TUF is pleased to announce our final lineup of participating musicians, artists and workshops for TUFFEST 2017, taking place on Saturday, August 26 at Judkins Park.

The daytime portion of TUFFEST, funded by the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, will be held in Judkins Park from 12:00pm to 10:00pm. The event is free, all ages and open to the public, aligning with TUF’s commitment to accessibility and community outreach.

A TUFFEST ‘til Dawn after-hours program will take place afterward near by at a separately ticketed event.






Russell E.L. Butler (Oakland, CA)  

Experimental artist and DJ Russell Butler creates bold and driving techno with a stripped-down, modular approach. Based in Oakland, CA with roots in Bermuda, Russell has also made a name for themself as an educator, facilitating modular synthesizer workshops at S1 in Portland, OR and Moogfest in Durham, NC. They’re also an advocate for amplifying the voices of black, brown, trans, queer, and gay folks in dance music culture — and beyond.


Taylar Elizza Beth (Seattle, WA)

Taylar’s newest release, Fresh Cut Flowers, elevates the experimental hip-hop artist’s craft to a whole other level. With lyrics that are insightful, biting, and vulnerable all at the same time, it’s no wonder that Taylar has become an artist to watch in the Seattle music scene (and beyond, undoubtedly).


x/o (Vancouver, B.C.)

Vancouver-based artist x/o creates hauntingly beautiful tracks with a subversive edge. Her stunning live performances combine ingenious instrumentation (like attaching contact mics to an orchid plant to trigger sound samples) and self-made visuals filled with shattered glass imagery and waves of cold, glossy chrome. The resulting effect is eerie, atmospheric, and undeniably gorgeous.


Nordra (Seattle, WA)

Nordra is Monika Khot, Seattle-based musician and member of the experimental electronic rock duo Zen Mother. She creates compositions filled with thick, droney rhythms overlaid with muted guitar and trumpet melodies, finished off with her own soaring vocals. Think of it as the darkest, most beautiful dirge you’ll ever hear.


Youryoungbody (Seattle, WA)

Youryoungbody’s music is unapologetically dark. Killian Brom composes complex and catchy electronic melodies while Duh Cripe’s ethereal voice, impeccable style, and magnetic stage presence make every Youryoungbody show a force to be reckoned with. Their newest album, Devotion, will be released later this year.


Pleather (Seattle, WA)

Claire Nelson (aka Butter Ball) and Andrew McKibben are Pleather, a dynamic duo set on subverting the norms of rock music. Their sound is self-described as an “amalgamous music blob,” while their songs are self-characterized as “deconstruction sites.”


Host DJ: MMMelt (Seattle, WA)


MMMelt aka Isador Vorpahl is a child of starlight, living through the lens of the ethereal more often times than the physical. As a performer, they fancy themselves a kitchen-sink-style dynamic randomizer/selector, predominantly honing in on exquisite house and techno bangers cross-bred with spooky astral tones and underworld sub-bass. They’ve had the pleasure of playing venues like Pony, Timbre Room, Vermillion, Brainfreeze, The Vera Project, and was featured in the TUF Takeover @ MoPop as well as the main stage of Trans Pride 2017.


Emcees: Jenn Green and Butter Ball


The Competitive DJ (led by Erin O’Connor of Train Car House Party)

Erin O’Conner will lead an inside conversation about being a female/non-binary/queer DJ in the Seattle electronic music community with a panel of DJs from different spectrums of the electronic music scene.


Shine Theory (led by Shay Huff of Women’s Empower Movement and Jennifer Harris, Psychologist and Lecturer at the University of Washington - Tacoma)

This workshop will define and discuss Shine Theory, unpack the concept that there is only room for one successful woman at "the table," and shed light on how we can nourish the superhero in all of us.


Live Audio & PA Setup (led by Natalie Bayne and Katie Schultz of Seattle Sound Girls)

Learn about PA setup, signal flow, and live sound troubleshooting in this fun, hands-on 60-minute workshop.


Let Fatty In: Establishing Intersectional Fat Acceptance & Body Positivity in Queer Creative Spaces (led by Kim Selling of The Stranger and Gramma Poetry)

Sit yourself down and get some free education from four fat queer babes as they hash out how fatphobic, erasure-adjacent, and non-intersectional queer spaces can be (especially in Seattle). They'll discuss their personal experiences, what is innately problematic already about body positivity & fat acceptance, and how best to educate people. They’ll also discuss how to enable fat accepting and body positive spaces that are better for the future intersectional health of our communities.


Don’t Quit Your Daydream (led by Mary Anne Carter of Jesus Mary Anne Joseph)

This workshop will help working artists build a toolkit to better achieve a work/art life balance. It will discuss topics including: how to find a compatible career, navigating the promise of "exposure" for payment, knowing when spending a little bit of money can actually help you save and/or make more money, and creating a body of work that can sustain you financially (or at least sustain the cost of your project) without sacrificing the soul of your work.


Effecting Social Change Through Magic (led by Unicole Unicron)

Utilzing rituals, radical self love, spell casting, and other forms of magic to engage in profound and positive social change during times of unrest. Magic is a natural aspect of all our lives. Learn how to harness the power that you have to change the world for the better without contributing to the darker side of reality.


Language as Performance: How to Do a Damn Good Reading in Any Genre (led by Sarah Galvin of City Arts and Bureau of Fearless Ideas)

This is a workshop on the performance of written language. Learn how to deliver a compelling reading of whatever you write without soiling yourself or blacking out! Fame and fortune can be yours!


