SEATTLE — Seattle and King County are collaborating on a massive new music festival designed to help boost the Emerald City's iconic local live music scene.
Cloudbreak: Seattle's Revive Live Music Fest is a 20-day festival that features 27 venues, 70 hotels and 150 local musicians. Guests staying in hotels in downtown Seattle will get a free pass to live music events throughout the city from Nov. 3-23.
The one-time festival is a unique partnership between Visit Seattle and King County. The shows will take place everywhere from Fremont to Ballard to Bothell.
Tracy Wiskersham with Visit Seattle says she hopes the festival will help more people understand where tourism tax dollars go.
“The money goes right back to support arts and culture in King County,” Wickersham said.
King County's cultural services agency, 4Culture, receives most of its budget from the tourism tax.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and some King County Executives helped kick off the festival on Thursday with a special honor for a hometown artist, Anthony Ray.
Ray grew up in Seattle's Central District but is known around the world as Sir Mix-a-Lot. The Grammy-winning artist was honored on the opening night of Cloudbreak for his contribution to local music and his efforts during the pandemic when local stages were closed.
Harrell declared Nov. 3 as "Sir Mix-a-Lot Day" in Seattle.
"I grew up in the Central District just like Sir Mix-a-Lot and I’ve imitated him a few times,” Harrell said.
Sir Mix-a-Lot was instrumental in supporting Keep Music Live, a nonprofit that raised awareness and funds to ensure the survival of the local music scene that was haunted by COVID-19.
“It’s an ecosystem. The artists, the stages and the business rely on the audiences to show up. Even the hot dog guy waiting outside for hungry people,” he said.
Sir Mix-a-Lot said he wants to ensure that the next generation of young artists have stages to play on.
“Most people think these venue owners are stacking up money in the backroom smoking cigars but in many cases, they are just staying afloat,” he said.
Sir Mix-a-Lot headlined the opening night's concert and surprised the crowd with Dick’s burgers.
“I love the sound of these clubs, the feel, the crowd right in your face! If I can come back and play these, I’d do it for free,” said Sir Mix-a-Lot.
For a complete lineup of artists, venue and hotels supporting Cloudbreak check out the event's website.