That ginormous poster you see above is the official lineup for the first annual Upstream Music Fest + Summit, Vulcan’s festival set for May 11-13 in Pioneer Square.
If you’ll notice, it’s a very big lineup.
Just how big, you ask? Well, with just over 300 artists, it’s more than twice the size of Bumbershoot 2016, and almost 7.5 times the size of this year’s upcoming Sasquatch (at just around 40 artists). Upstream’s hugeness prompts that age old question—is size more important, or is it all about how you use it?
Judging by the lineup here, Upstream’s wielding its formidable Vulcan/Paul Allen resources to do some very interesting things. True to their word, the festival is overwhelmingly local, something that was made clear by the first flight of artists announced back in February. This morning’s announcement piles on globs more of local excellence, including some of Tacoma rap’s best and brightest, ILLFIGHTYOU and Bujemane (coming out of retirement perhaps? Debuting his punk band?) Portland electonic producer Natasha Kmeto will represent Oregon along with perennial punks The Thermals, and Boise gets some love with Magic Sword and Western Daughter. Fans of Sub Pop’s riffy classic sound will be excited about Dinosaur Jr. and Metz’s addition, while Seattle’s burgeoning electronic scene will likely dig the addition of Gary, Indiana footwork innovator Jlin, whose few appearances in Seattle have been warmly welcomed. Oh, and also, Ron Jones, the composer of the theme music for Family Guy, Duck Tales, Smurfs and Star Trek: TNG will be speaking… with Mike McCready. Really, with 300-plus artists and the guy who wrote the Smurf song, there’s going to be a little something for everyone.