When Sub Pop threw itself a 25th birthday party in Georgetown five years ago, some 30,000 people packed the little neighborhood. Now the indie label has turned 30, and Saturday, August 11, it will throw itself a beachy bacchanal on Alki. Father John Misty, Beach House, Mudhoney, Wolf Parade, Metz, Shabazz Palaces, and a slate of children’s bands like Caspar Babypants will play on four stages. There’ll also be a record fair, beer gardens, an inflatable kids bouncy area, food trucks, and merch booths. The whole thing is free (other than beer and records and such) and starts at noon.

The main challenge, it seems, will be getting there. The label is expecting up to 50,000 people to descend on West Seattle, a neighborhood that sees congestion during your boilerplate August beach day. “It’s going to be a shitshow,” said Sub Pop copresident Tony Kiewel. “But the best kind of shitshow.” In order to mitigate the shitshowiness of the whole thing, Sub Pop has been working with the city. Here’s what you should know:

  • Stick with public transit. This will do you, and everyone else, a favor. 
  • Alki Avenue between 56th Avenue Southwest and 63rd Avenue Southwest will be closed, as will 59th Avenue Southwest from Southwest Stevens Street to Alki Avenue Southwest.
  • The Route 50 (Alki Service) busline will operate every 15 minutes.
  • RapidRide C-Line will run some extra busses in the evening to help with exit traffic.
  • There will be an additional water taxi between downtown and West Seattle from 11:30am–3pm, then again from 7:30pm–11:30pm—the assumed peak travel times. (Sub Pop recommends you snag some tickets early through the transit GO app.)
  • Three free shuttles will run in West Seattle to Alki and back: Southwest Alaska Street and 44th Avenue Southwest at the Metro stop; Southwest Admiral Way and Southwest Waite Street; Harbor Avenue Southwest in front of Don Armeni Boat Ramp. 

For more info on bike shares, Uber, Lyft, paid parking, parking for festival goers with disabilities, the full lineup and stage schedule, and other logistics, head to this SPF30 page

Sat, Aug 11, Alki Beach, Free