Folklife 2014 - Friday

Speak Out!

When communications theory philosopher Marshall Mcluhan wrote “the medium is the message,” he could very well have been referring to hip-hop.  MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching, break dancing and graffiti writing are more than just an art or a performance style.

6NtheMorning COVERDr. Daudi Abe, professor of Humanities at Seattle Central College and author of 6’N the Morning: West Coat Hip-Hop Music 1987 -1992 & the Transformation of Mainstream Culture (Over the Edge Books, 2013) calls hip-hop “a living cultural movement.”

“American rapper, singer, and actor Ice-T said rap is something you do – hip-hop is something you live,” he notes. “In the 80s, if you listened to underlying messages, hip-hop was a portent, a warning, for what was going to happen next. Similar to a news broadcast, it was a lot more political than the general public realized.”

During the 70s and 80s, Seattle was known for its rock ‘n’ roll. Natives like Jimi Hendrix and Nancy and Ann Wilson (Heart) were giving global attention to the “Emerald City.”  But alongside rock ‘n’ roll, hip-hop was emerging here, sparked by New York City’s hip-hop culture.

“From the beginning, hip-hop was very much about challenging the status quo – this was especially true of graffiti art,” says Dr. Abe. “During the late 60s and early 70s, hip-hop was a response to repression. Young people felt disconnected and marginalized from mainstream culture.  It was the first medium to give fearless, explicit voice to young, black males. It was used as a way to push back, tell who you were, where you were from and to make your mark.”

Over the past 40 years, Hip Hop culture has seen dramatic changes since its early start on independent record labels. Edgy experimentation has given way to conglomerate blueprints. Within mainstream acceptance, it has evolved. Critics worry the “essence of hip-hop” and its “news broadcast” may have been compromised in the process.

But amidst this change, Macklemore’s multiple Grammy wins suggest hip-hop is becoming part of a larger narrative and a platform on which anyone can make a culturally relevant political stand. And as in its beginnings, it’s still a potent lens through which the artist views the world.

“Jazz, Reggae, Blues, Hip-Hop – these are all necessary to a vital society because they spring from creative energy within oppressed populations,” Dr. Abe observes. “Life experience informs ones’ views. We have a long way to go. But getting together and talking about these divergent views is the kind of dialogue which will help get us past our differences.  I’m honored to be a resource for Northwest Folklife and to assist in making this year’s cultural focus successful. ”

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Seattle Youth Poet Laureate

Seattle PoetThis year at Folklife we are excited to announce that the City of Seattle is holding its inaugural Youth Poet Laureate Program. The Seattle Youth Poet Laureate aims to identify and honor local young writers and poets who are not only talented literary artists, but demonstrate a commitment to “civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, human relations, diversity and education across Seattle.”

Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools program (SAL/WITS) and Urban Word NYC have joined together to create the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate program, supported locally and nationally by Northwest Folklife, Penmanship Books, and the Academy of American Poets.

Applications are currently being accepted from writers ages 14-19. The top eight finalists will perform during the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Commencement Performance, which will be held during the 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival, Saturday May 23 at 1:00 p.m. in the Cornish Playhouse. At the performance, a panel of four judges will decide the winner. Along with being dubbed the 2015 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate, the winner will receive a book deal to publish their first book of poems and be able to travel across the city on a book tour.

The Seattle Youth Poet Laureate will attend events throughout the year, providing a platform to share their voice with the City of Seattle. The ideal candidate will be someone with not only great leadership skills, but a strong love for Seattle as well. Winning this title means that you will represent the City of Seattle and spread support for arts programs for youth throughout the community.

If this sounds like you, submit an application! Details can be found online here.

The deadline for submissions is April 24, 2015. The 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival will be held May 22-25, at the Seattle Center. The Cornish Playhouse is located at 201 Mercer St., Seattle, WA 98109. Admission is free!

Grab your partner for a contra dance!

