Street Bands in White Center - Honk Fest

Honk! Fest West 2018

This impressive three-day celebration of a “global renaissance of community street band culture” arrived in White Center, WA on Saturday June 2. 

The musicians go all out in every way. The music is loud and raucous. So are the wardrobes, hairstyles and general demeanor of the musicians who give every impression of having more fun than anyone. But the audience is deeply appreciative as it roves from one “stage” to another. This is a high energy/low resources operation. The stages of a well-financed music festival are absent. Here the street is the stage, which only makes everything feel more authentic and down to earth, as befits community street band culture.

16th Street the main drag in White Center — “Not so white. Not so centered” as the local bumper stickers say — offers a great backdrop for the musicians and their music. Rather than the ubiquitous sponsors’ logos at high-powered music festivals White Center local business store fronts provide the backdrop: Beer and Wine Source, Los Potrillos Tacqueria, Angkor Market, Bok A Bok, Proletariat Pizza, Locker Room Tavern, We Buy Gold and more.

Most bands hail from the Pacific Northwest but some come from as far away as Lowell, Mass as Honk! Fest is a national operation. The band names are as creative as the music and the bands’ appearance including among others, Brass Liberation Orchestra, Chaotic Noise Marching Corps, Filthy Femcorps, Neon Brass Party and, one of my favorites, Rise Up! Action Band singing/chanting “Say Their Name!” and “You and I must fight!”

The entire day was a cacophony of music, color, dancing and a great deal of unbridled joy, much of it led by women who seemed to be everywhere and in every band. I hope the photos capture some of that. I had a blast!

http://www.honkfestwest.org

 Red head from The Party Band, Lowell, Mass

Red head from The Party Band, Lowell, Mass

 Rise Up!Action Band, Seattle

Rise Up!Action Band, Seattle

 Give Back Brass Band, Seattle

Give Back Brass Band, Seattle

 Filthy Femcorps, Seattle

Filthy Femcorps, Seattle

 16th Ave SW, White Center

16th Ave SW, White Center

 Filthy Femcorps, Seattle

Filthy Femcorps, Seattle

 Filthy Femcorps, Seattle

Filthy Femcorps, Seattle

 Brass Band at Brass Knuckles Bistro

Brass Band at Brass Knuckles Bistro

 16th Ave, SW White Center

16th Ave, SW White Center

 Chaotic Noise Marching Corps on 16th Ave SW

Chaotic Noise Marching Corps on 16th Ave SW

 Chaotic Noise Marching Corps on 16th Ave, White Center

Chaotic Noise Marching Corps on 16th Ave, White Center

 Filthy Fem Corps, Seattle

Filthy Fem Corps, Seattle

 Horn Player from The Party Band, Lowell, Mass

Horn Player from The Party Band, Lowell, Mass

 Too much fun on 16th Ave SW, White Center

Too much fun on 16th Ave SW, White Center

 Ed and Andrew from The Party Band, Lowell, Mass.

Ed and Andrew from The Party Band, Lowell, Mass.

 Horn Player outside Angkor Market

Horn Player outside Angkor Market

 Brass Band exiting Brass Knuckles Bistro

Brass Band exiting Brass Knuckles Bistro

 "Say their Names" from Rise Up! Action Band

"Say their Names" from Rise Up! Action Band