Summer is the time for music festivals. There's nothing better than bands, beer, and sun (which we're finally starting to see). But in recent years, festivals have become so popular that there are often conflicting fests on the same weekend. Say Yes to the Fest is here to help you decide which to attend.
When: July 8-10
What it is: A music and arts street fair in the West Seattle neighborhood that's in its 29th year.
Where: "The Junction," the shopping district at the intersection of California Avenue and Southwest Alaska Street.
Lineup: Whalebones, Caspar Babypants (Chris Ballew of the Presidents of the United States of America), Curtains for You, Rat City Brass, the Staxx Brothers, the Cops, and most important, the highly anticipated Fastbacks reunion, Friday at 8 p.m. 24 acts in all.
Other attractions: A kids' area, am "Art Dive" area with local artists showcasing work, a farmers market, and a demo by Hazardfactory, who will "cut, weld, harass, and twist bikes into unnecessarily strange looking means of transport." Oh, and Easy Street Records will be having a killer sidewalk sale.
Food: "Over 160 craft and local vendors with a wide array of festival food and delights," plus all the restaurants and businesses (including Easy Street Records' café and Cupcake Royale) in the area. One beer garden. One water station.
Facilities: Porta-potties, supplemented by these local businesses.
Attendance: Past festivals have seen about 30,000 people.
Check Slack Fest's stats and read the final verdict after the jump!
When: July 9
What it is: A one-night festival in which bands play on the back of a flatbed truck brought to you by Artist Home Booking (the folks behind Doe Bay Festival) and Don Slack, the host of KEXP's Swingin' Doors.
Where: Slime Dog Race Track, a dog racing track in Stanwood, Wash. (about an hour north of Seattle).
Cost: $25 (children under 12 free)
Lineup: the Moondoggies, the Maldives, Whalebones, the American Girls, the Golden Blondes, My Goodness, Joseph Giant, and Jack Wilson
Other attractions: The music is the star of this fest, but there's likely to be excellent people-watching. Keep an eye out for a bearded dude in a trucker hat holding a six-pack of Rainier tallboys--it could be our editor, Chris Kornelis.
Food and drink: Bratwurst, muffins, and lemonade from S.L.O.W. Food and coffee from S&T Espresso. Beer from festival sponsor Rainier as well as craft brews from Two Beers Brewery in SODO. You're encouraged to BYO food and drink, though alcoholic beverages will need to remain at the campground. Also, the website requests someone "PLEASE, PLEASE bring enough S'mores makings for 200 or so."
You should know: Before heading to Slack Fest, there are a few things you should know. There's no water available at the racetrack, so bring PLENTY of fluids to stay hydrated. Same goes for sunscreen, sit-upons, and CASH. Yes, everything there will be cash-only and there are no ATMs on site. Also, the bands play at night, so if you're planning on staying, bring camping gear or you'll be sleeping in a field.
Verdict: While West Seattle Summer Fest looks great at 29, what could be better than watching bands play on a flatbed truck in the middle of nowhere? We suggest you live dangerously and head to Slack Fest. But before you go, definitely catch the Fastbacks for free on Friday night at Summer Fest.