The Weekend Starts...Now

The Top Things to Do This Weekend: May 11–14

Jim Henson Con brings puppets to life, Upstream Music Fest takes over Pioneer Square, and two days of "Art Up, Chown Down" in PhinneyWood.

By Darren Davis May 11, 2017

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Spoiler Alert: Jim Henson Con will feature puppets.

Image: Ian Johnston


May 11–13
Upstream Music Fest and Summit
Can Seattle support its own SXSW? Paul Allen thinks so. The new Upstream Music Fest and Summit takes over Pioneer Square for three days in May, spreading more than 200 emerging Northwest acts across 25 stages in atypical venues. Headline performers include Flying Lotus, AlunaGeorge, and Shabazz Palaces, while the summit features talks from Macklemore, Quincy Jones, and more. Will Upstream be a chaotic and noisy scene? Almost assuredly. But who says that’s a bad thing? Various Locations, $110–425

Sat, May 13
Pleather Tape Release Show
The synth-punk-noise-pop sorta rock band experiment cordially invites anyone avoiding the festival crowds at Upstream to duck into the release party for their new tape, Tether. The evening of DIY fun and ambidextrous art also includes fellow Seattleites Nightspace, DoNormaal, and MMMelt. Timbre Room, $7

Visual Art

May 12–13
PhinneyWood Art Walk: The Big One
Once a year, sister neighborhoods Phinney Ridge and Greenwood join forces for an expansive, two-day art walk that rivals those more frequent iterations in Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill. This year's theme,"Art Up, Chow Down," means participants can visit dozens of businesses along Greenwood Avenue to either feast their eyes on the work of local artists or feast in a more traditional sense with local food offerings. Be sure to check out the Recycled Arts Festival at Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. Various Locations, Free

Books and Talks

Thu, May 11
Sherman Alexie Loves
Alexie's series of conversations with interesting people—like previous guests Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad and novelist Karen Russell—concludes with a trio of young creatives. Novelist Patricia Park (Re Jane) and Sunil Yapa (Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist), and writer/cartoonist Ariel Scrag join the celebrated Pacific Northwest author for a chat entitled "First Loves." Town Hall, $20

Special Events

Sat, May 13
Jim Henson Con
Twenty-seven years after his passing, the genius behind the Muppets and Sesame Street lives on. And there's only one real way to celebrate Henson's legacy: with a lot of puppets. Jim Henson Con has puppets, and more, at this interactive and family-friendly event. Jump in on some sing-alongs, make a few crafts, and appreciate master puppeteers at work—some of whom actually worked on Jim Henson projects, like Labyrinth. Seattle Central Library, Free

Sat, May 13
Seattle Metro Reptile Expo
Geckos! Boas! Bearded dragons! Puppies and kittens steal the show in adoption ads and Facebook shares, but reptiles need homes too. Breeders and dealers from all over the Northwest converge on Monroe to show off all sorts of scaley friends and reptile-related products. Even if you're not in the market for a new amphibian, the expo invites looky loos for some hands-on time, meaning you'll probably be able to pick up a big snake. Evergreen State Fairground, $10 for Adults, $5 for ages 6–12 , Free for 5 and under

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