The fourth annual Macefield Music Festival continues this weekend to honor the rebellious spirit of Edith Macefield, who refused to sell her Ballard home to developers. The lineup includes the Banditos, from Alabama, as well as Seattle artists Erik Blood and Bryan John Appleby.

Share story

The Macefield Music Festival, which opens Friday (Sept. 30) in Ballard, is where grunge-punk and country music meet.

It makes sense. Ballard is the home of Seattle’s underground Americana scene, but also embodies a lo-fi, rebel attitude that would make Mudhoney and Merle Haggard equally proud.

Every year since 2013, the festival has striven to do justice to the memory of its namesake, Edith Macefield, who refused to sell her Ballard home to developers in 2006. The 2016 lineup continues in this spirit of resistance, with artists both local and national.


Macefield Music Festival

7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, through 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at various venues in Ballard; Friday $35, Saturday $45, weekend pass $55 (

Most of the Americana acts are hard-edge, leaning more toward the sound and look of cowpunk and outlaw Americana than the ultrasmooth vibe of Nashville pop-country. The Banditos, a band from Alabama led by rasping, Janice Joplin-esque singer Mary Beth Richardson, plays Friday at the Tractor Tavern. The next day at Conor Byrne, Seattle’s tattoo-covered, bearded Bryan John Appleby will sing his vulnerable folk, while other groups like Hotel Vignette and The Yada Yada Blues Band combine raw rock ’n’ roll with roots-blues.

As the roots musicians sling whiskey shots and Telecasters, Seattle punks will shout about progressive politics. On Friday, avant-garde post-punker Erik Blood will be performing his ambient music, complete with stunning visuals. The weekend also sees performances from queercore Boyfriends, angular punk trio Wimps and the fabulously anti-patriarchal Mommy Long Legs, who will undoubtedly shout in unison about gross “Cat Callers.”

Around the same time Saturday, ’90s-throwback grunge trio Wild Powwers will be wooing audiences with power chords and heavy distortion at the Tractor, while gritty, psychedelic metal band Lesbian follows suit at the Sunset.

A few groups on the roster sit slightly outside this Americana-punk scheme. Seattle’s Will Moore, a smooth, crooning indie-pop artist will play Friday at Conor Byrne on the heels of his “My Mistake” EP. Gibraltar, with its more precise, abrasive math-metal sound, follows Moore.

Other outlier artists include Seattle’s breakout female hip-hop artist DoNormaal; Zola Jesus, performing tracks from her ethereal pop album “Taiga”; and the syncopated, jazz-funk collective Industrial Revelation.

The festival goes through midday Sunday, when Underwood Stables ends the weekend with its “Hey Now” brunch. There, the lo-fi-meets-country vibe will come to an impressive finale as artists like bad-girl singer Nikki Lane and rockabilly Jenny Don’t and the Spurs perform raw, intimate sets.