If you heard the music but couldn’t figure out the source…

In the past couple hours, we started getting questions about music/beats audible in north West Seattle for hours – maybe from the beach. Nothing on the calendar; we finally went down to look, nothing in view, but from the Seacrest vicinity, we could hear the beats in the distance. The answer finally came when we put out the open question on Twitter: @SDOT and @romabit pointed out the Dirtybird BBQ concert event in SODO, which had been under way since early afternoon. Just in case you wondered too … now you know.

67 Replies to "If you heard the music but couldn't figure out the source..."

  • Elisabeth July 6, 2015 (12:13 am)

    Thanks for this!!! I couldn’t figure out which neighbor’s door to go pound on. The bass was coming into the house and driving me nuts.

  • old timer July 6, 2015 (1:34 am)

    Thanks WSB.
    I set off on foot trying to find the source, but after several blocks, I gave up.
    IMO, that’s just too much noise to be permissible.

  • Mike July 6, 2015 (8:13 am)

    Obnoxious. Thanks for tracking it down.

  • Quiet gal July 6, 2015 (8:19 am)

    I agree with old timer. Everyone there will need hearing aids 20 years earlier. Too many decibels, people!

    • WSB July 6, 2015 (8:29 am)

      Just for the record, I don’t know if it was the decibels so much as the music type. Just looked up the genre out of curiosity (and still embarrassed that this somehow wasn’t top-of-mind when the questions started coming in) – dance music, house/techno, etc. http://dirtybirdrecords.com/dirtybirdbbq/bbq-music – maybe just a quirk of the sound system and the way sound carries. Dirtybird is a record label; representative video clips from the event are on this page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dirtybird-BBQ-Seattle/1657300721181584 – This was held in the 1700 block of 1st Ave. S., and if you look at that on Google Street View, it’s a straight shot across the docks and to WS – TR

  • Magpie July 6, 2015 (8:27 am)

    I live up the top of the hill looking down on SODO. This was louder than any Seahawks fans and went on for HOURS! We tried to find where it was coming from and knew it was coming up from below but couldn’t figure where.

    My entire house was shaking as were my insides. No one needs the bass up that high to have good time.

  • Sue July 6, 2015 (8:50 am)

    I always find the acoustics funny in West Seattle in terms of what people hear. When I lived on Fauntleroy at Dawson, I could faintly hear the West Seattle Summerfest music all weekend, 1/2 mile away. Now I live 2 blocks from the Junction – where I expected it to be screaming loud – and don’t hear it at all.

  • GW July 6, 2015 (9:24 am)

    Agree – should not have been legal/allowed to be so loud or so bass-heavy. You can celebrate that genre without disturbing the peace so much.

  • Norma July 6, 2015 (11:26 am)

    I live on the ridge in N. Admiral. I could feel the beat all day long but couldn’t hear the music. It made me very uncomfortable. I agree that we need some ordinance to deal with this problem. The city is already pretty noisy because of construction, airplanes, cars, etc. But the rhythmic bass beat is something that distracts in such a way that you can’t ignore. I know that performers count on it to capture and audience and hold them but it’s really too much when people can’t enjoy the peace and quiet of their own homes.

  • slc July 6, 2015 (11:48 am)

    Thanks for clearing up the mystery! I, too, was ready to knock on a neighbor’s door. Thank goodness I didn’t! Agree, that is too much noise/bass for Sunday afternoon (or anytime, for that matter!).

  • Fauntleroylad July 6, 2015 (1:48 pm)

    I live just south of the Fauntleroy Ferry and thought my neighbors or someone at Lincoln Park was having a party. It was loud enough to be disruptive. I’m shocked to think the music came all the way from SODO!

  • Roro July 6, 2015 (2:30 pm)

    IT WAS THE BEST BBQ EVER!! You all missed out.

  • Barclay Crenshaw July 6, 2015 (2:32 pm)

    Bass that loud is a public menace. Those dirty birds should clean up their act!

  • Phil July 6, 2015 (2:39 pm)

    It always amuses me that when it turns out to be “House” or “Techno” it’s too loud. I wish I could have attended. Peace and the brightest loving light all!!!

