WEST SEATTLE SUMMER FEST 2017: Feedback wanted!

(Summer Fest Saturday photo by Leda Costa for WSB)

We mentioned in our coverage of West Seattle Summer Fest this past weekend that the festival-presenting West Seattle Junction Association planned an online community survey to gather your thoughts. We just got word from WSJA executive director Lora Swift that the survey is now up – “I’m invested in bringing the neighborhood quality events and would love some feedback,” she explains. So if you went to the festival, you are invited to spend a few minutes answering it – go here. Thanks in advance for taking the time to help them understand what was and wasn’t good about West Seattle’s biggest party of the year, so next year’s Summer Fest can be even better.

P.S. You’re also welcome – but not required! – to share comments here, instead of or in addition to/replication of the survey; they’ll be read too.

38 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE SUMMER FEST 2017: Feedback wanted!"

  • BlairJ July 19, 2017 (12:56 pm)

    I did not appreciate the street performer with the automatic bubble machine spewing soap all over the food booths.  Fortunately, my sandwich was wrapped in paper and I was able to get away from him.  I noticed some vendors in other booths appearing annoyed at his bubbles getting on their art work and merchandise.  A few bubbles as a part of a performance might be OK, but that was overkill.

  • Whahappen July 19, 2017 (1:16 pm)

    Is there no money allocated for the music, anymore?! The bands used to be SO MUCH BETTER! Mudhoney, fastbacks, John Doe, the cops, young fresh fellows, supersuckers, rev Horton heat, etc.. Really great bands in the past!!

    I can only surmise the music budget is now much lower, even though the fest is more packed with spenders?!

    The audience last weekend seemed to listen out of boredom, as porter Ray begged for encore request..

    It’s a fun thing because I can walk to it, but not currently a music destination event, unfortunately ..

  • Al July 19, 2017 (1:19 pm)

    I’m glad there open to feed back.  We tried a few years back and it feel on deaf ears

  • Alki Resident July 19, 2017 (1:42 pm)

    The rappers throwing F bombs was not the place for our festival. Secondly, while I think the last band of the nite was fun to watch, I feel most of us were ready to dance. I was hoping for dance music. Bring back the Afros or somebody PLEASE.

  • WS Parent July 19, 2017 (1:47 pm)

    I’d like to see more art vendors (home and yard) instead of jewelry vendors (not knocking them – there was some beautiful jewelry. Just seemed saturated with them this year).


    More shade in the beer garden would be nice. 

  • Ann July 19, 2017 (3:04 pm)

    Saturday night concert was the most packed I have ever seen it!!! 

    • tessa July 21, 2017 (9:15 pm)

      I love country music.  But they weren’t country music.  They were noise and lights. Had to leave.

  • Nate July 19, 2017 (3:09 pm)

    Speaking on behalf of the children, bring back the wrecking ball! And, keep it up, my family had a blast this year!

  • Mark July 19, 2017 (3:58 pm)

    The great: The weather was gorgeous.
    The good: for the first time in several years, my car wasn’t popped.
    The bad: The music was the worst that I can remember. Brent Amaker and the Rodeo isn’t a band, it’s an exploitative misogynistic freak show. We need a new booker/talent buyer. the music selection this year looked like somebody was paying off debts or just getting friends in.
    The rude: people bicycling in the crowds.
    The annoying: bubbles!
    Side note: Let’s go back to the old “street fair” name. I have never heard anybody say “happy summerfest”. Even better, let’s just go back to the original sidewalk sale, nothing else.
    Seriously, I thought this was the worst street fair in recent memory.

    • Alki Resident July 19, 2017 (6:07 pm)

      Yes exactly, the strip show was completely inappropriate and the music was a bit bizarre. I would’ve been more excited to take a nap than view that crap.

    • MrsT July 20, 2017 (10:47 am)

      I loved Brent Amaker and the Rodeo! Loved the lasers, smoke, burlesque, cursing and dancing!

  • Michael July 19, 2017 (4:27 pm)

    Better music.  West Seattle Summer Fest was something I’d invite friends to go to because of the music.  This year was majorly disappointing.  No hate to any of the bands that played, I just think that the fest should focus on the music.  I think it will suffer in attendance over the long run if bigger acts aren’t hired to play.  

