Kilby Block Party

In the heart of Salt Lake City, during the second weekend of May, the Kilby Block Party music festival is held annually. This Indie music festival has grown a lot since its orgin years, starting as a literal block party. Since then this festival has expanded from the block to Library Square, now residing at the Utah State Fairpark for the second year. With LCD Soundsystem, Vampire Weekend, and the Postal Service + Death Cab for Cutie as headliners, I am excited to explore what Kilby Block Party has to offer.

Friday May 10

I spent the beginning of the day roaming around the festival admiring how colorful and vibrant this festival was even on a cloudy day. As I walked from stage to stage enjoying Blondshell, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Peach Pit and then the most peaceful Luna Li, I got to check out all the awesome vendor booths and art installations.


By late afternoon I was most excited for Courtney Barnett, who came out absolutely shredding. Her electric performance lit up the crowd as everyone bounced around dancing.


Right after Courtney’s set, I headed to Jai Paul who was dressed very futuristic in the most epic lime green jacket. His band was the perfect transition into night as it kept everyone grooving and vitalized. As soon as Jai finished, you could feel the crowd get jittery with excitement for Vampire Weekend.


Much anticipated, the crowd roared as vampire weekend took the stage. The fans that had camped out all day were hit with so much energy, screaming the lyrics to every song. Even from the very back of the crowd, everyone was dancing on the grass smiling from ear to ear.

Saturday May 11

The sun decided to bless us on Saturday as we entered the festival grounds. I watched the skate competition for a while before heading to the Garden in the mid afternoon. This was by far the most outrageous crowd of the weekend and it was fitting. As the garden came out roaring, kicking the speakers, throwing their mics, and raging across the stage, they encouraged the crowd to join in the rage.


As the mosh pits started the crowd moved as one. Occasional gasps for air as crowd surfers tumbled above. I think this was by far the best crowd of the weekend, and this set was seriously epic.


The afternoon raced by as Current Joys, Cautious Clay, and TV girl all performed vibrant sets under the Salt Lake City sunshine. Like every festival, it was so awesome to see all the fans watch their favorite artists perform their favorite songs.


The early evening was hit with a slight lighting storm, delaying Santigold’s performance. Fans eagerly awaited and after a short weather delay Santigold and her dancers put on an unforgettable performance. Dressed in all white they flowed across the stage as pink and orange hues filled the sky.


By the time Santigold set finished it was time to run across to make it to Death Cab for Cutie and the Postal Service. Ben Gibbard stood flawlessly and led his bands through epic sets, a truly perfect end to the Saturday.

Sunday May 12


By Sunday the sun was strong and bright. Perfect for Odie Leigh’s joyous set to start the day. She took the stage in striped tights, and her all girl entourage. As the weekend was full of a very male dominated lineup with handfuls of boy bands, it was refreshing to see these eclectic girls rockin it.


Model/Actriz brought attitude, starting the set by smearing red lipstick all over his mouth. Then storming off stage to join the crowd. After spending time running through the crowd hugging fans, he finally returned back to stage, overall bringing all the DRAMA. We had so much fun experiencing such a playful and sassy performance.


Keeping with the sass, Yves Tumor put on an incredible set in the mid afternoon. Yet more simplified than I was expecting, it was just what the crowd needed to gain some energy and momentum for the afternoon sets.

Pond brought absolute chaos. Whipping the mic around and ferally moving across the stage. I had no idea what to expect from them and was super surprised to see such a rock n roll performance.


Dayglow and Interpool both gave high spirited performances perfectly synonymous with the most gorgeous afternoon. These sets allowed for the energy to grow, even though we were all starting to get tired from three days of dancing around.


All day we had been teased with this giant disco ball hanging above the Kilby stage. So finally as the sun was disappearing, LCD Soundsystem hit the stage. Their giant squad dominated as the disco ball sparkled on the crowd, and beach balls flew across the sky. Even from the photo pit we couldn’t help but jam and dance with each other. It was truly a magical performance and some of the best energy from the entire weekend.

Besides all these amazing sets, Kilby had so much more to offer. They had swings, a skate park, art installations, a silent disco, and so many amazing food and drink options.
The crowd spent the afternoons chilling on the grass, playing ping pong and cornhole, or maybe walking over to the skate park to watch the skate for cash competition.
The crowd was one of the sweetest with such positive energy, and nothing but good vibes. I think a lot of thoughtful time was spent ensuring that beyond the music, the Kilby experience would be enjoyable for everyone. As I head out, I stay yearning for another day surrounded by the mountains, watching the creamsicle sunsets as my favorite bands perform.

Photos and Writing by Ferg

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