  • HAA July 6, 2015 (2:56 pm)

    “House time is anytime, and any time is house!” Some people just don’t understand it… too bad. Dirtybird BBQ was a blast!

  • westseattlerules July 6, 2015 (3:06 pm)

    Events like this add so much vitality and community to a city. It brought joy to thousands of your fellow citizens. Imagine if all of the NIMBY curmudgeons had their way when other festivals like Bumbershoot and Capitol Hill Block Party fire up their massive sound systems for SEVERAL days. And this event was for 1 afternoon! So it’s not your style of music. Fair enough. But you’re outnumbered there, sorry to say. And maybe think beyond your own precious comfort for a day for the benefit of your town.
    LOL Barclay

  • JanS July 6, 2015 (3:34 pm)

    westseattlerules….would you feel the same way if someone was blasting classical music at your domicile all day long on a Sunday…?

    just curious

    and…benefit my town? it benefitted dirtybird records, not the town…did the company give all monies collected to the greater good? I highly doubt it.

    I think it hilarious when you call your fellow neighbors out when they complain of something that you like….bet you complain when it’s something you don’t like. Precious comfort be damned…techno? No rules…do what you want as loud and long as you like? HAHAHAHAHA

    now…get off my friggin’ lawn ;-)

  • DeeJay EBae July 6, 2015 (3:41 pm)

    Suck it up. The party ended at 9pm. 3000+ people had an amazing Sunday dancing with friends and celebrating love, life and music. Maybe you old geezers should get out and enjoy life a bit, instead of sitting and complaining. Get a hobby to keep you busy, suckerz.

  • Kelly July 6, 2015 (3:59 pm)

    I was working nearby, it was loud but didn’t go on too late, I felt the biggest crime was how bad the music was, just one long boring beat.

  • Roro July 6, 2015 (4:00 pm)

    DJ ebae for the win <3

  • Really??? July 6, 2015 (4:00 pm)

    I don’t want to call names but the whole thing ended at 9PM (pretty darn reasonable if you ask me). If you have a problem with it, you should probably not live in a city.

  • bbqbird July 6, 2015 (4:06 pm)

    dat bass was easily one of the best parties seattle has thrown. bird is the freakin word, yo.

  • Boop! July 6, 2015 (4:44 pm)

    Super thankful for this event! The music scene keeps getting better in Seattle! Big ups to all the staff keeping us safe and handing out free water all day long! People love to complain about anything and everything but bottom line, this event ended at a completely reasonable time and the entire day was good vibes! <3

  • Seattlerita July 6, 2015 (4:58 pm)

    3,000 people came together to listen to music, dance and BBQ on one of the hottest days of the summer. There was not a incident of heat exposure, no fights and the parking lot was left cleaner than before the function. I think that’s a pretty responsible, respectful crew. 3,000 people had a great experience. Maybe chill out on the blogging and complaining and turn on that one song that you love so much and dance a little. Feels good huh?!?!

  • Neighbor July 6, 2015 (5:05 pm)

    The permit was issued by Sam Mouser @206 233 3948.

    Please call him and tell him just how far the bass traveled. It is completely unacceptable that not only did most of the peninsula hear it, entire neighborhoods felt the bass for hours on end. I live on the Admiral hill and my glasses were shaking in my cabinets.

  • Mark Felt July 6, 2015 (5:15 pm)

    “No one needs the bass up that high to have good time.”

    Oh yes we do.

  • BirdIsTheWord July 6, 2015 (5:19 pm)

    Best event Seattle has seen in a while. Great food, beats, and staff. The vibes out of this world. <3

  • BASS Music July 6, 2015 (5:27 pm)

    These comments filled my day with joy. To know the bass carried all the way to West Seattle is an impressive feat. Dirtybird should be extremely proud. Maybe next year you should all come to the BBQ and have a good time instead of whining about it ^_^

  • Guy Olson July 6, 2015 (5:36 pm)

    Do you folks who comment on here ever get tired of complaining?

