City Arts Fest to bring Big Boi, Belle & Sebastian, Gogol Bordello & more to Seattle

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The inaugural Heineken City Arts Festival was announced earlier today and it packs a lineup featuring a mix of top-tier national and local headliners.

The festival, which will take place Oct. 20-23 at 18 venues throughout the city, will include headliners Big Boi, Belle & Sebastian, Gogol Bordello, She & Him and a night of local hip hop at the Paramount Theater. The latter will mark the first time a local hip hop bill headlines the historic Paramount and it is the event Ear Candy is most looking forward to checking out.

The local hip-hop showcase will feature Blue Scholars, Macklemore, Fresh Espresso, Mash Hall, Tilson and Brother Ali. Interestingly Brother Ali has no connection to Seattle that I know of which is a bit puzzling. It makes me wonder whether the organizers thought local hip hop needs a national anchor to fill seats. While that is a possibility, my guess is that since the Paramount show is the only hip-hop representation at the festival Brother Ali didn’t fit anywhere else in the event’s lineup.

Booked by Steve Severin of Neumos and Michael Hebb of One Pot (who are both stern supporters of local hip hop), the festival was put together by City Arts Magazine and is a part of the city’s City of Music initiative. The rest of the lineup includes national acts such as Blitzen Trapper, Foals, Roky Erickson and others. The locals on the bill include the Maldives, Head Like A Kite, Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Head and the Heart, Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs, the Pica Beats and more. Tickets to the event, which are actually wristbands, are available at either a $60 or $125 price point and go on sale Friday.

A$60 wristband allows you access to every City Arts Festival event and a guaranteed list spot at one of the headlining shows (B&S, She & Him, Gogol Bordello, Big  Boi and the hip-hop showcase at the Paramount). Space is limited so you will only be granted access to the non-headlining shows if there is room at the venue so it is recommended that you arrive early. The $125 wristband allows you access to every event as well as a guaranteed list spot to every headlining show. It is possible to buy a $60 wristband and get access to every headlining event as long as you arrive before the venue reaches capacity. Tickets to individual shows can also be purchased at each individual venue’s website.

Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 13 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, Crosscut.com and others and was the founder and former editor of the defunct music site Ear Candy.