Seattle Music Festival, where are you?

kick ass fantastic photo by Cap’n Surly [flickr] from our group pool [#]

There were several reasons why we chose Alki Beach as the setting for our first apartment in Seattle, including:

  1. Walkable market (of course it closed the day before we moved here)
  2. Great bars (they’re okay)
  3. Lots of food choices (we hardly ever eat here any more)
  4. Great view (okay, that one is still valid)
  5. Fun beach activities, including one Seattle Music Festival ostensibly held in August which hasn’t occurred since 2004.

Now that’s not to say there aren’t great things in West Seattle, because there are and we do like living over here. However, we are a little less starry-eyed about our chosen locale these days and a little more get-off-my-lawn-ish.

Anyway. About that music festival, I started to wonder if it was ever going to happen again and so I started to poke around. The non-profit behind the Seattle Music Festival, Northwest Program for the Arts’ (NPA) Web site claims they are still planning a 2008 festival:

The Next Seattle Music Fest will be held August 10, 11, and 12, 2008

but clearly that is not happening. That is, after all, next week. So, putting on my Nancy Drew hat, I called the phone numbers that were listed on the site, only to find out that both have been disconnected. How curious.

The Internet reveals that at some point NPA got completely sidetracked by raising money for the refurbishment of the Statue of Liberty on Alki [sl, wsh]. Funneling their fundraising efforts towards that project seems to have derailed at least a couple of years of the festival. However, last summer, the NPA’s part of the fundraising was finalized and the continued funding of the statue was taken over by a non-profit ( dedicated solely to that goal. Also around that same time – and the time the recast statue was replaced [wsb] – the head of NPA, Adam Sheridan, stepped down and was replaced by Ezra Graziano and Holly Santos. Since then, which was around September of 2007, there has been nothing. No updates, no news from NPA or any of our local papers.

What gives? Shall I call some meddling kids and have them find out if Old Man Wickles is keeping the beach fest-free? Who has the scoop?

4 Comments so far

  1. patrickthesalesguy on July 29th, 2008 @ 10:05 am

    When the festival started it was organized by some guys here in the neighborhood. I don’t know the how’s and why’s as to the shift to the NPA, but after the shift things got erratic.

  2. Zee Grega (zeegrega) on July 29th, 2008 @ 10:46 am

    I was on the NPA mailing list for a while; it was pretty obvious that they were overwhelmed and didn’t have enough in the way of resources (funding and staff and volunteers), which is unfortunate since I think they had some great ideas.

  3. westseattleblog on July 29th, 2008 @ 11:26 am

    As I told somebody who e-mailed me this link, it’s been about four years now that they’ve said "we’re having one this year" and then canceled. I wrote about it in 2006, in fact:

    There’s going to be another outdoor concert at Alki on August 7th, sponsored by the city (like the one on Fire Night last Thursday – different group though, and I believe this one is supposed to be on the promenade) so that’s gonna have to hold you.

  4. 1michael on July 29th, 2008 @ 3:05 pm

    The big-f’n-deal SOL plaza kind of messed up Alki in multiple ways, including draining time, money and energy that could have gone for more enjoyable, less developer-ego-stroking or off-puttingly uber-patriotic things (I mean, the country’s already got a SOL, and it’s much nicer than this one – why not a tribute to the Denny Party or something that’s unique?) like the Festival.

    Also by clogging a public beach with construction during the time most people normally use a beach.

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