Music — December 1, 2014 11:58 — 0 Comments

Bigass Boombox 2015

Seattle’s Bigass Boombox festival is on its second year. The free, all-ages music celebration, slated for Jan. 2nd and 3rd at the Crocodile (primarily) and sponsored by Tom Douglas Restaurants, will feature dozens of musical groups, as well as a literary stage hosted by us, The Monarch Review, and Poetry Northwest. To kick things off, I wanted to reach out to some of the festival’s main players: organizers Adam Prairie, Christina Ellis, Jared Cortese, Caleb Thompson and performer, Robb Benson, in order to get a sense of what they’re thinking leading up to the show! 


Jake Uitti: Adam, how did Boombox come about? What do you hope to be different this year from last, and what do you hope remains the same?

Adam Prairie: The idea for Big Ass Boombox sprang forth from the minds of Eirean Bradley and Arya Imig, some buddies of ours in Portland. The Hoot Hoots played the Portland incarnation of Boombox the second time they did it, and we just thought it was the coolest event. It left us thinking, how can we implement this here in Seattle? And from there we just went for it and found a bunch of like-minded individuals in Friends and Family (RIP), the Jesus Rehab, and Julia Massey and the FFD to co-organize with us.

This year we’re excited that our third venue is at the 2312 Gallery, which will allow us to make all the music venues all ages. Last year was packed each night, so we’re looking to keep that fun party atmosphere this year while retaining the awesome sense of community that we had last year. We truly committed to making this event all about connecting great bands with new fans. Oh, and we couldn’t be happier to be sponsored this year by Tom Douglas Restaurants!!!

JU: Jared, you play in The Jesus Rehab and have helped organize BABB in Seattle for a couple years now – what is the importance of the festival to you and how does the idea of community factor in?

Jared Cortese: This festival is really important to me. Giving back to the city I love feels amazing, and I can’t think of a more perfect way for me to do that then by helping with this event. BABB is a party that everyone is invited to, more like a family reunion where you meet family members you didn’t even know you had. I think there are a lot of folks in Seattle that haven’t realized they are living in one of the greatest music cities in the world, and we want to help connect them with this thriving community. BABB is all ages, completely free, and for the second year in row, sponsored entirely by local businesses. I think that it is a huge statement of how inclusive we want this be, and how passionate we are about this being the people’s festival. It’s good for the bands, its good for the fans. It’s good for Belletown and it builds our community and helps keep it strong. Music is a lot more fun when everyone is having a good time, and in my mind that’s what Big Ass Boom Box is all about.

JU: Caleb, what is your hope with the literary stage? What has it been like to work with Poetry Northwest on this side of the project?

Caleb Thompson: Lit folk can tend to be more solitary, maybe especially in the winter, so I like the idea of bringing together a bunch of different writers to share the stage and celebrate the work publicly.  Get ’em out of the house! It’s exciting to meet new writers, and rediscover the kinship that’s always there but is easy to forget about. As for working with PNW, I’m always delighted to collaborate with them. The magazine is such an important part of the living literary history here, and I’m just glad to be a part of it. And it’s especially an honor to host with Matt Kelsey, whom I admire quite a bit. It looks to be an exciting few days.

JU: Robb, this will be your second year playing BABB – what does the festival mean to you?

Robb Benson: To be a part of a collection of what I consider to be the most prominent up and coming underground acts, as well as some established acts, is super exciting. And the people who put together the festival are fantastic – for me, overall, it’s about being a part of a community scene. To be able to play with my friends, who I also really respect, is unquantifiable.

JU: Christina, you’re one of the main organizers of BABB, what would you like the festival to look like 10 years from now?

Christina Ellis: In 10 years, we honestly hope the festival is more or less the same size-wise. Unlike bigger festivals, there’s really no pressure to get lost down the “make it bigger and better” rabbit hole because we want to make sure that this festival remains committed to connecting new bands with a new audience. However, if I had to dream a little bigger, I think it would be cool to make a summer edition of Boombox.


Jake Uitti is a founding editor of The Monarch Review.

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The answer isn't poetry, but rather language

- Richard Kenney