BIG BLDG BASH! THE NEXT BIG THING? WE INTERVIEW CO- FOUNDER PETE JORDAN
This year we have the 2nd annual BBB, and it seems to be all the buzz. I’m sure all the buzz has to do with the lineup, but I also think its a reason why we love Macefield and Doe Bay so much. Its just like a big show with you and a bunch of your pals hanging out drinking beer and getting to hear great music. Not to mention that proceeds go to Rain City Rock Camp For Girls, which is totally bad-ass.
So I wanted to chat with Pete Jordan and find out how this all started and where he see’s it going, in this day and age of “mom & pop fests”.
So, when did you decide that you were going to start this fest? What was the catalyst?
My band moved into the Big Building a couple years ago. We had come from a typically soulless tiny cave-like situation and just absolutely fell in love with our new space and the entire building. Ben Schauland, Big BLDG Bash co-founder and long time BB resident, mentioned to me that he wanted to throw a music festival in the building. I thought it was a brilliant idea so we made it so.
Were you at all concerned with the over-saturation of festivals in or around the surrounding areas?
When we started this, we just wanted to throw a great party with a bunch of amazing bands and delicious beer. We were learning by doing and didn’t really have the bandwidth to worry about rival events. This issue came up in planning this year’s fest but we quickly realized that this festival is basically an enormous house party. There are plenty of great small festivals around, but ours fits uniquely into the mom & pop fest scene that’s been burgeoning recently.
Is this something that you ultimately want to grow, or would you prefer to keep it indie-driven and local?
This festival will definitely remain DIY but I don’t think having growth and staying ‘indie-driven’ are mutually exclusive. We are limited by the capacity of the building, but we’ve discussed expanding it to a multi-day event or having multiple festivals per year. There are so many great bands that we weren’t able to include, we would love the opportunity to have more play.
For now we’re just focusing on getting better at throwing the damn thing.
What do you think makes for a successful experience?
Last year we maintained a super positive, festive atmosphere. It was a celebration of local music and I think everyone in attendance helped foster the feeling of community.
We hope that everyone falls in love with a band they’ve never seen before. We also hope the beer lasts just long enough and that we don’t throw any circuit breakers.
What do you think the BBB offers, that others may not?
The first thing that comes to mind is the setting. The building itself is very unique. It’s a large industrial building in Sodo with all manner of craftspeople inhabiting it. Everything from metalworking to band practice spaces, glass blowing to machining and auto work.
Another thing we do that isn’t common is having multiple stages in the same space. The Yard and Hanger areas will at all times have a band performing on one stage and one setting up on the other. All you have to do is turn 90 degrees and watch the next band start.
Also, $20 for 50+ bands is ridiculous and it’s all for great causes. Our proceeds are benefitting local non-profits (Rain City Rock Camp for Girls and Colectiva Legal del Pueblo).
And if you could book any 3 bands to make surprise performances (Living) at the BBB, who would they be?
Unknown Mortal Orchestra, David Bazan, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
I can only speak for myself, but we did decide to send Bazan’s manager an email so I know that one is sanctioned by the other BBB organizers. We, unsurprisingly, never heard back.
Where would you like to see this in 5 years?
We haven’t really talked about the long term plan yet. I think just more bands, more beer, more days, more BBB is the goal. Maybe do seasonal BBBs. Possibly even throw some bashes at intriguing buildings in other cities.
I’m sure you love all the bands, but any in particular you think Seattle needs to check out?
I do love all the bands! It would be impossible for me to catch every act that I want to. Take any 3 bands from this line up and you’d have a solid bill that I would enjoy.
I know Ben and Dane Ueland (who hopped on to help organize this year) would probably have different answers but I’m particularly excited about Fauna Shade, Lemolo, Kithkin, and The Holy Broke.
And lastly….. any tips you can give us, that will make our day the best it can be at BBB? Wet wipes? Flask’s? Lots of weed?
Wet wipes are never a bad idea.
Come early and stay late. We are only selling about half the capacity in presale tickets and everything else is first come first serve. If we hit capacity we will only be guaranteeing bands and presale ticket holders reentry.
Come enjoy yourselves!
For tix: Here