  • villagegreen July 19, 2017 (4:27 pm)

    I, for one, actually like the direction the music selection has gone the past few years. “Mudhoney, fastbacks, John Doe, the cops, young fresh fellows, supersuckers, rev Horton heat, etc..” Although great bands, they represent the past. Just because West Seattle skews older doesn’t mean we only like has-beens. I think I’ve heard the saying, “West Seattle is where old rock stars go to die.” I’m almost 50 and would rather see Porter Ray “throwing f-bombs” talking about current social issues than some old whites guys mainly reliving the past.

    The only thing that immediately comes to mind re: improvements would be a better beer selection. Manny’s is fine, but there are so many great Washington beers available now I’d like to see more support for them.

    • Rockout July 19, 2017 (5:09 pm)

      From the reaction of the crowd, you were about the only one digging porter rays set. If you want to hear someone – ““throwing f-bombs” talking about current social issues..”, you’d be better served at the stage on Alaska during the many discussions about HALA, solar energy, etc.

      meanwhile, most of us would like to hear GOOD music, old AND new. 

    • Funtime July 19, 2017 (6:39 pm)

      There are many times that are perfect for throwing fbombs and talking about current social issues, and this would not be one. However, this would be a perfect time for some great music. 

      Btw- what nuggets did you glean from the commentary on current social issues?

  • Emily July 19, 2017 (5:00 pm)

    We are relatively new to the area, so we can’t compare it to what it used to be, but we had a great time. Safe, family friendly, we enjoyed the one band we saw (the one with the female drummer), easy to navigate. We have children (0, 2, and 4) though, so we may have lower expectations then some, just looking for a fun, safe place to enjoy the summer, and WS summerfest gave that to us :). The kids loved all of the bouncy houses and rides :)

    • WSB July 19, 2017 (5:06 pm)

      Thank you to everyone who has commented (and/or answered the survey) so far!

      Trivia point since the music is a popular discussion topic:

      Here’s the lineup from 2007, just before we went commercial. Two acts that were also on the 2017 list!

  • Erithan July 19, 2017 (5:42 pm)

    Please don’t set up heavy bass(or get better tech to dampen how far it goes) bands on the green stage in junction plaza.  

    Our apartment building shook this year, it was/is literally feet from where that stage is setup.(can see brick in pictures of the stage)

    Asking/reminding vendors that people live right here would be great to, noise way past midnight. Sunday, leaf blowers from 1am+

    As much as i usually like the festival, as years go on seem to be less and less consideration for people who live right here.

    having cops past 11 would be helpful as well. Had large group of people on edge of our garage one night into early am, smoking and drinking as well. (Aside/on top of from the 4-5 guys that are now regularly sleeping/drinking/yelling at passerbys(kids included!) in junction plaza at the moment..,)

    will end end on a more positive note, thank you for all the hard work organizing this every year! And for taking feedback!

  • Luke July 19, 2017 (5:57 pm)

    Music commenters: Did you catch Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme in front of Elliot Bay on Friday night?

    would love to see them headlining one of the main stage spots. So many people smiling and dancing of all ages. I’ve followed them a couple of years now and have a blast at every show. Kudos to the sound guy Friday night during that set. It was great for a sidewalk set!

    • Cherrie July 19, 2017 (11:26 pm)

      Yes to Eldridge Gravy!!  What a happy surprise!  They were hired by Elliott Brewery for 20th Anniversary and had everyone dancing and smiling.  You couldn’t go wrong hiring them.  Everyone was asking “Who are these guys?”  Other than that, I have to admit I still love Fridays because it feels like more of the W.S. locals.  I peruse the booths, but I love supporting the W.S. merchants.  I thought the food selection was pretty good, did wonder why there wasn’t a 2nd stage (and figured budget), so was pleasantly surprised by the Eldridge Gravy performance on Friday night.  Were there less craft vendors this year?  It felt like it, and maybe less variety than usual….just an impression.

