Conceptual image courtesy Upstream Music Fest + Summit

Billionaire Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Seattle Seahawks, is creating a music and arts festival modeled significantly after Austin's South by Southwest.

Dubbed Upstream Music Fest + Summit, the event will be held May 11-13, 2017, in downtown Seattle, where over 200 artists will perform across more than 25 venues and pop-up spaces.

Similar to SXSW, Upstream will fuse music with "gaming, tech, media, design and more," with an emphasis on "emerging music," although as much as 75% will be artists from in and around the Northwest, according to the festival's executive director Jeff Vetting.

The region is hardly a stranger to music events, with Sasquatch! and Bumbershoot among the most prominent annual festivals. But Vetting said he believes the "time is right" for such a fest, despite past failed attempts by others.

Calling Seattle "a natural hub for this," Vetting said Upstream has reached out to other promoters with hopes of working with them to "add exposure to our local music scene" and "highlight our artist community."

Allen, who is worth an estimated $18.6 billion and released a blues album in 2013, is known to pursue ambitious projects, earlier this year setting out to build what would be the world's largest airplane.

Ticket information for Upstream will be announced this fall, with a lineup expected in the coming months.



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