Small Font Big Future gives you a low-down on smaller artists you should definitely take the time to see when you’re stage hopping at the next festival.

Upstream Music Festival is in its inaugural year and is an extremely unique event catered completely to Seattle.

It’s a three day festival set in 25 venues and several outdoor venues in Pioneer Square. It’s modeled off of South by Southwest, set in Austin but focuses instead on the Pacific Northwest. The majority of the 300+ musicians are local, emerging artists, so it’s hard to really go wrong when trying to find small artists at this weekend of music.


Grynch raps about his neighborhood, middle class Seattle, and his Volvo. If white guy raps about gentrification sound up your alley, check it out. If it doesn’t, maybe skip to the next one.

James Apollo
“Fiery anthems with a cool delivery,” James Apollo is “roots rock swagger led by a voice that’s like well-oiled leather.”

So Pitted
This Seattle punk band is a modern day noise rock band with a hint of sludge and chaos. Prepare yourself for an occasional screech or two.

Upstream Music Fest


Brothers From Another
Wavy, late ’90s, feel good vibe, creative flow rap driven with a slower lyricism reminiscent of Asher Roth (that’s a throwback). One of my favorites this festival.

OK Sweetheart
If a Zooey Deschanel impersonator led a four piece indie pop band that occasionally did covers and originals with fun, uptempo hits, you’d have this band. Oh, I guess you do have it.

Upstream Music Fest


Chris Staples
“Disarming arrangements and delicate melodies that seemed to float on air, led by fragile, arresting parts of [Chris’] voice.” via NPR.

Bad Luck
Gritty, gruff, melodic punk. Bad Luck leads with vocals ranging from aggressive rasp to bright crooning, accented by soft whistles and plucked acoustics.

Intimate textured Seattle electronic fueled by guitars and female vocals. They’re warm and inviting, while being distinctly electronic. Another can’t miss, in my opinion.

Did we miss a band you’re excited for? Let us know on Twitter.

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