Preview: Whiteaker Block Party celebrates its 10th anniversary with a bang and lots of beer
It’s been ten years since the first Whiteaker Block Party. Since then, it’s blossomed from a small community gathering to “Eugene’s Biggest Summer Event”: an extravaganza with 11 (!) music stages and everything else from carnival games to spoken word to lots and lots of beer.
This year’s event will take place on August 6.
Ninkasi’s sponsoring the event, as always. Falling Sky created its own beer, the Whiteaker Wheat IPA, specifically for the event. Pabst will be available en masse, and the Block Party issued an open challenge on its Facebook page for the neighborhood to consume an entire pallet of the hipster-beloved beer. (If you’re wondering what a pallet is, just know you need a pretty big forklift to lift one.) Other breweries represented at the Block Party include local faves Hop Valley, Planktown and 2 Towns Ciderhouse.
Check out pictures from last year’s Whiteaker Block Party here.
The list of bands, both local and otherwise, performing is exhaustive. The Critical Shakes, Pancho and the Factory, Soul Vibrator, Dick Dägger and Sugar Beets (not to be confused with Ashland EDM duo SugarBeats) are just a few of them. The lineup appears to be band-oriented, but don’t leave your glowsticks at home: there’s no shortage of electronic acts, including Northwest heroes Medium Troy and the Bohemian Dub Orchestra.
There’s a remarkably high level of female representation among the Block Party lineup this year, which is a breath of fresh air in the often uncomfortably male-dominated music-festival world. Grrrlz Rock, they of the festival of the same name, will be hosting an entire stage in the Red Barn parking lot devoted to celebrating women in music.
As always, the Block Party is free, but an afterparty will be held at the WOW Hall from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., featuring eight of the day’s performers. Tickets are $10 presale, $15 at the door. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Womenspace, a non-profit Eugene-based organization seeking to end domestic violence.
There will also be an Art Zone, which is more or less what it sounds like, and a Kid Zone where you can let your little ones indulge.
The Whiteaker is an event in itself, filled with all manner of folk art and fascinating architecture. Be warned, though: it’s a neighborhood. People live there, and not all of them are out partying; some are just trying to watch TV and sleep. Those of us who get a bit too turnt are recommended to keep their voices down and – please – refrain from peeing on residents’ lawns.
Suffice to say, keeping an event this big free isn’t easy. Attendees or sympathetic members of the community can help out by donating or volunteering (links to do both are available on the website, whiteakerblockparty.com) – or just by buying a shitton of beer.
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