Music — December 18, 2013 13:33 — 0 Comments

BIGass BOOMBOX Festival

It’s unlike any music festival Seattle has seen. 

40 bands, 10 readers, all-ages, free. This is the BIGass BOOMBOX Festival.

What started in Portland, now finds itself in Seattle. The music festival, slated for Jan. 3rd and 4th at the Crocodile, the Croc’s back bar and the Rendezvous, is being put on by members of the Seattle rock group, The Hoot Hoots, and a bunch of their friends.

“Our experience playing the Big Ass Boombox in Portland last year inspired us to do it in Seattle,” says Hoot Hoots lead singer Adam Prairie. “We’re not an established band in Portland, but we played to a packed house who were all there just for the love of music. Our keyboardist Christina also stage-dived for the first time!”

The production of the festival has been a group effort, notes Prairie. Just as it was in Portland, where hundreds and hundreds of people attended last year.

“We and many friends of ours have volunteered tons of time to set this up because there’s so much great music in Seattle that’s just needs a little help to find an audience. It’s insane how much people have supported us in our efforts to make this happen. Several local businesses have provided financial support, local arts organizations have helped us put the word out, and that aren’t even playing the festival have offered to help promote it on their social media. Putting this together has been a lot if work, but the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve received so far has been so gratifying that it’s completely worth it.”

Bands scheduled to play include The Hoot Hoots, Julia Massey, Jesus Rehab, XVII Eyes, Friends and Family, Abraham, Tangerine and The Great Um (which I play in and Monarch Editor Caleb Thompson plays in).

Sponsors for the event are Trading Musician, The Stranger, Local 360 and Equal Exchange Coffee.

In addition to all the music, The Monarch Review has the pleasure of working with Poetry Northwest to host readers from 7PM-8:30PM on both Jan. 3rd and 4th before the music begins in the Grotto lounge in the Rendezvous. Readers for day one are: Jim Demetre, Sierra Nelson, Kary Wayson, Jane Wong and Johnny Horton. Readers for day two are: Rich Smith, Sarah Galvin, Caleb Thompson, Maged Zahir and JW Marshall. Both Demetre and Thompson will cap the nights off with essays about Seattle music.

“Many of the Boombox readers have appeared in the pages of Poetry Northwest, which is a point of pleasure and pride, both, for our staff,” says PoNW Managing Editor Matt Kelsey. “I know these to be daring poets who are earnest in their play. Their work is spirited–amped, you might say–and their poems reverberate so clearly and consistently that they are indeed capable of opening for live musicians–that’s no small task. This particular event is crucial to the greater Seattle community in that it offers some of the best voices around without charging a single cent. This helps place the attention on the art itself, and on an inherent, experiential sense of worth instead of a financial one. The readers and bands will sparkle, I’m sure, and I feel honored to be a part of such a unique event.”

Kelsey, always a gentleman, adds, “Of course, another profound treat is the fact that I get to work with The Monarch Review–it’s important to me that we collaborate with other local journals and literary organizations in the greater Seattle area.”

Come check out the FREE, ALL-AGES festival on Jan. 3rd and 4th!



Jake Uitti is a founding editor of The Monarch Review.

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The answer isn't poetry, but rather language

- Richard Kenney