Long lines go forward and back. Promenade across and shift one place to face a new couple. Ladies chain across, star left one and a quarter, allemande right your “shadow” and look for your partner to gypsy left one and a half around. Find your partner: balance and swing!

roadhouse_dancers-13If this sounds familiar and your feet are already beginning to move just imaging the formations and the music, you alreadyknow Contra dancing is always wildly popular at Folklife with hours of dancing each day of the festival and many of the best contra dance bands from around the Northwest.  And you’ve also begun to anticipate a Contra dance party unlike any other in the United States; one huge hall full of some of the best Contra dance bands, dancers and callers anywhere in the country.

But if you’ve never contra danced, why not give it a try this year at Folklife? It is riotous fun – and its basic steps are easy to learn. You’ll never find a better place to start Contra dancing than Folklife. A caller leads a “walk through” before the music starts and then prompts the dancers while the music is playing. The dance moves are nothing fancy, just simple walking steps in time to the music.

Contra dancing is derived from English country dancing and was brought to the American colonies by 18th century settlers. The “Virginia Reel” is an early example. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were avid contra dancers. Dancers dance to live dance bands, which may include fiddles, flute, guitar, piano, and bass. Occasionally you can hear drums, saxophone, or trombone.

Bob “Mac” McQuillen

This year, we are mourning the loss of Bob McQuillen, a contra dance musician who was well-known and loved nationally, but held a special place at Northwest Folklife.  He had performed at the Festival for many years and was influential to generations of dancers and musicians.  The Rhythm Rollers will be doing a special set honoring Bob McQuillen and playing many of his original tunes in the Roadhouse (Fisher Pavilion) at 7:00 pm on Friday, May 23rd.  We also plan to have a tribute wall to honor Mac—a place for people to bring and share stories and photos about his life.

The full Contra dance schedule will be online soon. So whether you’re a beginner or a pro, plan to join us for a spin around the dance floor. We’ll see you in the Contra line!

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Now Accepting Performer Applications

CallGraphic1Northwest Folklife invites musicians, dancers, community groups, artists, storytellers, and instructors to participate in the 43rd annual Northwest Folklife Festival, which will take place May 23-26, 2014, at Seattle Center.

If you or your group is based in the Northwest region, including Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Western Montana, this is a great opportunity to share your music and traditions!

The annual Northwest Folklife Festival is the largest FREE community arts festival in the United States. It is presented each year in Seattle by Northwest Folklife, a year-round nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for all people to appreciate, share, and participate in the evolving traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

Last year Northwest Folklife programmed over 6,000 performers in 65 different genres of music, from Hawaiian to hip-hop. We presented dance performances representing cultures from Ireland to India. We believe everyone is a bearer of folk arts, and we encourage communities to share their cultural traditions, in the hope that interaction with new audiences will enrich the community as much as the audience.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT PERFORMER APPLICATIONS

Interested in how we select bands and performance groups? Click here to read our Programming FAQ.

Still have questions? Email our programming team now.

Jam Hawaiian Style at the Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival

Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival Features A Feast for the Senses 

livealohaSeattle Center Festál presents Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, in Seattle Center Armory, Mural Amphitheatre and Fisher Roof. The festival provides a feast for the senses as visitors journey through the sights, sounds and tastes of Hawaii.

The Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival celebrates what it means to “live aloha.” Hawaiian music, hula, ono food, Hawaiian crafts, hula, music and flower making workshops honor this special culture. 2013 highlights include:

  • Two stages of live Hawaiian music and hula featuring award winning headlining Hawaiian duo Kupaoa from the island of Oahu!
  • Kanikapila Tent – bring your ukulele or other instruments and jam to Hawaiian favorites
  • Children’s activities at Live Aloha’s Keiki Korner
  • Hawaiian Storytelling Stage where you can hear stories about Hawaiian legends
  • Hawaiian workshops including:  flower making, Hawaiian language, and the art of ukulele and Hawaiian slack-key guitar
  • Musubi eating contest!
  • Hawaiian foods, snacks and marketplace

 

Seattle Center Festál, a series of 22 celebrations presented by community organizations with support from Seattle Center, considers themes of importance to ethnic cultures in our region, revealing their common forms of tradition and expression, while highlighting their unique contributions to the Pacific Northwest and the world.

Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival is produced in partnership with Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival Committee. For more information on Live Aloha, visit seattlelivealohafestival.com. Click on www.seattlecenter.com or call 206 684-7200 to learn more about Seattle Center Festál and other outstanding public programming offered at Seattle Center.

 

About Seattle Center Festál

Seattle Center Festál 2013 presents a series of 22 world festivals on weekends throughout the year highlighting the distinct cultures and common threads of ethnic communities in our region through traditional and contemporary art, music, foods, youth activities, workshops and more. This collection of cultural events is produced with the generous support of Coca-Cola, The Boeing Company, T-Mobile, Wells Fargo, Real Networks, and KUOW 94.9 Public Radio. Additional support is provided by 4Culture, Washington State Arts Commission and the City of Seattle.

 

sundiata

Food trucks, Quiltmaking…And the World’s #1 Earth, Wind and Fire tribute band!

Seattle Center Festál: Festival Sundiata Presents Black Arts Fest

Seattle Center Festál:  Festival Sundiata Presents Black Arts Fest brings inspirational music, compelling art, spicy foods and other temptations to Seattle Center Armory, Mural Amphitheatre and Fisher Pavilion, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m., June 15, and 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., June 16.

Festival Sundiata explores the cultural roots and contemporary influences of African-Americans through live performances, hands-on activities, fashion and worldly gifts. Festival-goers are invited to join in African dance workshops, learn traditional drumming rhythms and take in the richness of black culture during a weekend filled with continuous entertainment.

One of the leading Black Arts showcases on the West Coast, the Festival is named for legendary 13th century King Sundiata of West Africa’s Mali Empire. In 2013, it features:

  • Music:  Kalimba the World’s #1 Earth, Wind and Fire tribute band;
  • Food:  four of the top food trucks in the Seattle area, along with the Roasted Corn stand  – Jemil’s Creole Cuisine, Ezell’s, Best Chicken in the City, Papa Bois, Caribbean Menu and HP’s Smoke House BBQ, where the meat is falling off the bone;
  • Ongoing entertainment on four stages:  Armory, Mural Amphitheatre, Fisher rooftop and Armory West, which will concentrate on younger festival visitors;
  • Art:  Black Arts Exhibit 2013. Marita Dingus returns with her popular Doll making;
  • Education:  The Amazing American History exhibit, Education Expo, and the Northwest Black Quilters, which teaches quilt making on Saturday;
  • Information:  Various causes and a host of non-profit organizations;
  • Shopping:  a great  line-up of vendors with one-of-a-kind gifts, clothes and confectionary goods;
  • Special Events:  The Show and Shine Car Show and 1,000 Black Fathers photo shoot  (Sunday at 2 p.m.).

Seattle Center Festál, a series of 22 celebrations presented by community organizations with support from Seattle Center, considers themes of importance to ethnic cultures in our region, revealing their common forms of tradition and expression, while highlighting their unique contributions to the Pacific Northwest and the world.

Festival Sundiata – Black Arts Fest is produced in partnership with Sundiata African-American Cultural Association. For more information on Festival Sundiata – Black Arts Fest, visit festivalsundiata.org. Click on www.seattlecenter.com or call 206 684-7200 to learn more about Seattle Center Festál and other outstanding public programming offered at Seattle Center.

 

About Seattle Center Festál

Seattle Center Festál 2013 presents a series of 22 world festivals on weekends throughout the year highlighting the distinct cultures and common threads of ethnic communities in our region through traditional and contemporary art, music, foods, youth activities, workshops and more. This collection of cultural events is produced with the generous support of Coca-Cola, The Boeing Company, T-Mobile, Wells Fargo, Real Networks, and KUOW 94.9 Public Radio. Additional support is provided by 4Culture, Washington State Arts Commission and the City of Seattle.

