Upstream Announces First Round of Artist Lineup (and Hey, It’s Pretty Good!)

Headliners Flying Lotus, AlunaGeorge and Shabazz Palaces are joined by a huge, diverse cast of locals.

When Vulcan announced that Paul Allen would be funding a giant three-day regionally-focused music fest in Pioneer Square/SODO last summer, the Upstream Music Festival and Summit, the reaction was unsurprisingly mixed. For local artists feeling the sting of rising rents and gentrification—which many in the community attributed to the city’s booming tech class—the idea of a Microsoft billionaire with an unreliable philanthropic streak promising to lift up the local music scene seemed a tad dubious. “Paul Allen is one of the richest men in the world. To have a person like that say, ‘I’m going to help out the little guy,’ it’s a little tough to believe,” said Pete Capponi of local punk group SSDD when the announcement came out. “What would make me a fan of it,” Capponi conceded, “is to really include the vastness of the Seattle music community.”

Today, Upstream has announced its massive first round of (100+) artists on the lineup for the May 11-13 festival, and to their credit, the vastness of Seattle’s music community is absolutely on display here (including an appearance from none other than Capponi’s SSDD).

While headliners Flying Lotus, AlunaGeorge, Shabazz Palaces, Snarky Puppy and Beat Connection will likely provide the main draw for casual festival fans, folks who are legitimately interested in discovering the wealth of local and regional music talent here in the Northwest have a lot to dig in to. Indie and rock are well represented on the lineup, but one of the most promising elements of this morning’s release is how willing it seems to stray outside of that well-trodden guitar-based festival realm.

Hip-hop, one of the area’s most rapidly growing scenes right now, makes a sizable showing with artists like Dave B, The Flavr Blue, DoNormaal, Guayaba, :30, COSMOS, Tay Sean, Chimurenga Renaissance, Astro King Phoenix, Sassyblack, ZELLi, Taylar Elizza Beth, Key Nyata and Mackned, Shawn Parker, Romaro Franceswa, Gifted Gab, SaxG and tons more.

The region’s exciting electronic scene also gets lots of love, with some adventurous bookings that prove Upstream isn’t just in it for the poppier end of things—Vancouver B.C.’s unclassifiable jungle-planet soundscapist RAMZi makes an appearance alongside fellow ambient Van B.C. luminary Yu Su. An incredibly solid cast of Seattle locals rounds things out, artists like HEAT Records’ CA$H Bandicoot, Reverend Dollars of the buzzed about Darqness party, R-Pal, Biome, secondnature/Elevator affilliates like Bardo:Basho and Aos, the techno darkwave assault of Youryoungbody, and Further Records’ head Raica.

And, of course, Macklemore will make an apperance as one of the three keynote speakers, alongside legendary record producer Quincy Jones and Kill Rock Stars president Portia Sabin.

Tickets will range from $110-425. For more information on the festival, you can visit Upstream’s website, but without further ado, here’s today’s round one line-up announce:

Flying Lotus (Los Angeles, CA)

AlunaGeorge (London, UK)

Shabazz Palaces (Seattle, WA)

Snarky Puppy (New York, NY)

Beat Connection (Seattle, WA)

Iska Dhaaf (Seattle, WA & New York, NY)

Mike McCready & Friends (Seattle, WA)

Thunderpussy (Seattle, WA)

Rabbit Wilde (Seattle, WA)

Xavier Omär (San Antonio, TX)

Dave B (Seattle, WA)

The Flavr Blue (Seattle, WA)

Polyrhythmics (Seattle, WA)

Hibou (Seattle, WA)

The Maldives (Seattle, WA)

Grace Love (Seattle, WA)

Motopony (Seattle, WA)

Ayron Jones & The Way (Seattle, WA)

The Grizzled Mighty (Seattle, WA & Brooklyn, NY)

Brent Amaker and The Rodeo (Seattle, WA)

Brothers From Another (Seattle, WA)

Budo & Kris Orlowski (Seattle, WA)

Chris Staples (Seattle, WA)

