SPF30, PM REPORT: Sub Pop Records’ Alki celebration crescendo


6:58 PM: Evening is here and the final frenetic few hours of Sub Pop Records’ 30th-birthday party SPF30 are beginning. The crowd is thickening by the minute, and some are watching from the water:

Mudhoney‘s set is minutes away on the Harsh Realm stage at 57th/Alki. Shabazz Palaces is wrapping their set on the east side of the Bathhouse. More to come!

7:39 PM: Having some challenges with one signal provider so we’re behind on evening images. We will of course add when we can! Meanwhile, eyes on the sky:

Only the briefest of showers in the past six-plus hours. Just needs to hold out a few more.

8:32 PM: As featured in our first report, here’s the KEXP video stream:

At 9 pm, they’re scheduled to stream the last act of the night, Father John Misty. Here’s their clip of Beach House, the 8 pm band:

This is all supposed to end at 10 – remember that The Junction invites you to downtown West Seattle’s afterparty, including a DJ at West 5 (4539 California SW; WSB sponsor).

9:12 PM: Our Mudhoney clip remains stuck in cell hell. But Barry Devenney sent this photo of the crowd, during the band’s last song:

We just caught part of Father John Misty’s set, too. Lots more to add when we get back to HQ.

12:06 AM: Evening scenes! The crowd:

Hot Snakes:


Shabazz Palaces:

Beach House:


Here’s video by Tony Welch:

Father John Misty:

(Added Sunday: Video by Mark Jaroslaw:)

And as the party wrapped … Admiral Way was lined with people awaiting various forms of transportation, while the big tour-bus-size shuttles provided by Sub Pop circulated past.

P.S. We’re also adding more to our first report, which covered the afternoon and very-early evening.

58 Replies to "SPF30, PM REPORT: Sub Pop Records' Alki celebration crescendo"

  • Ryan August 11, 2018 (7:43 pm)

    I’m so glad this SUBPOP concert worked out. I’m white and my girlfriend is black. The only reason this concert was passed by the city is because it is white music. I live on Alki and it literally is 97% white people right now. Of course this concert was ok’d. My name is Ryan Caple. 

    • WSB August 11, 2018 (8:16 pm)

      The city’s special events calendar – events approved by the same office that approved this – includes a fairly wide-ranging list of events. We’re past the peak of the summer and I don’t know if you can go back to see what’s archived, but you can scroll through what’s coming up toward the bottom of this page:

    • Calires August 11, 2018 (10:13 pm)

      So, what is “white music”?  I have to assume this means music played by white people.  So this means that Darius Rucker would not have been allowed to play but Eminem would have?

    • Alki resident August 12, 2018 (12:25 am)

      Thank goodness for your post. I wasn’t at the concert so I’m certainly glad I didn’t add to the white population down there today. 

    • Another fest August 12, 2018 (8:25 am)

      Beacon Hill Block Party seems to have no trouble with approval and that’s a yearly event that showcases mainly hip hop. So…. https://www.stationblockparty.com/artists

    • Jeff Hickel August 12, 2018 (10:39 am)

      Ryan’ bigoted comments are disgusting.  This was a fantastic event that was inclusive to all people.  

    • Lifer August 12, 2018 (11:21 am)

      I absolutely noticed the overwhelming ‘whiteness’ of the event and anyone who’s been to Alki on a Saturday night in August probably noticed it as well.During the summer, Alki is one of the most diverse places in the city – there are black people, white people, asians, hispanics, burkas, yamakas, yogis, youth groups, monks, hippies, bikers, CrossFit bros, volleyball babes, you name it. By contrast, this was easily the least diverse summertime Saturday night on Alki in a decade.I’m certainly not making any kind of normative statement about how diverse an Indy-rock label’s anniversary concert ought to be, but it also feels appropriate to acknowledge… I had a great time last night and I also have a refreshed appreciation for the diverse community that spontaneously creates itself on Alki every other weekend of the summer. 

      • Alki Betty August 12, 2018 (2:34 pm)

         Well-said, and I concur with your insights! Also had a great time last night, and also appreciate the usually spontaneous diversity our beloved Alki invites & hosts on most summer days/nights. Rock on. 