 

The Onlies take a bow. Photo by Dan Thornton.

Thank You for a Fantastic 2013 Festival!

The Onlies take a bow. Photo by Dan Thornton.

The 42nd annual Northwest Folklife Festival came to a close on the evening of May 27th, wrapping up four days of music, dance, food, history, art, and celebration. But the Folklife spirit doesn’t end with the Festival—we are already at work preparing more opportunities for the public to share in the region’s traditions.

The Northwest Folklife Festival brought together over 6,000 performers across 22 stages, with the aid of at least 800 volunteers. This year the Festival drew an estimated crowd of 230,000 people to Seattle Center over four days. The crowds enjoyed surprisingly fair weather for most of the event, and spirits were high despite periods of rain on the final day.

But, as the lead singer from The Sojourners noted, “Rain crowds are the best audience, because you know they really want to be here!”

Festival highlights included a fascinating and moving discussion with Washington State “Rosies,” women who went to work in the shipyards during WWII. The talk was part of the Cultural Focus “Washington Works.” Energetic crowds were in full force for a Saturday night performance by soul band Eldridge Gravy, as well as Monday evening’s performance by reggae legend Clinton Fearon and his Boogie Brown Band. Rain was even embraced during the stirring set by pedal-steel band The Slide Brothers on Monday afternoon. And the Exhibition Hall was standing-room-only during Friday night’s Bollywood Showcase, a good sign that next year’s Cultural Focus on India will be hugely popular and engaging.

The festival is presented by Northwest Folklife, a year-round organization with nine staff members. In addition to the annual Festival, we also produce other events throughout the year. Indeed, a monthly community dance series at the Crossroads Mall in Bellevue kicked off just a week before the big Festival, and will continue every third Saturday through October. June’s event is a family dance, and July offers a taste of folk dances from around the world.

Photo by Daniel Thornton

The Cultural Focus of “Washington Works” will not end with the Festival. Deputy Director Debbie Fant, a folklorist, will continue to collect oral histories from union workers across Washington State as part of an Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, eventually producing several short documentaries with filmmaker Doug Plummer that will be archived at the Library of Congress and the Washington State Labor Archives.

Folklife is also hosting a community-building night at Safeco Field on August 6, when the Mariners face off against the Toronto Blue Jays. As an organization that represents the greater Northwest region, we hope that Festival friends will come down from Alberta and British Columbia for a reunion of sorts.

In the fall, Folklife will host an autumn harvest celebration at Town Hall. More details about this event on November 1st will be announced our website, www.nwfolklife.org.

Says Executive Director Rob Townsend, “The board and staff of Northwest Folklife thank all of our many supporters, the thousands of performers who volunteer their talents, and the hundreds volunteers who came out to the Festival this past weekend and shared in the arts and heritage of our region. Our mission—to share the talents and traditions of the Pacific Northwest—is what drives us to create even more opportunities to build community throughout the year.”

Please enjoy photos from the 42nd Northwest Folklife Festival at our Facebook page, where we’ll also post updates about all things Folklife.

Read a great Festival summary at the Seattle Times

Photo by Piper Hanson

Celebrate Your Traditions – Monday Highlights & Memorial Day Ceremony

 

Photo by Piper Hanson

Northwest Folklife opens the final day of the 2013 Festival with a special Memorial Day Ceremony on the Mural Stage. Please join us! Then continue to celebrate our Northwest traditions—and honor our history!

See full schedule at our website.

Memorial Day Flag Ceremony: Celebrating Memorial Day, the Flag Raising Ceremony will include words from Northwest Folklife, the Seattle Police Department Color Guard, the West Seattle Cub Scout Pack 828, and music from Calum McKinnon &the Northwest Scottish Fiddlers, with bagpiper Jori Chisholm.
Monday, May 27 at 11:00am at the Xfinity Mural Amphitheatre.