  • R. R. July 19, 2017 (7:04 pm)

    I love dogs.  I don’t love it when they bark, sniff, and jump on me as I am just trying to walk by the booths with the other participants.  I also heard a number of parents with young children complain about the number of dogs present.  Many people are allergic and/or afraid of dogs.  Let’s keep other people’s interests and needs in mind too.

    The Saturday night show with the dancer/stripper, was not something I like to see in West Seattle–a family friendly neighborhood.  I don’t oppose that kind of entertainment, just not for areas where families are prevalent. Also, with all the police presence, I am surprised the smell of marijuana was so common.

    It would be nice if there was more of a variety in the booths.  There are always a lot of soap/jewelry tents.  It would be nice if there were different kinds of vendors, like art, unique gifts, unique services, etc.  There’s only so much soap and jewelry one can buy.

    Although the bubbles may not have been popular, it looked like whoever was doing the balloon animals was making a killing in the popularity department. 

    We had a great time overall!

  • Julia July 19, 2017 (8:36 pm)

    I get tired of so many of the same vendors each year. If I wanted garish, primary-colored paintings I would have bought them by now. (No offense, I actually like them.) I just would like to see some new ideas. Can’t comment on the music — I was there before 11 a.m. on two days and there wasn’t anything going on.

    Another observation: I was accosted several times by overly aggressive folks from booths who would not take no for an answer. Unnecessary rudeness.

    But, I still love the street fair! (or whatever it’s called)

  • Trickycoolj July 19, 2017 (9:06 pm)

    A lot of vendors were repeats from the U-District Street Fair which I have gone to longer than Sommerfest (lived there first). I suppose that’s true of all the street fairs around the city but I would love to see a focus on local vendors. It’s often how I discover businesses I didn’t know we had here all along. 

    Definitely overheard people from outside WS that this was the best street fair they’ve been to. The booth setup down the middle of the street is really nice to allow focus on the Junction vendors and restaurants to expand outside. Wish there was even more beer garden space at Beer Junction or Eliott Bay. The weather just begged to enjoy some cold drinks and take it easy. 

  • Cait July 19, 2017 (10:21 pm)

    Bring back the West Seattle tee shirt vendor! We look forward to getting a new tee every year to rep our city, but they were no where to be found! We left empty handed this year :(

    • lvbebe July 22, 2017 (6:39 am)

      @cait I think they were outside of Capers, I believe I heard her say they have them in there year round. I also believe that they sell them in the Admiral Dispatch/Mail Center on 47 & Admiral.

  • Brenda July 19, 2017 (10:34 pm)

    The survey should call out if 1 or 10 is best.  That would ensure people are using the same scale for rating. I didn’t finish because I wasn’t sure on the scale.

  • West Seattle Block Watch Captains' Network July 19, 2017 (11:13 pm)

    As someone affiliated with two West Seattle grassroots community organizations (not-for-profit and not political orgs) who have had space in the Community Tent in previous years, I felt like both were shut out this year. When we reached out to the organizers (since no one reached out to us as they had in past years), we were told that it was already too late and the space were already full.

    It was a friendly email, but it left us no options, aside from asking her to let us know if someone cancelled…and we never heard back.  

    I would advocate for a more transparent process – especially after seeing that some of the ones who were allocated space were bigger non-profits from outside of West Seattle such as Pasado’s Safe Haven (a great org, but not local to WS).

    Small local groups and organizations do tremendous good in our community, and if costs or other constraints prevent us from being at local festivals — the end result is that we reach fewer West Seattle residents each year.

    Was it really that impossible to find space for us and few other local grassrooots organizations and non-profits? 

    — Karen 

  • Foodie guy July 20, 2017 (5:35 am)

    The one comment I heard over and over was about the food vendors. Not enough variety…the deep fried pb&j  vendor, the meatball guy, corn on the cob were missed. Is it too expensive for the vendors… is that why some repeats didn’t come back this year?

  • Anne July 20, 2017 (6:46 am)

    More variety in vendors would be nice-the block from Oregon to Alaska- had a much more interesting selection than the block from Alaska to Edmonds. For the first time ever- did not buy a thing- our group did enjoy sitting outside at Talaricos for lunch & their amazing frozen Margaritas! 

