Air Travel

Live Music at Sea-Tac Airport: Annoying or Amazing?

If we have to take off our shoes, we deserve some free tunes.

By Allison Williams March 25, 2013

Michael Gray eases the tedium in Sea-Tac Airport on the kick-off day of a twelve-week music series.

Is Sea-Tac Airport your favorite hangout in Seattle yet? It's got a Beecher's Cheese and overhead annoucements by Macklemore and a notary public! What more must they do before you start buying plane tickets simply so you can chill in happenin' Concourse C?

Maybe this: Today marks the start of a twelve-week pilot program that will put live music concerts in Sea-Tac. Local musicians will play four-hour sets outside security in the arrivals hall and past security at the train stations, food court, in concourse A, and between concourses B and C.

No, you won't be greeted with death metal as you're checking in for your 6am-on-a-Saturday flight—concerts will be only be scheduled on weekdays from 10am to 4pm. Today's kickoff included tunes from folky guitar player Shelby Earl, groovy Judd Wasserman, jazz violinist Michael Gray, and blues singer Alice Stuart.

But is all this noise in the airport a good thing? It's a nationwide trend; San Francisco's airport brought in DJ Qbert in 2011, and Nashville lives up to its Music City moniker with singer-songwriters busking year-round. The Sea-Tac Airport Music Initiative hopes to coin a similar nickname—the program's subtitle is "Experience the City of Music." We're on board; it's not like any Seattle musician could make harsher sounds than the endless news loop on airport televisions.

Think you've got what it takes to play the coveted just-outside-Hudson Booksellers spot? Musicians can submit their music on the port's website. You know how what they saying about how one gets to Sea-Tac airport: practice, practice, government ID, a TSA pat down, practice.

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