Kindiependent: Get ready to rock your onesie socks off! This wildly popular show is supposedly for youngsters, but don’t be surprised to see some in-the-know hipsters there too. Featuring the musical stylings of Harmonica Pocket, The Not-Its!, Recess Monkey, Johnny Bregar and the Country Dawgs, and (new this year!) Cat Doorman. Sponsored by ParentMap.
Monday, May 27 from 11:00am-2:30pm on the Fountain Lawn Stage.

American Standard Time Showcase: Some of the best names in roots music (and a little bit of gospel!) will hit the stage during this Indie Roots showcase, brought to you by BECU, and hosted by KEXP’s Roadhouse radio presenter Greg Vandy. The lineup includes The Sojourners, The Sumner Brothers, Crow Quill Night Owls and The Slide Brothers. Sponsored by alt-country authority No Depression.
Monday, May 27 from 3:30-6:10pm on the KBCS Fisher Green Stage.

IWW Little Red Songbook: Enflaming the Fans of Discontent: This year’s Festival “theme” is all about work! Help us wind up the weekend with a soul-stirring sing-a-long from the Industrial Workers of the World’s Little Red Songbook. See the full schedule of Washington Works talks, demonstrations, storytelling, art exhibits, film screenings and more at our website, nwfolklife.org/festival.
Monday, May 27 from 5:00-6:00pm at the Narrative Stage at SIFF Cinema.

Ver(A)rt Gallery Closing Reception: Toast the young artists who contributed to this weekend’s gallery show “When Your Work Speaks for Itself, Don’t Interrupt: Perspectives on Working.”
Monday, May 27 from 6:00-8:00pm at the Ver(A)rt Gallery.

verascreen

Bring it, Screen it at The VERA Project

Bring your t-shirt, tote bag, whatever, to The VERA Project anytime this weekend and have their talented screenprinters adorn it with this adorable limited-edition design!

Screenprinting is free, but they are asking for a small donation to help cover their costs.

The VERA Project is located in the Alki Court, near the SIFF Cinema.

See you there! And thanks VERA!

Josie Dunn (right) with unknown woman. Photo courtesy of Washington Women in Trades.

The Greatest Show of Talent in the Northwest! Check Out These Sunday Highlights

 

Josie Dunn (right) with unknown woman. Photo courtesy of Washington Women in Trades.

The Northwest Folklife Festival is a celebration of how we keep our traditions alive in our region. Check out these amazing artists–these are your friends and neighbors up on those stages!

Tell us who you know that is performing in the Festival on our Facebook page! See full schedule at our website.

Here are some great things to see today:

– Country Swing Dance: We dare you to not join in after feeling the energy of this swingin’ cowboy soiree, back by popular demand after a long hiatus from the Folklife roster of dances.
Sunday, May 26 from 1:00-3:00pm in Warren’s Roadhouse.

– Rockabilly Round-Up: We’re bringing back the rockabilly and vintage country styles of the 50s to sweeten your Sunday afternoon. Join The Roy Kay Trio, The Black Crabs and The Honky Tonk Sweethearts for the Rockabilly Round-Up. Don’t forget your bowling shirt and dancin’ creepers!
Sunday, May 26 from 1:00–3:00pm on the Fountain Lawn Stage.

– Puget Sound Rosies: Riveting HistoryThis year’s Festival “theme” is all about work! Join us for a fascinating panel discussion with some of the women who went to work in Washington shipyards during WWII. See the full schedule of Washington Works talks, demonstrations, storytelling, art exhibits, film screenings and more at our website, nwfolklife.org/festival.
Sunday, May 26 at 2:00pm in the Olympic Room.

– Gaelic Crankie Show: Artist and musician Su Truman revives and reinterprets a beloved Appalachian tradition. Half movie, half handmade folk art, crankies are animated drawings and papercuts on cloth “reels,” hand-cranked for movement, and presented with traditional Gaelic music accompaniment. Sounds amazing, right?
Sunday, May 26 from 3:00-4:00pm, Center House Theatre.

