the sidewalk and was floating on the sea of humanity. I wasn’t trying to lose the asphalt, it just happened, because there were so many people jammed in there. There was a lot of feeling going on.

RSS icon Comments

1

I saw a security guy who was id'ing people to get into the beer tent (and later working inside Neumo's)..ugly, bearded tattoo'd guy...he took down a guy with a broken arm in front of vita and punched him at least 10 times in the face...the guy who was being assaulted was not being violent...this security guy should be arrested!

Posted by mike | July 26, 2008 5:40 PM
2

how bout the collapsed fence during girl talk? laaaame. demf is waaaay better, and you can drink amongst the entire crowd, not walled off like a bunch of guantanamo prisoners.

Posted by mike2 | July 26, 2008 6:30 PM
3

i saw a security guard pick someone up and literally throw them over the fence during girl talk

Posted by mike3 | July 26, 2008 6:53 PM
4

That kid (the one who prompted the singer to say to the crowd after the song something like "any of you people scowling during that, I don't even want to talk to you") who was up dancing on stage during Mika Miko on the Vera Stage was also thrown out by an idiot security guard - rather aggressively.

Posted by mike4 | July 26, 2008 7:03 PM
5

mike3:

shit, i saw that too. there were a bunch of idiots trying to get their asses beat on the beer garden side, including one tall brunette chick, kinda fugly, who thought it was hilarious to hipcheck people and punch them in the face.

good times.

Posted by mike2 | July 26, 2008 7:13 PM
6

Note to the Block Party staff and also The Stranger staff: Stop letting all the UW frat kids inside the block party. They are now turning the (once was a) good time into a bad time...

Posted by Amnesiac79 | July 27, 2008 12:33 AM
7

Oh, I was just making that up. If you actually saw something like that happen call the police

Posted by mike3 | July 27, 2008 1:36 AM
8

The party was WAY over capacity this year - or at least it felt like it when trying to navigate through the mainstage area, which reached beyond critical mass. People were standing in areas that should have been thoroughfares to get from, say, King Cobra to the Cha Cha.

I suggest a move of the mainstage to Cal Anderson park or a large area nearby that can accomodate the minions OR move the beer garden a block away from the current mainstage location.

Bottom line: the staging of this event needs to expand and be rethought to reflect the ever-growing popularity, which inevitably will do well again next year. But tempers were seriously flaring, lots of shoving and pushing to get through the crowds increased, all of which provided an unfortunate buzzkill to many of us.

Posted by suggestionsfor2009CHBP | July 27, 2008 11:24 AM
9

I wanted to get into the afterparty at Neumos last night and wasn't able to do so. Security was stopping people who didn't have a wrist band. I wasn't getting the urge to drink while I was checking out Man Plus and Fleet Foxes (both fantastic bands, BTW). I then had to get to Key Arena to check out Nine Inch Nails. By the time I got back to Capitol Hill, the beer tent was closed...thus, no wrist band. Why can't drink venues like Neumos tell Security to check IDs like any regular club after the beer tents are closed? I had to take my beer drinking urge (and $$$ that would've gone to Neumos) somewhere else.

Posted by Grrr | July 27, 2008 11:32 AM
10

@9--those were totally the highlight bands of my block party experience. totally different sounds and energy, but i think they were the best bands i saw this weekend.

Posted by dego | July 27, 2008 11:40 AM
11

The whole thing really sucked this year, it was way way way too overcrowded, it was almost impossible to move from one venue to another. Too many people pissed off, too much anger and violence. I'm into music, not this kind of bullshit. It's just pure greed on the part of the promotors, overselling this event the way they did. Definitely won't be going next year.

Posted by rk | July 27, 2008 12:16 PM
12

#8 & 11: I agree about the overcrowding crush of angry and drunken people. People were assholes on Friday. Don't know what was in the air. It was really unpleasant. If the layout stays the same I will not go next year. I thought it was bad last year. This year was worse. Too many people. Too difficult to navigate. I've been going for 5-6 years now and agree that the line up keeps getting better, but this year was really challenging. The word "buzzkill" totally summed it up. The organizers need to go back to the drawing board for the location of stages. Moving from one stage to another was impossible after the intersection filled. We missed many of the bands we wanted to see as a result. Bummer.

Posted by BDFS | July 27, 2008 5:13 PM
13

Not to be a dick because anything bad is bad to happen at a festival (which I normally avoid like the plague) but all the shows I was at were filled to capacity with really nice people having a wonderful time. I have the feeling the more popular shows draw the assholes, just because of the statistical leverage for that. And what are you going to do then? I saw two fights mid-afternoon on Friday on the Ave and on Broadway long before I ever got to the BP. I was actually surprised how well everything went; but again, I didn't spend too much time watching the more mainstream bands.

Posted by Chris Estey | July 28, 2008 7:41 AM
14

hmmm, i would eat more bread or something. CARBS!!!!

Posted by emily | July 28, 2008 10:44 AM
15

@6:

That is discrimination. You should be ashamed of yourself. Just because you don't like a certain small and annoying segment of the community doesn't mean that you get to impose your views on all.

Thoughtless bitch.

Posted by AdamOnAlki | July 28, 2008 1:44 PM
16

Glad others think it was an overcrowded mess as well. I had the same experience outside Quinn's on Friday night, and had a couple of otherwise nonviolent friends ready to throw punches in defense. NOT what I signed up for.

Posted by numbersix | July 28, 2008 6:47 PM
17

i was up from portland for friday night, and had an excellent time overall.

at one point, i had become separated from the group i came up with, and was making my way back to where they were. i started from the main entrance and was trying to get to cafe vita.

i progressed along the edge of the crowd without much incident, until i reached the corner directly opposite the stage. barricades had been erected on the outer edge of the sidewalk, to maintain a thoroughfare through the area, but people had started to gather inside of it. Right as I got to the apex of the corner, the crowd reached total gridlock.

after a few awkward seconds, something in my head clicked, and i reached out to someone heading toward me. grabbing their hand, i pulled them through, and helped them move on. the crowd started to make progress moving back and forth. i remained there, doing this vigilante, amateur crowd control for almost the entirety of vampire weekend's set.

the only actual staff in the area was a very nice man trying to do his best to keep people moving. he had 3 major problems:

he did not prevent people from watching the show inside his barricade;

he was unable to effectively gauge the overall situation because he was stuck on one side of the corner, and his efforts there didn't reach the other side;

and although he was in arguably the most crucial crowd control position, he was not given a radio.

my friends eventually showed up in the mob, and i stuck around for another 10 minutes or so after that until it had calmed down a bit.

most seattleites i "met" during my stay in the corner were totally awesome and just trying to make their way to where they needed to be. one guy got offended that i touched him on the shoulder and threatened to kick my ass.

Posted by dreww | July 30, 2008 6:22 AM

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