  • GeneO July 6, 2015 (5:37 pm)

    It was a house music festival! Sorry about the bass, West Seattle, and that you didn’t get to hear the actual music layered on top of it. I know that woulda sounded LAME on your guys’ end tho! At least it was just one dj stage and not more. That woulda been a nightmare!! But it was all dancing and smiles in SODO.

  • Christina Martin July 6, 2015 (5:40 pm)

    “But the rhythmic bass beat is something that distracts in such a way that you can’t ignore.”

    Now you’re catching on! Good job. :) See you at the next one!!


  • Alotta Fagina July 6, 2015 (5:42 pm)

    Jesus ya big babies, you all live in Seattle! It was a holiday weekend… during the day. Put in some damn ear plugs and go dance, Or go retire in the country haha. Should feel honored there was something so great happening next to you.

  • dirty_azure July 6, 2015 (5:44 pm)

    Yesterday was amazing. 3,000+ ppl all came together to enjoy the sunshine, great food, fantastic music and outstanding vibes. I’m with Seattlerita “put on your favorite song, and dance a little”
    Dancing truly is good for your soul and everyone around you.
    So what you were a little inconvenienced by a little noise, it ended a reasonable time as previously stated. There really wasn’t any issues that I’m aware of. A community of Seattle & PNW area music lovers came together to rejoice and honor the fact that we’re free, celebrated our indepedence and enjoyed some music that we love.
    I personally am I lover of many music genres, I’d be happy to attend another event just like that; whether it were classical, rock, folk- you name it.
    We’re all blessed that were are able to hear, and experience the sounds of our world.

  • Alotta Fagina July 6, 2015 (5:45 pm)

    Also biiig shout out to Sam Mouser for making the funnest day of this summer possible! Such a good time!

  • letthefunhappenforonce July 6, 2015 (5:50 pm)

    ONE sunday in the 52 a year. Began late enough for most to sleep in, and stopped before most bedtimes. NO incidents (this means no medical issues, no tickets issued for disorderly conduct etc.) And the city received money via permit etc. It also received some VERY positive PR for the city. There were people there from OTHER STATES (that means hotel rooms being booked, restaurants feeding people… tourism stuff). And YOU LIVE IN A CITY!! Peace and silence…. I never expect it.
    Perhaps recognize the POSITIVE from an event so large (3000+), and relax on the negative. There have been SO many horrendous things happening this year… for once a LARGE amount of people gathered (diverse group, might I add) and had a POSITIVE time. WELL DONE DIRTYBIRD and EVERYONE that contributed.

  • MelSpy July 6, 2015 (5:55 pm)

    thousand gathered peacefully, the catalyst was music… melody, harmony, rhythm, tone, structure, and dynamics. with record breaking temps on a paved parking lot in SODO ..The Birds (dirty as they may be) provided shade, misters, and free bottled waters for the party goers when the water stations ran out. if ya wanna learn something about this music, it’s the underground baby, it will never die. House for Life!

  • DirtybirdFan July 6, 2015 (6:01 pm)

    3000+people celebrating, smiling, dancing, breaking bread all while building a community of folks that respect, love, and watch out for each other is what you heard! You complainers can thank Dirty Bird and the staff that put this event on, for keeping your kids safe and showing them how to live life to the fullest.

  • datamuse July 6, 2015 (6:50 pm)

    I’m kinda bummed that I *couldn’t* hear it from my house. Sounds like fun!

  • Neighbor July 6, 2015 (6:55 pm)

    Well that’s pretty ironic DBF…a community that fosters love and respect huh? It’s all good until your tribe is abusing an entire peninsula? Okydoky.

    If the organizers were smart they would have better community relations.

  • Dudemanbro July 6, 2015 (7:03 pm)

    JanS, I’m not him but I would love house or classical getting blasted any time.

  • DB4life July 6, 2015 (7:04 pm)

    This was such a great accomplishment by some off the hardest working people I have ever met. They brought one of the most unique events in house music to a city where many said it could never happen. No incidents and everyone made it home safe. We danced, we ate, and had so much fun! Love all evolved! Can’t wait to go DirtyBird summer camp!