– 206Zulu Jam featuring Junior Breakdance Competition and Hip-Hop Showcase: See youth from local b-boy/b-girl classes showcase their dancing in a one-on-one competition. Featuring danceable music for everyone by DJ Cues & DJ Zeta Barber, with special guest performance by artist Fleeta Partee. All b-boys & b-girls are invited to come support the next generation of dancers & participate in open circles!
Sunday, May 26 from 3:00-6:00pm at The VERA Project.

– Giddy Up! Country Roots*New!* Bring your spurs and whiskey to the Indie Roots Giddy Up showcase featuring the best of local country: Country Lips, Ganges River Band, Annie Ford Band and Ole Tinder. Yee-haw! Sponsored by BECU.
Sunday, May 26 from 6:30-9:00pm on the Fountain Lawn Stage.

– Vamos!: A Latin Dance Party: *New!* Save some energy on Sunday to join the rhythms of The Cumbieros, Cambalache, and SuperSones. That’s not enough? Parade in with VamoLá! Brazilian Drum & Dance Ensemble!
Sunday, May 26 from 6:45-10:00pm at the Xfinity Mural Amphitheater.

– You Can’t Fake Fresh—Northwest Live-Band Hip Hop: *New!* The name says it all! Featuring Global Heat, The Sharp Five, Eastern Sunz and Irukandji Physics of Fusion.
Sunday, May 26 from 7:00-10:00pm in the EMP Sky Church.

World Dance Party

The Secret to the Best Festival Ever? Participate in Some of These Saturday Picks!

World Dance Party

Tell us how you are going to participate on our Facebook page! See full schedule at our website.

– English Country Dance: Downton Abbey comes to Folklife! Channel your favorite Jane Austin character…no corsets required!
Saturday, May 25 from 1:00-2:00pm in Warren’s Roadhouse.

– Hey, Hendrix—Jimi Hendrix Tribute: Local musicians pay homage to one of the Northwest’s favorite sons. Jimi Hendrix took the blues to a place it had never been before, but the roots of that music were always an important element. This showcase honors the music of Hendrix as well as the important musicians that came before him. Presented in partnership with the EMP, whose “I Hear My Train A-Coming” exhibit is currently on display. Sponsored by the Washington Blues Society.
Saturday, May 25 from 1:00-4:00pm in the EMP Sky Church.

– World Dance Party: This popular community event has taken place all over Seattle, and it is a natural addition to Folklife—after all, the World Dance Party embodies all of what makes Folklife great: people of all ages, young and old, from all ethnicities, coming together to dance and feel good! Be a part of the movement.
Saturday, May 25 from 1:00-3:00pm in the Armory.

– Team Up for Non-Profits Showcase: *New!* We are delighted to welcome aboard Team Up for their first year as co-presenters of Indie Roots artists. In partnership with Artist Home (producers of the Doe Bay fest) and with sponsorship by BECU, Team Up has curated a showcase of the best up-and-coming indie bands of the Northwest. Don’t know them yet? You will. Featuring Shelby Earl, Song Sparrow Research, Bradford Loomis and St. Paul de Vence.
Saturday, May 25 from 1:00-4:00pm on the Fountain Lawn Stage.

– Bushwick Book Club Seattle Presents Original Music Inspired by the Wizard of Oz: If you haven’t experienced the latest trend in musical folk art, check out this showcase to enjoy the pages of L. Frank Baum’s novel brought to life with glorious original music. But don’t expect Judy Garland impersonations—we said original music!
Saturday, May 25 from 1:30-3:00pm in the Folklife Café.

– Sleeping in Seattle: A Bed Making Contest: This year’s Festival “theme” is all about work! Think you know bed making? Let the housekeeping union show you how it’s done. See the full schedule of Washington Works talks, demonstrations, storytelling, art exhibits, film screenings and more at our website, nwfolklife.org/festival.
Saturday, May 25 at 2:00pm in the Olympic Room.

– The Arab Show: This tour of the Middle East with eclectic music and dance. Groups Fathia and Les Troubadour play French Arabic music, and House of Tarab revive the vintage classics of Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. Duo Maurice Rouman plays the oud with Waseem Sbait on darbuka. And experience the traditional Arab dabke folk dance, presented here with Lebanese and Palestinian variations.
Saturday, May 25 from 3:00-6:00 at the International Dance Stage in the Ex Hall.