    • Wsresident August 12, 2018 (11:52 am)

      What a stupid comment. And it’s incorrect anyway. Keep your negativity to yourself. 

    • Dunno August 12, 2018 (7:28 pm)

      I think there is a lot of race baiting going on in the WS Blog comment section’s.   Check out the posts about the Morgan/35th sw shooting.  My friends of so called color had a great time.  There are all kinds of ethnic events sanctioned by our city.    I’ve never seen so many people on Alki period.   Must have been the price of admission!

    • Ryan August 12, 2018 (7:39 pm)

      This is Ryan caple and I did not post this!!!! Been trying to get this deleting all day. Sorry for any misunderstanding. Enjoy

      • Dunno August 12, 2018 (8:33 pm)

        Ryan, don’t worry, this happened on Facebook before the election.   The bots are on the blog!

  • music fan August 11, 2018 (9:02 pm)

     We were down there for a couple of hours between 6 and 8. What fun! Restaurants and food trucks are doing great business. People still coming down to Alki as we were leaving. Thanks Sub Pop for the best beach party ever.

  • quora August 11, 2018 (9:25 pm)

    Absolutely incredible event! And it was free! This is what our community is all about. Nice distraction from the BS criminals thinking they can tarnish our West Seattle. Move along, losers!

  • Glass Half Full August 11, 2018 (9:30 pm)

    Just got home from 5 hours at SPF30 and my ears are still ringing a little.  So proud of our neighborhood for hosting this awesome music festival.  So impressed with the respect I saw – everyone having a great time and no littering, no trouble-makers, most folks took shuttles from The Junction, really no problems at all.  Thanks SubPop and SW Seattle Historical Society for hosting.  

    • Christian Minor August 11, 2018 (11:08 pm)

      Completely agree! Was there at noon and heard great music, saw acts of kindness and nothing but smiles. How do we do this a bit more micro once a month? Nice job WS! You folks set the example of great community. And a huge shout out to SP and everyone who put on SPF 30. Absolutely top notch production and talent.

    • sbre August 12, 2018 (12:43 am)

      I was down there for about 5 hours, and the only problem I saw was during the ‘Father John Misty’ performance.Part way into a song he (and then they) stopped playing, John called-out some guy up front who was being a jerk and punching people around him and within a minute security took him away and the band continued.   Other than that, it was a very peaceful and pleasant event.   

  • valvashon August 11, 2018 (9:34 pm)

    What fun indeed!  Seeing The Fastbacks and Mudhoney in the span of three hours within walking distance from my house?  One of the best days so far this year!  Sub Pop- feel free to celebrate your birthday on Alki again next year…

  • Blbl August 11, 2018 (10:32 pm)

    We had a great time,  but while walking around my husband commented that everyone was white.  So it’s not just you, Ryan.  

    • Seaweed August 11, 2018 (11:29 pm)

      White People!?  They must live here, or something.

    • CatLady August 12, 2018 (12:12 am)

      You and Ryan both make good points – I noticed it as well when I was in line for food and two back guys walked by me. They stood out, and I realized it’s because the festival was so very, very white. 

    • WhiteChocolate August 12, 2018 (12:27 am)

      No need to apologize for being white. I saw a diverse set of people but it is ok to have shows that appeal to different demographics. 

  • Guy Fawkes August 12, 2018 (12:03 am)

    Hey Ryan, Why does is always have to end with some slighted race comment? Could have something to do with this though. Before asking something ignorant, check the facts. The racial composition of the city in 2016 was 65.7% white, 14.1% Asian, 7.0% Black, 0.4% Native American, 0.9% Pacific Islander, 2.3% from other races, and 5.6% from two or more races. 6.6% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race.[5] Amongst the city’s European origin population, 11.3% were of German, 9.1% Irish, 8.1% English and 5.0% Norwegian ancestry according to Census 2000.

  • Calires August 12, 2018 (12:07 am)

    So if it would have been the 30th anny of Death Row would you be complaining about it being mainly African-Americans attending?  Yes, there are labels that are mainly comprised of artists from one race or another because of the type of music they represent.  That’s not racism.  I was a huge grunge fan and a huge gangsta rap fan back in the early 90s.   You can like both “white” music and “black” music.   And that makes me feel sick to categorize it like that, but apparently that’s what you understand.