  • Jacob Martin July 20, 2017 (8:56 am)

    I only went one day, it was pretty fun, the only problem i had was that i submitted a music application and was very annoyed. Not because i didn’t make it in but they should at least TELL YOU that you didn’t make it in instead of letting you find out via your name not being on the poster.

  • Perspective July 20, 2017 (9:08 am)

    So this is the official feedback section, right? Not the link cited in the article but right here in the comments?

    The whole “OMG rappers and the F-word! And the boomin bass sounds! And the bicycles! And nearly nude women-folk! Will someone please think of the children???” makes everyone sound like they’re on some “Get off my lawn!” old man tirade. If people want to see Mudhoney (and their equally profane performance–read those lyric sheets if you’re unaware) so bad, you can easily catch them at one of the approximately 200 shows they play locally every year.  If you think everything you heard was irrelevant trash, it likely wasn’t performed for you.

    • WSB July 20, 2017 (9:33 am)

      As mentioned above, people are welcome to comment here as well as or instead of via the survey, and their comments will be seen as well, we have been assured. Can’t always guarantee that with other surveys we write about – if it’s a government agency, for example, they might only be counting comments via official channels, but WSJA is not a government agency and can accept feedback in any way it chooses. – TR

    • wsea98116 July 20, 2017 (12:06 pm)

      @ perspective- do you know what this article is about? WSJA and WSB are requesting feedback regarding this years summerfest. This is what feedback looks like, as people cite what the did and did not like. Because this is a free, family friendly community event, goer’s seem to feel it should be more family appropriate- and you don’t seem to understand that cursing, and innuendo, are two very different things. Also, the point is lost with you that- we don’t want to see just mudhoney. We want to see great bands of all genres- like those that have appeared in the past.
      You’re right, this music likely wasn’t performed for us- apparent by crowd reaction. We would prefer music (old and new- but good) that is performed for us.

  • Gene July 20, 2017 (9:38 am)

    Brenda- the problem with just using a 1-10 scale –it doesn’t offer real input- I like it this way- gives folks the opportunity to be specific- what they liked or didn’t- what could be improved on-etc.

  • Daphne July 20, 2017 (10:50 am)

    Liked all the music, but it wasn’t curated very well. Random pairings both Friday and Saturday night, we saw a lot of people leaving during the 8:30 shows even though they wanted to see the 10:00 headliners. Acts should be grouped better so the audience is bigger and sticks around, and more consistent. Also, the headlining bands this year didn’t skew young at all, they are older performers which is great…just not as well-known as the acts at prior festivals. 

  • newnative July 20, 2017 (11:03 am)

    Only listened to a few music performers, one outside of Poggie Tavern, a duo that was great. Young and old were dancing and singing along to cover songs. She had a great voice. I think it was Brian and Jaimie?  

    I heard The Gods Themselves, who were good.  

    I thought the food choices were better this year and look forward to more food truck/locally owned kitchens. I wish more of the Junction restaurants provided street food prices. 

    I wish people would not bring their “well-behaved dogs”. They fight, trip people and it has to be stressful for them. People have ear plugs in at the stages, while dogs have more sensitive hearing. 

    I thought there was more variety in the vendors and I did buy some novel items. I would like to see even more arts and crafts, less imported crap. 

  • KJ July 20, 2017 (2:55 pm)

    I loved that it was dog friendly. I appreciated that vendors had water bowls out for them and there was a dog watering station. 

    The diversity of the music bands were great. Personally, i liked Friday’s bands better than Saturday’s. That was just a personal preference.  Thunderpussy was amazing!

    I would have liked to see more food vendors that represented West Seattle.  It was fine otherwise. Someone mentioned the beer selection in the beer garden. I agree that the selcetion could have been better. It would have been nice to have the beer garden dog friendly all weekend instead of just Friday. 

  • wsea98116 July 21, 2017 (5:13 pm)

    I enjoy summerfest most when I’m not tripping over a dog

Sorry, comment time is over.