You won’t have to stretch your legs much at this year’s Fisherman’s Village Music Festival.
Most of the action will revolve around two city blocks when Everett Music Initiative’s event returns for its sixth year May 16-18, headlined by Canadian indie-rock band Wolf Parade and rising Seattle rapper Travis Thompson. In all, about 50 local, regional and national touring acts are slated to perform.
There will only be three stages per night to choose from this year, compared to the past when up to five were jockeying for crowds. That means fewer time conflicts and opportunities to see more musicians, according to Ryan Crowther, the festival’s founder and leader of EMI.
But fewer venues aren’t the only shake-up: The bulk of the festival is moving out of the downtown core and will include two outdoor stages. There’s also the new Night Market, a collection of food trucks, a beer garden, 15 bands and more than 40 art vendors that is free admission.
Crowther said the Night Market, which will take place Friday and Saturday, is meant to be a family-friendly street fair that also provides a sample of what the three-day Fisherman’s festival is like.
“Every year we have to balance creating an experience for locals and creating enough of a draw for someone to want to drive more than 30 miles away to come here,” he said. “This year, I think we’ve really hit that balance well.”
And, after flip-flopping between March and May for years, Crowther said the event will be held in May from here on out. That decision was mostly due to weather, but it also helps that Sasquatch! Music Festival and Upstream Music Fest, which were held around the same time, are no longer happening, he said.
“People only have so many of these weekends in them,” he said.
The 2019 Fisherman’s festival will kick off Thursday with performances by 10 acts at Black Lab Gallery, Narrative Coffee and Schack Art Center downtown, then it moves east to 33rd Street and Cedar Street for Friday and Saturday’s shows.
Crowther said this year’s move closer to Everett Station not only gives the event room to build, but also addresses other lingering issues.
“We need to accommodate growth, and the only way to create a venue that holds more people is to move it outside,” he said. “There are a lot less people living on that side of downtown and, while I believe most people are supportive of these efforts, the noise from music and lots of people creates an impact. That impact is far less of a nuisance down in the Everett Station District.”
Seven food trucks will keep festival-goers from partying on empty stomachs, while Scuttlebutt will be pouring four new brews in the beer garden.
Vendors will set up shop in a large tent along 33rd Street, offering a variety of wares including embroidery, candles, henna tattoos, pottery, jewelry, paintings and bake goods. Everett artist Kimberly Mattson will be painting a mural during the festival.
The Night Market’s lineup of artists and artisans was organized by Kristen Boswell, an Everett artist who owns Vertical Gardens Northwest. Boswell also is the founder of the Everett Makers Market, a pop-up market featuring local artisans.
“At a music festival, sometimes there’s a lag in between acts you want to watch or maybe you still want to linger and pop around and make connections and chat,” she said. “I think that connectivity is going to be huge.”
Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, email@example.com. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.
If you go
This year’s Fisherman’s Village Music Festival is May 16-18 in Everett. The May 16 shows will be at Black Lab Gallery, Narrative Coffee and Schack Art Center. On May 17 and 18, the festival will take place at 33rd and Cedar streets, and at Scuttlebutt Taproom & Brewery nearby.
The Night Market is from 4 to 10 p.m. May 17 and noon to 10 p.m. May 18 and will feature more than 40 art vendors, seven food trucks, a beer garden and 15 bands performing on an outdoor stage.