  • TJ August 12, 2018 (12:37 am)

    I mean, a great event and people commenting on the racial makeup? I detect some white guilt

  • Chris August 12, 2018 (8:17 am)

    Regarding Ryan’s post and some of the reactions to it, I think his point was not that there were “too many white people” in attendance but rather that he suspects that if the music and crowd had been predominantly black it wouldn’t have been allowed by the city. That might be a debatable point and I wish he cited evidence to back it up, but it’s very different than a complaint about the crowd being simply “too white.”  And conversations about topics like the one he brings up are something we need more of. Thank you Ryan. 

    • Another fest August 12, 2018 (8:53 am)

      See my comment about Beacon Hill Block Party. It’s been ‘approved’ for over 15 years… 

  • Proud employee August 12, 2018 (8:18 am)

    Just want to give a shout out to my coworkers at  Seattle Theatre Group (Paramount, Moore and Neptune). They took care of much of the Production, Logistics AND Safety/Security for the festival. I’m so happy and proud our organization was part of making such a great day happen – especially in my neighborhood! 

    • Alki Betty August 12, 2018 (2:39 pm)

      Top notch! Very impressed. Well-done by obviously experienced employees & STG. THANK YOU!! I’m an Alki resident, and appreciated how smoothly it all went. 

  • NotGuilty August 12, 2018 (8:25 am)

    Wow, how sad that the first comment on this awesome festival is somebody being a straight-up racist.

    Ryan, imagine for moment how you would feel about someone walking around Sir Mix-A-Lot’s famous neighborhood parties and commenting about how many black people were there.

    That’s you right now. Check yourself.

  • Gina August 12, 2018 (8:37 am)

    In the afternoon in the children’s area I saw a mix of people shades. Can’t speak for the evening, 

  • Mike August 12, 2018 (9:32 am)

    I walked my dog down to check out how things were going.  It’s great that Sub-Pop was able to hold an open to all (including all ages) event for everyone to come to.  Sub-Pop had a huge impact on the Seattle music scene and helping to keep Seattles arts in high regard around the world.  Nobody was excluded by this event, people chose to show up or not show up.  The crowd was chill, the only complaint I have is the amount of second hand pot smoke.  For the number of people, SPD did a great job with traffic flow. 

  • Here August 12, 2018 (9:55 am)

    Great event!  Metro could have done a better job. The extra #50 buses were backed up in another part of the city, looking at One Bus Away., The smaller tour shuttles were running pretty consistently, but hold a small number of people. One more note about transportation, the Uber/Lyft pick up point was a few blocks uphill, which was harder for some people to get to. That wasn’t really communicated well by them on the app.Once again great event Sub Pop!

  • Ice August 12, 2018 (9:56 am)

    That’s was a great music festival. Thanks Subpop people!

  • lg August 12, 2018 (10:29 am)

    Thanks and congrats, Sub Pop!

  • John August 12, 2018 (10:56 am)

    My wife and I live in the condos along Alki Ave and made several trips down to enjoy the shows and the crowd. We thought it was great and hope they do it again. One complaint though, I wish the bike shuttle carts that were taking people to and from the parking near Saltys didn’t have to play their music so loud going back and forth.  It was nice not having all the traffic for a day and the occasional thumping car stereos along with it  

  • Azimuth August 12, 2018 (11:00 am)

    Passing by Clipping dropping F-bombs at the Flippity Flop stage was a little awkward with my 5-year-old, but I’m sure she’ll survive! 😄 Thank you Subpop for putting on an incredible festival. Here’s to 30 more!

  • Susan August 12, 2018 (11:09 am)

    Was out of WS yesterday so did not attend the event but walked Alki this am. I’m very impressed with how clean it is already. Sure they are taking down fences and stages but far less trash around than a normal summer Sunday morning. So thank you to the clean up crew. 

