What’s Up with Upstream Fest and Summit?

By: Lauren Royer


A lot of locals in Seattle will probably say they haven’t heard of Upstream Fest. This is because it’s brand spankin’ new and kicks off this Thursday. Let me know if I’m wrong, but I believe this is the first major fest in Seattle where they offer keynotes and networking for the music industry professionals side. Similar to A3C, there will be a plethora of stages for music-hungry hipsters and classes for the music nerds to flex in. I have peeked at the line ups a few times and see a mix of genres across the board as well.

Dipping into the Pacific NorthWest scene, it’s sure to be diverse in sound and vibe overall. I have no clue what to wear either. Damn. This is about to be a historical but futuristic event. Don’t let the age of this fest fool you. She’s backed up by some knowledgeable parents/sponsors such as Amazon, Heineken, Starbucks, the Seahawks, and MoPop (Museum of Popular Culture). It’s very, very, Seattle-now.

“Upstream Fest will transform the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood into a walkable mixtape May 11-13—including a main stage at CenturyLink Field’s North Lot, a free public stage in Occidental Park presented by KEXP, and over 25 intimate stages throughout the neighborhood. Your passes will give you access to all of these stages showcasing a diverse group of over 300 emerging artists from around the region. Our first round of main stage artists— say Flying Lotus, AlunaGeorge and Shabazz Palaces —exemplify the Upstream mission with their local and global appeal, their shared passion for delivering creative live performances and their support of emerging artists.”

In the summit, this year’s attendees will have the opportunity to listen to Seattle God Macklemore and many other successfuls at their keynotes. Many of the lectures are meant to provide new insight for those working within the game. Don’t worry y’all, I’ll be attending and taking extra notes just for you!

The use of something called Digital Tip Jar really caught my eye too. “Digital Tip Jar allows people in the audience to show love for performers by leaving tips and messages. This is a great way for artists to get paid and collect email addresses to build relationships with new fans. Artists will automatically be set up with an account and when they receive a tip they will be notified! After the Fest they’ll have 21 days to login, link their PayPal accounts and receive their cash! Pretty rad.”

Sounds dope right? TheBlowUp crew has a stage on 5/12 at Trinity and will be showcasing our own fab-tastic line-up. You can check out our expertly curated sound now, at the festival, or both (yass) with the playlist below.

Haven’t got tickets yet? Visit for tickets, schedules & more!

Most venues have a clear bag or small clutch policy.
o Clear bags can be smaller than 12” x 12” x 6”
o Clutches (non-clear bags) must be smaller than 4.5”x 6.5”.
Some Venues have a NO BAG Policy – no clear bags, clutches or any bags are allowed in the venue.
Lockers will be available to rent near the Main Stage and in Occidental Park.
Those with a photo pass can carry their camera bag into venues but it will be subject to a bag search at entry.
Summit attendees can bring bags and laptops to the Summit – all bags are subject to search upon entry

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