Seattle's Hottest Music Venue is...the Airport

Sub Pop lands at SeaTac
Brangien Davis  |   June 2014   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
sub pop at the airport seattle magazine
The Sub Pop store opened at Seattle's SeaTac airport on May 1

Is Seattle’s hottest music venue SeaTac Airport? Certainly that’s where local musicians can get the widest exposure. Thanks to the Experience the City of Music initiative, since 2013 travelers have been listening to welcome announcements from the likes of Macklemore, Brandi Carlile, Quincy Jones and Ann Wilson, and hearing local music on the SeaTac speakers. The mix piped into the airport (which anyone can access—go to portseattle.org and search “web player”) makes for an excellent audio survey of Northwest bands—from jazz to grunge to indie-pop. Musicians regularly perform for small crowds beset with carry-on bags, and in late March, SeaTac announced it is doubling the number of musicians and hours of live music in the terminal. Now, Seattle’s powerhouse indie label Sub Pop has made its descent onto the central concourse. Opened May 1, the Sub Pop retail store sells all manner of merch—and not just Sub Pop-branded. “We’re just one part of a large music community,” says Sub Pop Executive VP Megan Jasper. “It would be weird not to acknowledge all the other stuff going on here, so we’ll also have some music by local artists who aren’t on Sub Pop.” The store is hoping for live performances out front, the only downside of which could be an increase in missed flights.