by Amanda Ong
We have made it to summer in the South End — say goodbye to gray skies and rainy days and hello to sunshine and warmer weather! The weather also means there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and events, so you can soak up the sun and enjoy local artists, musicians, and more!
The Emerald rounded up a number of fantastic events — many of them free — where you can catch live music this summer and support local artists, vendors, and businesses.
For even more events, check out our monthly arts roundups.
June 1–4, additional Jam Nights on June 21, July 19, Aug. 16
An annual free, three-day community music festival? What’s not to love! Centered around accessibility and the empowerment of street band culture, HONK! Fest West even includes pick-up bands for anyone who would like to pick up an instrument and play. Bands will be in the style of New Orleans brass bands, punk rock marching bands; European Klezmer, Balkan, and Romani music; samba, maracatu, and the celebrations of Mardi Gras and Carnival! The event kicked off June 1 in Ballard from 7–10 p.m., June 2 in Georgetown from 6–10 p.m., June 3 in Columbia City from 12–8 p.m., and June 4 in Yesler Terrace from 12–6 p.m. The festival will also host free Jam Nights at Jules Maes Saloon on the third Wednesday of the month from 7:30–9:30 p.m. for brass and percussion musicians to learn and play brass standards.
June 4, June 11, July 9, Aug. 13, Sept. 10
The Patio, Rainier Avenue South and South Ferdinand Street
For 28 years, Beatwalk has offered incredible live music in Columbia City every summer. The free, all-ages events feature local musicians hosted by neighborhood businesses. On June 4, it hosted a Pride event, followed by American Roots on June 11; R&B, Hip-Hop, and Funk on July 9; World Beats on Aug. 13; and it will close out with Anything Goes on Sept. 10. Check out its Facebook page for more details.
Second Saturdays through October from 1–7 p.m.
East Pike Street and 11th Avenue
With over 40 local vendors selling handmade goods, vintage clothing, art, and sustainable street fashion, On the Block is back this summer, every second Saturday of the month. Now expanding in the Chophouse Row courtyard, it will have a different lineup of live music and DJ sets every Saturday through October at 11th Avenue, between East Pike Street and East Pine Street on Capitol Hill. Follow On the Block on Instagram for performer announcements. It is still accepting vendor and volunteer applications on its website.
Second Saturdays through September from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Roberto Maestas Festival Street
With fairs on June 10, July 8, Aug. 12, and Sept. 9, the Beacon Arts Street Fairs are a space for the Beacon Hill community and beyond. Uniquely from the other events on this list, the Beacon Arts Street Fair will not only have live music, performances, and a market, but also community updates and a garden share. The garden share will distribute free seeds, and on its June 10 event, it had vendors Arte De Cruz, Full Harvest, BLACK PINAY, Jewelry by Yali, Singing Pots, ExpressionsByCC, Noodle & Co, Granny’s Goodies, 98122, Cafe Che Che, and performers Tiny Funk Band, Bob Antolin and Chet Corpt, and Comfort Food Band, along with teaching artists who will lead family activities and a Haiku contest.
Third Saturdays, 6–10 p.m.
37th Ave. S. between South Hudson and South Edmonds Streets
Run by Peace Peloton, the Columbia City Night Market runs from the warm summer months into the winter, and never fails to offer amazing food, performing artists, local crafts and art, live music, a beer garden, and more. Known for its support of Black business owners, Peace Peloton crafted the Columbia City Night Market as a way to connect local makers with the community and offer attendees a free and fun shopping and eating experience. It is still accepting vendor applications on its website. You can RSVP to any Night Market on its Facebook page.
Every Saturday from May 20 to Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Hope Academy, 9421 18th Ave. SW
Returning for the third year, the Delridge Farmers Market is a thriving hub for communities in Delridge, where fresh food access is scarce. The market is run by African Community Housing & Development, a Black, woman-led nonprofit serving the African diaspora in Seattle. Expect fresh produce from Black-owned farms, like Small Axe; plant starts from Black Origin Plants; and food vendors, like Chef Jalissa Culinary Co., Afella Jollof Catering, and more.
For a listing of other farmers markets, check out the official Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets website.
Third Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hing Hay Park, CID
Another summer, another season of CID Food Walk! On the third Saturday of each month, June 17, July 15, and Aug. 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA) will host CID Food Walk, a market experience featuring local CID restaurants, shops, and more. It will host an information booth at Hing Hay Park for guests to pick up a menu and map, so you can both feast on delicious food and explore Seattle’s historic Chinatown-International District neighborhood. Follow its Facebook and Instagram to find out first about menus and participating businesses.
July 13, 5–8 p.m.
Canton Alley and Maynard Alley
Run by the Wing Luke Museum, JamFest is an annual summer event for all ages. Not only does it highlight the history of the CID and the Maynard and Canton Alleyways, but it also offers live performances, music, games, and more. With everything from DJs to cabarets, you can find its full lineup on the Wing Luke Museum website.
July 29, 2–10 p.m.
Fisher Green Pavilion at Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St.
Tickets start at $70
Are you ready for the first ever Afrobeats festival in Seattle? BLASTFEST has already announced a lineup including Asake, Tiwa Savage, Ayra Starr, Focalistic, Mannywellz, and HANANI, with more to be announced. Tickets are available for purchase at different tiers on the BLASTFEST website, where you can also check for more announcements about the lineup.
Aug. 13, 12–6 p.m.
Othello Park, 4351 S. Othello St.
This 15-year-old community celebration takes place at the Othello Park and Playground, one block east of the Othello light rail stop. There will be live performances from neighborhood groups and dozens of vendors in attendance, featuring local and handmade goods and food.
To Be Announced
After a series of vandalism and arson in 2021, neighbors and local businesses decided to come together to celebrate the first White Center Block Party. Now in its third year, the White Center Block Party continues to be a free, family-friendly event that helps support local businesses, bars, and restaurants. Follow its Instagram account for announcements about vendors and performers.
Aug. 26, 3–9 p.m.
900 S. King St.
Chinatown-International District’s Block Party is a one-day free music and arts festival, celebrating the many Asian American communities in the area. With food, music, and more, the event takes place right beneath I-5. The lineup of musical guests is yet to be announced, so check the official website or Instagram account for current info. Vendor, performer, and volunteer applications are available on its website.
Amanda Ong (she/her) is a Chinese American writer from California. She is currently a master’s candidate at the University of Washington Museology program and graduated from Columbia University in 2020 with degrees in creative writing and ethnicity and race studies.
📸 Featured Image: VamoLá!, a Brazillian music drum ensemble, performing at HONK! Fest West in 2022. (Photo: ExpressoBuzz Photography)
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