  • usc July 6, 2015 (8:39 pm)

    Donald Glaude must of not been there. Otherwise
    the Westside, Southside, and Northside would have been bumping. Have fun, forget the haters. 9 is very reasonable…

  • newnative July 6, 2015 (9:03 pm)

    My complaints:
    1) I was working
    2) I wasn’t invited
    2) I must have been the only one in West Seattle that couldn’t hear it it.

  • Joe Dirt July 6, 2015 (9:50 pm)

    Life’s a garden…dig it

  • WSince86 July 6, 2015 (9:53 pm)

    I’m with Datamuse and Newnative. We were outta town. Kinda sorry we missed it!!!

  • Art Critic July 7, 2015 (1:09 am)

    I thought one of my neighbors across the street needed a talking to. The reason we have laws, my wise father used to say, was this. Your right to your pursuit of happiness ENDS when it interferes with my right to the pursuit of happiness. Hence laws. We need to nip that bass beat (that aint music cuz they aint no melody) in the bud. If you want to destroy your dna and hearing with loud vibes that is what your god created headphones for. Please turn it up to 11 inside your headphones, just not when I am around. Lets get Eyman to write an initiative to stop that Dirtybird in its dirty tracks AND also the train that idles at 2:30am for a couple hours every working morning. A sound idea. Sorry, majority rules…

  • M Ferris July 7, 2015 (7:48 am)

    3000 people got together and had an amazing time on a heatwave Seattle summer day. We danced, we smiled, we hugged. We also all happen to love music, and our music happens to incorporate bass. No one was hurt. The hours were VERY reasonable.
    You would put the kabosh on that for your one afternoon of peace? You live in a city!
    Relax, put some headphones in and listen to Barry White or Yanni or whatever it is you listen to…. and enjoy. Dance a little. Love life. And remember that’s what we’re doing.
    Allow us to embrace life and dance to music that’s heard the way it’s supposed to be played. One weekend out of an entire year is nothing.
    20 blocks away, I couldn’t hear the speakers in SODO. It’s a shame that the acoustics of West Seattle work against you, but putting an end to everyone else’s fun because you live in an acoustic tunnel isn’t fair to anyone at all. That’s a “shoulda done your research before moving” moment – you can’t go shutting down all the good things that happen around you because of it. Time for you to go buy decent ear plugs.
    Much love.

  • Brian July 7, 2015 (7:57 am)

    “if you want to destroy your dna”
    Something tells me your grip on basic science is severely lacking.

  • datamuse July 7, 2015 (8:09 am)

    What law were they breaking, Art Critic?

  • Brian Eno July 7, 2015 (8:20 am)

    I am old, and wealthy, and I want to live in a tiny bubble. Please do not have fun, ever. Go to work, quietly, live quietly, never protest unless its quietly, I am TRYING to count my money over here.

  • Abra B. July 7, 2015 (8:41 am)

    Well, I am guessing nobody expected the Seattle House community to find this and all its complainers, but, they did…

    Why? Because we are that in-touch with the city we love. It also happens to be the city we’re evolving and building.

    To us, it is not just BASS. To us, it was more than a party. This was a feat of determinism and a effort of love surpassing 3,000+ citizens expectations. This community is vibrant and inspiring. In an afternoon, the City of Seattle, was shown large scale events, of this kind, can be thrown without incident. That is huge and deserving of respect.

    I underdstand it was just bass to you, and I feel terribly for the neighbors some of you have tried to blame. If you felt you had to knock on doors, I am guessing you haven’t taken the time to get to know them. Maybe, take a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon and introduce yourselves. Then, ya’ll can get together and bond, as a community, over your distaste for our music. Because that is what we, the collective, were doing.

    You see, its not just bass to us. It is how we drown out the noise of the daily life. Dancing is our meditation and repetitive beats clear our minds. It is our peace and quiet. Which we also have a legitimate right to.

    Don’t hate, participate. We can get along together without threats of ordinances and laws. We’ve been here before, and we’ll be here again. That is why we love our community as we do.

    Nobody can stop the vibes and smile fest that Sunday afternoon was. It was 7 hours of your existence. Follow these others suggestion, come on down and spend it with us!