  • fun August 12, 2018 (11:14 am)

    THANK YOU SUBPOP & WS Historical Society!!! This was one of the best organized, super fun and gorgeous setting events I’ve ever been to. The work that went into that was on an epic scale and the fact that it happened in West Seattle makes me so proud. The kids stage idea was great and there was a ton of room for families to hang out. Seeing Shabazz Palaces (from the Central District) and then Wolf Parade back-to-back while the sun started to set over the Olympics was something to remember. And I also loved the community booths that were included. If you look at the City-sponsored music calendar they really try to cater to all tastes so maybe educate yourself before trying to bring this event down. I’m a brown person and I know event wasn’t perfect but let’s celebrate the positive knowing that we can keep working to do better.  

  • MJ August 12, 2018 (12:43 pm)

    Wonderful event and music.  A minor gripe is how they located the port a potties in the middle of the pedestrian path.  Sitting in a bench with a porta potty right there in front of you not good!

  • Cami August 12, 2018 (1:22 pm)

     Tracy and Patrick, thank you again for the wonderful coverage and photos. I really enjoyed the black and whites posted on Facebook. I thought this was the best event ever held on Alki in my 26 years of living down here. The organizers did a wonderful job and it was great even though we had a little bit of rain. Having Casper Baby Pants sing Here Comes the Sun in the middle of a shower was classic. Amazing sunset, too!

    • Alki Betty August 12, 2018 (2:43 pm)

      DITTO, Cami!!! Thanks to SUB POP, WSB, STG, SPD, and all the attendees. SUPER FUN and well-organized!! 

  • GloriaJean August 12, 2018 (1:24 pm)

    We were there for many hours, and struck by how well mannered and joyful the crowd was! It was truly a unique gathering in that respect. (Except for the angry girl in front of Mudhoney stage, aggressively shoving anyone that bumped into her!?) We rode our bikes and appreciated the bike corral. Thanks Sub Pop for the great music, and positive vibe!

  • Shauna August 12, 2018 (1:57 pm)

    I grew up here and in 40 years, that was my favorite day on the beach. Awesome event. Shows. Kids play area. Beer gardens. Everything was amazing. I wish it was an annual event.  Thank you to the City and more importantly, Sub-Pop! 

  • Greg August 12, 2018 (2:05 pm)

    I guarantee you that if organizers took a hip hop event plan on Alki to the surrounding communities, SPD and City of Seattle, it WOULD NOT be given the green light. This is the gist of Ryan’s point. This event was sanctioned in mostly white upper middle class Alki/West Seattle. If you don’t get that, and simply claim Ryan’s comment is “racist” (and it can’t be if oyu understand race and power) you don’t understand much about race, privilege and social justice issues in mostly white,  privileged Seattle.

    • AJP August 12, 2018 (4:04 pm)

      I’m afraid you’re right.

    • Carla August 12, 2018 (4:37 pm)

      Greg and Ryan- no, I’m afraid hour dead wrong. Let me know when you get a hiphop, rap, electronic, jazz, etc promoter to pitch an event where they will spend months in planning and community outreach, with street closure permits, sanitation, security, shuttle, transportation services, 4 stages, all the bands, and the list goes on and on. And make sure all goes as this did, and PROVIDE ALL THIS FOR FREE, as a gift to the people of Seattle and sub pop fans?! Tell us when you come up with a situation like that with ANY genre of music. Then you can pitch it, and follow through- and when/and if you hit a dead end- you can tell us all about how racist Seattle is regarding what kinds of music is allowed. I think it’s unfortunate that you feel compelled throw this great and inclusive event under the bus to further you’re narrative. 

  • Marie McKinsey August 12, 2018 (2:45 pm)

    As an Alki resident, I have to say that I was impressed with how well organized this event was. Traffic and parking were the first concerns I had when I heard about this. But the organizers had a plan and, from what I saw, it worked! In fact last night, some of us locals were saying that, except for the bands, Saturday was the quietest weekend day we’ve had all summer. Thanks SubPop!

  • ACE August 12, 2018 (8:01 pm)

    Had a wonderful time yesterday. Also, went on a run this morning on Alki around 9:00 and was amazed at how clean things were already. Thanks to Sub Pop, SPD, Seattle Parks, Metro, WSB and all the many other people who helped to make this happen.