– Balkan Misfits Show: Sometimes it’s the old favorites that keep ‘em coming back! If you’ve never checked out this beloved showcase, make this the year. Experience the bad boys of Balkan brass, including Erev Rav, Bucharest Drinking Team, Orkestar Zirkonium and Chervona.
Saturday, May 25 from 6:00-9:00pm on the Fountain Lawn Stage.

– The Soul of Seattle: Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme (recently seen rocking Bumbershoot stages), join Soul Senate, Kissing Potion, The Braxmatics and Little Big Band for this popular dance party that both closes out and brings to a climax Saturday’s programming. Sponsored by Seattle Pipeline.
Saturday, May 25 from 7:00-10:00pm at the Xfinity Mural Amphitheatre.

overpass sign

Many Ways to Get to Northwest Folklife this Year

In this time of amazing road construction (and sadly, destruction), please help us to help people find their way to Northwest Folklife this weekend. The Festival is offering several creative means of alternative transportation, and alternative road routes will help festival-goers to avoid road snarl-ups.

The Mercer West Corridor Project is underway, and drivers will find road changes in the Seattle Center vicinity. While these do not affect access to Seattle Center from I-5, lane and exit closures do impact on routes that lead away from the Center – and to the Center from SR-99.  Eastbound Mercer St. from 4th Ave N. to Dexter Ave. is reduced to the two south lanes, and the north sidewalk is closed. The SR-99 northbound exit at Mercer St. and the southbound exit at Broad St. are closed permanently. Eastbound Broad St. has re-opened to provide visitors leaving the Center a quick connection to I-5.

Seattle Center and Northwest Folklife have worked together to make sure festival-goers have many transportation options:

Driving to the Festival:   Please check the SDOT and WSDOT websites for more information and updates on road construction. Seattle Center also provides transportation updates at www.seattlecenter.com.

Parking at Seattle Center:  Seattle Center provides three parking garages, at 5th Ave. N., between Harrison and Republican, at 1st Ave. N. between John and Thomas streets, and in the Mercer Garage, between 3rd and 4th avenues. In addition, there are several paid lots within a three block radius of Seattle Center.

Disabled parking:  All lots around Seattle Center have designated disabled parking spots. Visitors should check with a parking attendant if all the available spaces are full. There are also designated spots on 2nd Ave. N. just south of Thomas St. and on Warren Ave. just south of Mercer St.

New! Ride Sharing Options:  This year Northwest Folklife is partnering with RideAmigos to bring festival-goers an easy tool for posting and finding carpooling options. Save money, save gas, and make friends, all while reducing congestion on the road to Folklife. The festival also has a special deal with car2go. Read all about it here!

King Country Metro Folklife Shuttle:  Festival-goers may save time, save money, and have a more enjoyable ride to and from this year’s Northwest Folklife Festival when they ride the King County Metro Folklife Shuttle from Northgate! Click here to read more.

Seattle Center Monorail:  The Seattle Monorail goes directly to Seattle Center from Downtown. The Monorail departs every ten minutes, running between Seattle Center station, adjacent to the Space Needle, and Westlake Center Mall station, at Fifth Avenue and Pine Street. In 2012, the Monorail trains carried 50,000 passengers to and from the festival.

Arrival by bike:  There is a large bike corral located at the Harrison St. entrance hosted by Bike Works! Riders may also stop by their booth to learn more about community bike programs, get a quick tune-up or donate your old bicycles, miscellaneous parts, and accessories/gear! The Seattle Department of Transportation’s Bicycling Guide Map includes bike routes to Seattle Center. Visitors may also use a Google Interactive Directions Map to plan a custom route by bike.

Festival Hours:  Festival programming begins at 11 a.m. and concludes at 10 p.m. from Friday until Sunday. The Festival runs from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Monday. Food vendor hours may vary.