Two years ago, I watched a band unloading gear in a tiny alleyway behind The Crocodile get their sideview mirror ripped off by a car trying to squeeze past them. The perpetrator proceeded to yell at the band for being parked there.
For musicians, trying to find a parking spot for load-in before a show is oftentimes where the real performance happens. Strange double-park jobs, definitely-illegal fire hydrant spots, and shady alleyways all conspire to make load-ins a race against time before City of Seattle breezes by in their little ticket-mobiles to bust you.
Either that, or park a mile away and heave your giant amp and bass drum to the club in the rain.
Seattle's City of Music program is finally addressing the load-in-shuffle with a new pilot program conceived in a cooperative effort from the Office of Film and Music and the Department of Transportation.
Five venues will now display these nifty signs (pictured left) designating priority load zones for musicians. Bands will no longer have to worry about getting their sideview mirrors ripped off, or being ticketed for questionable parking jobs.
"Seattle's music scene is a critical part of our city's cultural draw and the quality of life in our city," said Mayor Ed Murray in a press release. "We want to better serve local music venues' needs and the musicians that play there."
Thus far, The Crocodile, The Triple Door, Tula's, Showbox at the Market and The High Dive have jumped on board with the program.
The city is inviting other venues to join the program also—as long as they meet some basline qualifications they will be eligible for the priority zone.