  • Greg August 12, 2018 (8:56 pm)

    Sadly, Carla, in your defensive privileged response, you missed the point. It’s not about ANY genre of music. I guarantee you that a hip hop/rap festival on Alki Beach would NOT be approved. I’m glad you enjoyed the event, and I wonder what happened to the normally diverse Saturday night crowds that Lifer referred to above. Inclusion asks: Is this environment safe enough for all to feel like they belong. Look around your environment and ask, Who’s not here? That’s what Lifer did.

    • Carla August 12, 2018 (10:48 pm)

      Sadly, Greg, your very misleading and incorrect assertion poses a comparison that is not relevant completely unfounded. This Sub Pop Party is not a commercial endeavor. I’m certain that many people would welcome and encourage Def Jam or Death Row or whoever to spend millions of dollars, and commit thousands of man hours to plan and produce a FREE event like SPF30. Until that is proposed, your guarantee that such an event cannot occur is completely worthless and without standing. You then assert that the absence of many Alki regulars can only mean those people would otherwise be there, but feel unwelcome, unsafe or not included. Again, complete bullcrap! Your misleading biased conclusion only supports your weak narrative, but occludes any of the actual, verifiable reasons and dynamics that contribute to the makeup of event attendees. Guess what? Lots of regulars of all colors and types were not there on Saturday, such as-Old People, beaching with grand kids. Car enthusiasts cruising and meeting other cars. Fishermen. Volleyball players. Bonfire, BBQ, and keg party havers. Motorcycle rider groups. Tidepoolers. Beach Tourists. Swimmers. Dog walkers. Diners, etc. etc.The FACTUAL reason the makeup was what it was is because on this single day in history, Alki and Seattle were given a great party, and access was such that you only went if the hike was worth it to you. And by Sunday, all the regulars of all colors and types, drove their cars, motorcycles, low riders, and soccer mom vans right up to the beach, and parked at the curb and did their thing.  (Except, on this day, of course, the beach was much cleaner than normal.)Another thing- SUB POP IS Seattle. This was a very special time in Seattle history when the entire world was focused on Seattle, and “the Seattle Sound”, and it’s synonymous with Sub Pop. It seemed so unique and removed from mainstream, that it was called “Alternative”! This is a happy and important part of Seattle, and it does not detract from any other, and there were lots of all kinds of people there, having a fantastic time. I think It sucks that you feel compelled to crap on this celebration, and you would be far better served to support and encourage more celebrations of all types. 

  • Ryan caple August 12, 2018 (9:03 pm)

    I did not write this post! I’ve been trying all day to get it deleted and West seAttle blog won’t do anything about it. I enjoyed the concert all day yesterday. Sorry for any hurt feelings. 

  • ToddyD August 12, 2018 (9:56 pm)

    The best night of our summer – thank you Sub Pop – how fortunate are we? Amazing and such a tribute to a city and a partnership ❤️

  • Kathy August 13, 2018 (12:34 am)

    If only we could have Alki Avenue car-free more often. But the city can’t afford street closures because it requires traffic control and alternative transportation arrangements. We owe Sub Pop a big thank you for funding this and giving us one blessed peaceful day when the street was filled with people instead of cars. 

  • NY Charlie August 13, 2018 (7:14 am)

    I am black musician and I felt completely comfortable and welcomed regardless the majority color of the crowd. Everyone I came across  was friendly, open and chill. If you understand what SupPop’s music and artitst represent, then you would know the inclusive vibe of people it would attract. Those that pre-judged and didn’t go, missed out.

  • SeniorCenterVolunteer August 13, 2018 (10:17 am)

    I loved every minute of it!  Fantastic event, well organized and planned.  Thank you SUB POP, and all you stand for.  We took our 8 year-old daughter, and she LOVED it too!  We stayed till the bitter end waiting for ‘surprise’ guests…and that didn’t seem to happen…oh well, maybe next time!  We sure hope there will be a next time!  Well done to all involved, and thank you!

    • HappyOnAlki August 13, 2018 (4:54 pm)

      Daveed Diggs qualified as a surprise guest for me  :  )

  • Zach August 13, 2018 (5:24 pm)

    Not really sure why most of the comments here are arguing about skin color percentages but whatever. The festival was rad and fun and well put together. Everyone seemed chill and having a good time. I was really impressed. Thank you to everyone for a wonderful time!

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