  • West Seattle Hipster July 7, 2015 (8:44 am)

    If I had to choose between loud music and drunks setting off explosives, I’ll take music every time.


    Another bonus is I see a lot of new readers of the WSB, welcome!

  • vee July 7, 2015 (9:29 am)

    Oh gawd….

  • Kenny Bird July 7, 2015 (11:14 am)

    Not a one complaint about fireworks? The awful noise scares every dog, cat, squirrel and bird for miles. Every year we incur property damage from fires and the cost to tax payers. Seriously, hope the bass burns yours house down. I live in the actual city. Where some of those same complaining neighbors you have come to whoop it up and trash at all hours of the night and morning. Over a bridge, through a tunnel, Happy Independence weekend.

    • WSB July 7, 2015 (11:32 am)

      Kenny – Lots of fireworks discussions on other threads, at least five stories related to fires, caring neighbors cleaning up on the 5th after people trashed parks, etc. Thanks. And thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to come say something here. The *only* reason we wrote about this is that one of the things we do in running this news publication for West Seattle is try to solve mysteries, about many things – becuase of that, we get contacted by people who saw something, heard something, wondered about something. Often they’re just one-off inquiries that come in via e-mail, so we reply with whatever info we come up with, and they never lead to stories on the site. But in this case, enough people asked about it that we went out to look and listen, and then, once we found the answer via Twitter, we thought others might be wondering, so we published this short item. It wasn’t an OMG WHAT THE HELL WAS ALL THAT item, just a simple, neutral, informational item. I doubt anyone involved had any idea that due to quirks of geography and weather, the sound would carry across the bay. SODO otherwise is a very quiet place on the weekend, given the prevalence of industrial and business facilities there, so it would seem like the ideal place for this … can’t predict the way the sound’s going to carry. Similar to fireworks at Safeco Field – sometimes you can hear them over here, sometimes you can’t. – TR

  • Clayjustsayin July 7, 2015 (11:17 am)

    I missed the music down here in Highland Park. Thank god for that. I can hear the train though and it is miles away and over a hill. How does that work?

  • XL July 7, 2015 (11:53 am)

    less than 10 complainers. More than 20 supporters. Do the math. Love and togetherness seems to be the greater sum here. I hope the grouchy music haters find a pool of puppy’s to roll around in and get some soul food. Get out of FOX News and get out here and live a little <3

  • G July 7, 2015 (12:59 pm)

    What an amazing event!!! I think we should all call Sam Mouser and thank him for issuing the permits to allow us to have such an incredible experience here in Seattle!

    This event was produced and staffed by Local Seattle promoters and residents along with Dirtybird so the community has come out ahead. Good Music + Safe + Fun event that supported the local community = Seattle Wins!

  • Doug M. July 7, 2015 (2:14 pm)

    I am one of the organizers of this event and would like to share my thoughts on this.

    A major reason we selected the SoDo neighborhood was to minimize any sort of negative impact this event might have on other members of the Seattle community. The location, on a Sunday, without any Mariners or Sounders games scheduled, seemed like a great option. Far enough away from any largely residential areas, but still offering the urban setting that aligned with our intended vision for the event. We worked extensively with multiple City of Seattle agencies to produce a safe and positive event that added yet another chapter to the incredible music scene that Seattle is so famous for.

    I’d like to thank the West Seattle Blog writers for bringing this situation to our attention. I can assure you that we had no idea the sound would travel so far West of the event and without this blog entry we may have never known it occurred at all. This is something we will certainly consider when planning future outdoor events of this nature. Changing something as simple as the direction the speakers are facing can dramatically reduce any unintended audible impact on members of the surrounding communities.

    As everyone following this post can see, the vibrant house music community in Seattle is an extremely passionate group and that passion is certainly a cornerstone of the positive atmosphere you’ll find at our events. However we want to be sure that the enthusiasm for this specific brand of dance music doesn’t come across as disrespectful to those who don’t share the same love for it. Please know that Sunday Funday means different things to different folks and everyone in Seattle deserves to enjoy it in their own way. We certainly support diversity in all aspects of life, including musical tastes, and would never want to have that belief lost in this process.

