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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

Taylor Swift. Barbenhemier. Mariners baseball. Capitol Hill Block Party. What do all of these events have in common? Seattle experienced all of them in the same weekend back in late July.

Daydream State—the team behind Capitol Hill Block Party (CHBP)—was generous enough to offer Her Campus UW two press passes to enjoy the brilliant intersection of music, arts, culture, and food for the weekend. Although neither of us was able to attend on Friday evening, we hopped on the Link from U-District the next day to undergo this multi-genre festival. Upon finding each other amongst crowds of people in pink, sparkles, dresses, and cowboy boots, we soon realized that this was not going to be as easy of a train ride as we anticipated. We spent a whopping two stops listening to gaggles of girls chanting “Blank Space” in anticipation of the Taylor Swift concert. Even though we were packed like sardines, it felt like a community and a once-in-a-lifetime historical moment that we were a part of.

While Seattle went all out for the Barbie movie and Taylor Swift, there was not the same energy carried over to CHBP. As two girls from California, we are accustomed to influencer culture determining every aspect of events—music festivals included. Specifically, outfits seemed to not be planned to the extent of Coachella and even San Francisco’s Outside Lands. Walking around, there were no obvious photo ops or Instagrammable locations. This was not a bad thing; however, growing up with the emphasis on internet capital, we both were surprised at the lack of showiness. Seattle culture in general is a lot less superficial, which is one of the reasons we moved to this city for college from Los Angeles (Annie) and San Francisco (Maggie). In Los Angeles, it’s almost expected to take pictures of everything you do—sometimes, that was the entire purpose of hanging out with your friends. Similarly, the norm in San Francisco is to contort an online presence to a specific aesthetic that might not necessarily match your actual persona. However, Seattle values authenticity. It is the birthplace of grunge music after all.

CHBP was a combination of California’s festival culture and Seattle’s vibrant and genuine livelihood. Just like this city, the event itself seemed a bit awkward. It felt like U-District’s distinguished house show scene but filled with summer interns and entry-level Amazon employees rather than underage college students attempting to have a scrap of a social life. Coming from the over-the-top, multi-million dollar festivals in California, CHBP’s energy was much more low-key in the most refreshingly Seattle way possible.

One thing we failed to realize was how much of the event was 21+. A handful of the stages were located in the bar area. We felt like star-crossed lovers when Annie entered to enjoy a refreshing cocktail, while Maggie stood beyond the fence gazing enviously. Regardless, it seemed that if you were under 21, you missed out on the entire CHBP experience because such a large portion was blocked off. For an event that attempted to cater to a significant number of college and high school attendees, there was not enough communication regarding what could and could not be accessed. Despite the bar situation, CHBP was an enjoyable experience and an accurate representation of Seattle in musical form. We indulged in live performances of familiar artists like Rico Nasty and Louis the Child, as well as discovered new artists like renforshort, Coco & Clair Clair, and Binki. In their 25th year of CHBP, it’s clear that Daydream State knows how to put on a successful music festival. Thank you Capitol Hill Block Party for a fun weekend. See you next year—when we’re both 21+!

Maggie is a junior at the University of Washington from San Francisco, California. She is majoring in Public Health - Global Health, and doubling minoring in Data Science and Nutrition. Maggie is a tour guide for UW and the social media coordinator for the Food Pantry. She is super excited to continuing on this project as a writer for Her Campus this year, and be able to share her writing pieces with other like-minded women!
Annie Melnick

Washington '24

Annie is an alum of Her Campus UW. She graduated from the University of Washington in 2024 with her BA in English and a minor in GWSS. Annie grew up in Los Angeles, and is a self-described bookworm, reality competition show superfan, and coffee connoisseur, among other things.