By Lindsey Potter
I last ventured to the Capitol Hill Block Party (CHBP) in 2014. I was so pumped for the music that I forgot the other attraction: people watching. I must admit it’s one of my favorite pass times (less in the creeper status way and more in the introverted only child kind of way).
Every festival has its share of interesting characters, but CHBP is particularly special. The neighborhood has always had a weird, funky, artistic hum about it and during block party it feels exponentially amplified (pun intended) and mashed together with a whole new element.
Within seconds of entering I felt like I was in the midst of an Urban Outfitters Instagram post. I almost got run over by a girl in platform sneakers in a plunging bodysuit and another one who committed to a rainbow unicorn outfit. This is one of my favorite reasons to get to the festival early. …On Saturday and Sunday I could really take in the nuances of the crowd while still standing front and center for the smaller upcoming bands I was excited to support.
This year I primarily dedicated my experience to bands playing earlier in the day, such as Woods, On An On, and Laura Gibson. Brooklyn Indie folk band Woods was one of those bands that I was not necessarily very familiar with prior to the festival, but made a mental note to check out. Their dynamic instrumentation drew me in as I wandered the festival grounds, and then I stayed for Jeremy Earl’s unique vocals.
By late afternoon, on both Saturday and Sunday, there was still a huge amount of people streaming through the entrance. So like many other people, I ended up spending the second half of both nights defending my spot near the main stage rather than risking a trip through the sea of people near the beer garden.
Saturday night was particularly challenging to move around when electronic hometown heroes Odesza were about to start. It was very clear that plenty of people came to the festival just for them, and the dense crowd was less forgiving than other acts in terms of maneuvering to a better spot. I am happy to report that I had an awesome time, though, with my thousand closest friends, as they duo brought out a live band to bring the night to a close.
As for Sunday’s main stage experience, STRFKR did not disappoint with their new level of squad goals: the band with their own group of astronauts who crowd surf on flamingo inflatable rafts.
Overall, this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party definitely exceeded my expectations. It’s such an amazing platform for these smaller bands to tap into new listeners, like myself. I am looking forward to see how they grow and develop over the course of the next year.