  • vanceg July 7, 2015 (2:38 pm)

    I couldn’t be happier that the city has events like this. I DO think it adds to the vitality and culture of the city.

    As far as noise goes – The damn stunt fighter jets flying overhead during Seafair are far more objectionable to me than some music in the distance. But I don’t complain because it’s part of the fabric of the city.

    The DirtyBird event was well attended, entirely peaceful, and apparently a LOT of fun (I wasn’t able to attend) and it went ONLY until 9pm. 9pm. That’s kinda early….no? I’m pretty sure the firworks made more noise later than 9pm.

    Let’s open up and realize that if we are going to live in tight relationship to each other (in a city) we are going to have to be accepting of some of the types of fun and community that others want to build.

  • Norma July 7, 2015 (3:33 pm)

    I appreciate hearing from one of the organizers. I hope you turn the volume down in the future and do what you can to redirect the sound. I’ve lived in my house 40 years and have dealt with all kinds of noise issues over that time. We can hear music on the pier but it isn’t unbearable. It’s the turned up base characteristic of some of the current music that is driving us mad up here. We don’t hear the music (and I don’t care to in my home) we just get the constant jarring beat. It’s kind of like a form of torture. I’m glad to hear you seem to care but we’ll be listening.

  • Brian Enoch July 7, 2015 (4:00 pm)

    I called Sam to thank him! Thanks for posting his number!!

  • quinkygirl July 7, 2015 (4:19 pm)

    I live in West Seattle (top of the hill in Gatewood) and couldn’t hear the event before I got super close to it. It was a great time, and the music wasn’t all that loud there. The bass carried because that’s what bass does. I am sometimes put out by my neighbor’s dog that barks incessantly some days. That bark echoes loudly, too! When that happens, I take a breath and remind myself that I live in a community with others and can’t always get my own way. If the barking continued into the wee hours, then I might say something. :)

  • Fourth July 7, 2015 (4:25 pm)

    Doug, thanks for weighing in. I think most of us don’t mind some noise now and again– we do, after all, live in a city. But this was wall-shaking bass for 6 hours. With that kind of noise, there’s really no escaping it anywhere in your house. Many of my neighbors– some elderly who don’t have the mobility to just leave their house to escape noise like this– were very uncomfortable. Obviously, the organizers didn’t intend for that to happen, and I appreciate your willingness to consider impact in the future. It’s great that it was an inclusive event at which attendees had a good time, but I would hope we could find some middle ground next time. And to vanceg, living in a community doesn’t just mean accepting “some types of fun that others want to have,” it also means having respect for your neighbors.

  • Guy July 7, 2015 (10:42 pm)

    Nice post Doug! Putting the PRO in professional!

  • KM July 8, 2015 (10:46 am)

    I heard it all day in pigeon point and after a few hours of it was rolling my eyes BUT then snapped out of it as I remembered my life about 10 years ago and all the crazy fun times I had with friends dancing the night (or sometimes day) away to loud music and loving every minute of it. And then it made me smile to think of all those people having all that fun only a few miles away… While I went back to my spreadsheet that I needed to finish for Monday morning. Wah wah wah. Life is meant to be lived and sometimes loudly.

  • Art Critic July 8, 2015 (12:31 pm)

    To all house music lovers in this thread,

    I was listening to house music before most of you born. For about ten minutes and then I got bored with the idiotic bass. If you want to listen to good electronic music try some Eno. Not some over produced commercial product being marketed at you. I am an unpaid commenter on this thread as opposed to some of the obviously subsidized yes people here.

    I will be writing letters to the appropriate city departments and council persons so that the permit includes noise abatement and decibel monitoring. I suggest all concerned citizens do the same, as it seems the lobbying effort by the organizers will be as loud as the bass. The bass was ridiculous and unnecessary to any possible enjoyment by folks within a mile of the event. Contrary to the music moguls and producers, it aint all about the bass.

    When your hearing goes away when you are in your 40s I want you to remember that you were responsible for the actions you took, and enjoy the silence which will be coming your way in your 50s.

Sorry, comment time is over.

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