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Crosscut Tout: The sound of Northwest music lands at Sea-Tac

We're calling ourselves "the city of music," and we're offering local tunes all over the airport. Are you impressed now, Nashville?

Sea-Tac Airport

Sea-Tac Airport Sue Frause

Nashville's music scene includes clubs on Broadway.

Nashville's music scene includes clubs on Broadway. Ckramer/Flickr

You may want to take those earbuds out while waiting for your luggage at Sea-Tac Airport. Starting this week, Sea-Tac Airport is offering free upgrades that include the sights and sounds of Northwest music. The Sea-Tac Airport Music Initiative: Experience the City of Music launches on Saturday (Jan. 28) — a collaboration between the Port of Seattle, Seattle Music Commission, and PlayNetwork.

So what's it all about? Showcasing the Northwest's music culture, from Quincy Jones to Eddie Vedder, along with enhancing the experience of the 32 million passengers who travel through Sea-Tac Airport each year. The musical menu utilizes both audio and video, with speakers and screens placed throughout the airport. The features include:

  • Overhead music by such local emerging artists as Fences, Beat Connection, and Allen Stone along with legends Ray Charles, Heart, and Nirvana.
  • Overhead safety and informational announcements read by local musicians such as Ben Gibbard, LeRoy Bell, Macklemore, Jerry Cantrell, and Sir Mix-A-Lot.
  • Video segments on terminal monitors with original content from KEXP, EMP, MTV, Chase Jarvis, Seattle Channel's Art Zone, Light in the Attic Records, and The Seattle Band Map.
  • Web-based multi-channel music player available via the airport's free WiFi.
  • Android mobile app that features access to the PlayNetwork music playlist, videos and concert listings. iPhone, Windows Phone 7, and Blackberry apps to follow.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said in a press release from the Port of Seattle: "Seattle is known around the world for its music culture, so it's great to see this identity embraced and showcased to all the travelers going through the airport — Jet City, meet Music City."

It’s a pretty cool idea, but I’m not wowed with that non-catchy, cumbersome title: "Sea-Tac Airport Music Initiative, Experience the City of Music." It sounds more like a ballot issue than a travel enhancement. And I'm sure Nashville isn’t going to appreciate Seattle stealing its longtime and well-deserved tag line.

If you go: Sea-Tac Airport Music Initiave Launch Party: A kick-off and celebration will be held on Saturday, Jan. 27 from 3-7 p.m. in Sea-Tac Airport's Gina Marie Lindsey Arrivals Hall (south end of the baggage claim area). The event features live performances by Seattle artists Recess Monkey, Carrie Clark & the Lonesome Lovers, Fly Moon Royalty. and the Dusty 45s. Presiding over the kick-off event will be Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, and Seattle Music Commissioner Marcus Womack. There will also be performances on Sound Transit's Link light rail trains from 1-6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Sue Frause is a Whidbey Island freelance writer and photographer. You can reach her at sue@suefrause.com.


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