Laura Gibson (Portland, OR)

MASZER (Seattle, WA)

Acapulco Gold (Seattle, WA)

Acid Tongue (Seattle, WA)

Adam Nystrom (Seattle, WA)

:30 (Tacoma, WA)

Aos (Seattle, WA)

Astro King Phoenix (Seattle, WA)

Ayo Dot & The Uppercuts (Seattle, WA)

Bad Luck (Seattle, WA)

Bardo:Basho (Seattle, WA)

Biome (Seattle, WA)

Birch Pereira & the Gin Joints (Seattle, WA)

Boots to the Moon (Seattle, WA)

Boyfriends (Seattle, WA)

Brite Lines (Seattle, WA)

Ca$h Bandicoot (Seattle, WA)

Chimurenga Renaissance (Seattle, WA)

Constant Lovers (Seattle, WA)

COSMOS (Seattle, WA)

CUFF LYNX (Seattle, WA)

DEEP CREEP (Seattle, WA)

DoNormaal (Seattle, WA)

Dream Journal (Seattle, WA)

Dust Moth (Seattle, WA)

Eldridge Gravy & The Court Supreme (Seattle, WA)

En Canto (Seattle, WA)

FKL (Seattle, WA & London, UK)

Freeway Park (Seattle, WA)

Gail Pettis (Seattle, WA)

Gibraltar (Seattle, WA)

Gifted Gab (Seattle, WA)

Grynch (Seattle, WA)

Guayaba (Bremerton, WA)

Gypsy Temple (Seattle, WA)

James Apollo (Seattle, WA)

Key Nyata (Seattle, WA)

Kirt Debique (Seattle, WA)

Lonely Mountain Lovers (Seattle, WA)

Mackned (Seattle, WA)

Maiah Manser (Seattle, WA)

Memwav (Seattle, WA)

Nacho Picasso (Seattle, WA)

Naomi Moon Siegel (Missoula, MT)

Natasha Kmeto (Portland, OR)

NAVVI (Seattle, WA)

Neu Yeuth (Seattle, WA)

Nyles Davis (Seattle, WA)

OK SWEETHEART (Seattle, WA)

Ole Tinder (Seattle, WA)

Parisalexa (Seattle, WA)

Pink Parts (Seattle, WA)

R-Pal (Seattle, WA)

RAICA (Seattle, WA)

RAMZI (Seattle, WA)

Reverend Dollars (Seattle, WA)

Romaro Franceswa (Federal Way, WA)

Ruler (Seattle, WA)

Saint Claire (Seattle, WA)

Sashay (Seattle, WA)

SassyBlack (Seattle, WA)

SaxG (Seattle, WA)

Shaprece (Seattle, WA & Los Angeles, CA)

Shawn Parker (Tacoma, WA)

Shelby Earl (Seattle, WA)

SISTERS (Seattle, WA)

Smokey Brights (Seattle, WA)

So Pitted (Seattle, WA)

Star Anna (Seattle, WA)

Steal Shit Do Drugs (Seattle, WA)

Tangerine (Seattle, WA)

Tay Sean (Seattle, WA)

Taylar Elizza Beth (Seattle, WA)

Tea Cozies (Seattle, WA)

Tezeta Band (Portland, OR)

The Cold 102’s (Puyallup, WA)

The Hasslers (Seattle, WA)

The Hollers (Seattle, WA)

The Last Artful, Dodgr (Portland, OR)

The Spider Ferns (Seattle, WA)

The Warren G. Hardings (Seattle, WA)

Tiffany Wilson (Tacoma, WA)

Travis Thompson (Burien, WA)

Versing (Seattle, WA)

Warm Gun (Seattle, WA)

Wayne Horvitz’ Electric Circus (Seattle, WA)

WILD POWWERS (Seattle, WA)

Year of Death (Seattle, WA)

Youryoungbody (Seattle, WA)

Yu Su (Vancouver, BC)

ZELLi (Seattle, WA)

Will Jordan (Tacoma, WA)

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