Photography by Nate Watters for City Arts.
Some people make horrendous faces when they’re having a good time. That was my initial thought after sifting through hundreds of photos from the inaugural Heineken City Arts Fest. Now that the dust has settled from the four-day, city-wide celebration of music and arts, I wanted to reach some conclusions, so I went to our Flickr pool.
So, yeah, people get ugly when they’re in the grip of joy. We’ve established that. But there’s more to it.
I see a photo of Peter Boal performing a dance interpretation of a Raymond Carver passage, and I can still feel the awe; I see Macklemore reciting his eulogy for a friend during the Poetry and Hip-Hop Church, and I remember the tears I wept; I see an image of Buffalo Madonna, his face bloodied during Mad Rad’s after-party performance, and I recall my fear. And I see a photo of Belle & Sebastian filling Benaroya’s aisles with dancers, and I swell with joy and think how very ugly my face must have been.
This festival, which sought to bring this magazine to life, really was unlike any other festival I have ever witnessed. I had spent months helping to promote the thing as an event that would change the city, a new tradition, but I never expected that it would change me. It did. I walked away exhausted, cleansed and engaged with this city in a way I have never been before.
Thank you, readers. We’ll do it again next year.
Enjoy the issue.
Belle & Sebastian
Fireside Chat at CreativeLive Studios
Fireside Chat at the Sorrento
Crowd at Gogol Bordello
Hip-Hop and Poetry Church
Chase Jarvis’s Seattle 100