Capitol Hill Block Party 2017: Review & Photos

The sky opened up and the sun smiled at us this past weekend in Capitol Hill. Streets full with fresh, excited faces, running from stage to stage in a blind attempt to catch shows by their favorite local and national artists. Cap Hill residents hung out on windowsills and balconies four stories up, chucking Otter Pops into the sweat-drenched crowd. The vibe was communal—every facet of Seattle’s population turned up to check out this year’s diverse group of artists.

Capitol Hill Block Party has always been a cocktail of heavy hitting artists from both the national scene and our own backyard. It brings sets together that you never expected to see on the same bill, let alone the same day. From artists like Lucy Dacus and Run The Jewels, Manatee Commune and Jai Wolf, to Julia Byrne and Diplo. The tactic is a great way to bring the city together! It also drums up publicity for promising local groups that could use the additional support.

Now in its 21st year, CHBP evolved a lot since it’s beginning, and Seattle celebrated the birthday appropriately. With headliners reminiscent of those at Coachella and Sasquatch, the party graduated into a full-fledge festival. The way it played out absolutely reflected that. Now, without further ado, we’d like to share some of our favorite moments from Capitol Hill Block Party 2017.

UK experimental electronic music artist Mura Masa took the stage to deafening applause and earned every ounce of it. He triggered samples on the spot and blended in a great mixture of electronic and acoustic instruments. To top it off, he even brought out London-based singer Nao, who worked the crowd into an unbelievable frenzy.

Mura Masa

Later that evening, Run The Jewels came out and delivered one of the most unexpectedly great sets we’ve ever seen. Fist and guns were in the air as the crowed rocked to album favorites such as Close Your Eyes. The guys may be older, but they know how to hype up a big crowd and wrap up a great first night.

Run The Jewels

With temperatures on Saturday reaching a scalding 84 degrees, and when the techs for Manatee Commune brought out the hoses and cooled everyone down the entire pit could certainly feel the relief. Later on, they released some giant inflatable manatees, and a few brave concert-goers tried their hand at crowd surfing on them. As for the music, the Seattle-based artist laid down some killer live overdubs on a violin, and brought an energy to the performance that was able to get everyone moving.

The energy at the Vera stage overall remained a little more tamed. However, the crowd gathered and put on their dancing shoes for Zoolab. The Seattle-based producer brought groovy tunes with him and had everyone dancing. His set perfectly blended groovy beats with mystical, ambient sounds in a way that left us feeling hypnotized.


Tacoma-based artist Ca$h Bandicoot packed out the Modelo stage at Neumos for what felt like a sold-out show. His hard hitting beats, matched with hip-hop style melodies, kept the dance floor full. The calendar said Sunday, but the crowd acted like it was a Saturday night.

Ca$h Bandicoot

Shacia and Zuri Marley, granddaughters of Bob Marley, held down a fantastic DJ set in the VIP lounge that was entirely their own. The sister ambassadors for the Marley Natural brand brought Jamaican vibes all the way to the PNW, and left our reporters sure that we’ll be seeing more of them in the music world soon.

Shacia & Zura Marley

Finally, headliner Diplo came out and stunned the crowd with the kind of EDM that’s tuned more towards stadiums than city streets. The result was a wild set, one that was filling the 6-block radius to the absolute brim. In Washingtonian style, the artist left the state with a little something extra in his baggage:

Capitol Hill Block Party is an event that never fails to bring Seattle and its neighboring cities together. It draws crowds from far and wide with its big headliners. Plus, it introduces those crowds to some of the best local talent the city has to offer. It’s a festival that predates Coachella and Sasquatch, and it wears its age on its sleeve like a badge of honor. That age can become a burden for some festivals—living up to their own legacies and expectations can be a tough thing to do. But, that’s what’s so amazing about CHBP. Each year, it only seems to be getting better.

Were you in attendance at CHBP? What was your favorite set? Let us know in the comments below.

(Ed. Note – The photos used in this article came directly from the CHBP press pool, if they are your photos please let us know so we may properly attribute them!)