Foundations: Creating Music (led by Chloe Harris of Further Records and Patchwerks; Qoqo Robos of TUF; and Rachel Glasgow of Patchwerks and Motor)

Join three talented and accomplished electronic musicians as they teach beginners how to utilize digital and analog gear to produce their own music.


Stretch with Women.Weed.Wifi

Badass collective Women.Weed.Wifi will lead a guided meditation and yoga activity while discussing the benefits of incorporating cannabis and/or smoking herbs into your practice. This activity aims to recenter and elevate, while providing tools to continue your practice in private.

How We Will Accomplish Liberation in Our Lifetime (led by Vanessa Molano, co founder of Photon Factory a freelance strategic project manager and time designer under the name Empathematics)  

This workshop will specify which particular groups will be making pivotal changes in how we free ourselves, how the audience of different identities fit into the picture, and what it looks like on the micro and macro level. Vanessa Molano is obsessed with time. Her heart is a clock, her chromosomes are chronosomes, and she’s dedicated to coordinating our time to add up to collective liberation by 2057. 


Foundations of DJing (led by K-Hand)

Join TUF for an very special workshop from Detroit’s own first lady, K-Hand - a producer, businesswoman, DJ, record label boss. In both Kelli’s production and DJ sets, she glides back and forth between house and techno with a signature funk and movement, making her sets on rival her contemporaries Mills, May, and Robert Hood to name a few. Experience a unique introductory workshop to DJing with this Detroit legend, where she will go over basics of Vinyl DJing, Digital DJing with CDJs, and insight into her process and mixing style.


Improv Strategies for Hardware Instruments (led by Russell E. L. Butler)

In this workshop, Russell will walk participants through their live setup and detail their approach to creating systems for improvisation. They will give a short performance demo and then open their gear up to experimentation by the workshop participants, as well as questions about how they can integrate improvisation into their practices.




Bristol Hayward-Hughes

scrying in public

Hayward-Hughes’ work is a pastiche of quixotic ephemera deeply rooted in the digital realm that merges the organic with the synthetic, the concrete with the abstract, and swirling fluidity with glitch. For TUFFEST, Hayward-Hughes steps into the physical realm with their installation, scrying in public, which draws the viewers to a series of reflective pools, to look upon themselves in the sparkly sunshine, and swirl in glittery liquids in a manner evocative of Nemesis luring Narcissus; though these reflective surfaces are crafted from a new shining plastic reality, and the reflections thusly impressioned.  

Brit Ruggirello

Fuzzy Luck

From the deeply pigmented to the neon and pastel, Ruggirello’s work spans the depths of mood and human interaction. Motifs range from the classical to consumerist, and from the domestic to pure composition. For TUFFEST, Ruggirello questions representation with the use of light frequencies in motion, reverberating between spaces. Ruggirello draws inspiration from the interpersonal and digital realms, party aesthetics, and the interior design of Las Vegas hotels.


Grey Ellis, Katya Rubinshteyn & Claire Nelson

Sick Bed

Dreamteam Ellis, Rubinshteyn, and Nelson bring us into the softness of a space known by many, yet kept so hidden: Sick Bed. Accoutrements of illness are presented in their most bedazzling form to create a sacred space meant for rest and healing. This work explores and draws inspiration from the worlds of Disability Culture, Queer Crip Witches, The Internet, and Trash Culture to deliver a phantasmagoric installation from which to consider the life of the chronically ill.


KEM_C + Gia


Inspired by conceptual architecture, a desire to optically overwhelm and the creation of queer space, this duo’s installation encourages the viewer to question their own gaze through levels of fractured reality. Their mirrored structure holds fierce rigidity while simultaneously basking in the fluidity of a wave in motion.  Gia specializes in the spectacular, the glistening aura all around us while KEM_C’s illusive silkscreen prints systematically strip the color and form out of common femme items.  


Lucia Santos


As an illustrator for Rookie Mag’s Dear Diary section, this high school student captures her sense of youthful wonder through her portraiture that seems to ethereally portray the subject held within as one’s own best friend and through a cherishing of mundane objects, those held and disposed of in the everyday. For TUFFEST, Santos explores her identity as a young woman of color with emblems that reflect herself and the world around her painted upon the surface of a mirror, to share not only her own lived experience, but to give the viewer a chance to step in and feel for themselves the world in which she occupies.  


Mariko Yoshino

slab 3, slab 8, slab 12

For Yoshino, the personal becomes public. slab 3, slab 8, slab 12 are an introspectively exhibition of the process of variation that takes place through emotional states between illness/wellness, failure/success. Yoshino utilizes the concepts of folding, twisting, and warping in both her processes for perspective alteration, and in her working of the mixed-media surfaces to achieve transformation. Yoshino’s background in industrial design informs her ability to transgress the practical art item into a new goopy alluring mysterious form.


Mel Carter

have dreams like we used to

With a background in photomedia, Carter’s work explores the dreamy beauty of corporeal entities that are neither definable, nor unrecognizable, and both magnetic in draw while holding a certain quality of subtle repulsion. Carter’s installation, have dreams like we used to, continues this exploration of duality with an expansive installation that will act as a portal in which time, bodies, and dreams crawl in the spaces between here and _____.  


Saïna Heshmati


As an illustrator, Heshmati focuses on the human form; frequently portrayed in fragments or dizzying circumstances that convey broader concepts such as self-efficacy lost in the spaces that immigration occupies, hesitation, and transformation. Heshmati examines vast concepts while maintaining a quiet intimacy with the subject. For TUFFEST, Heshmati presents a voluminous architectural piece, Residue, in which light and shadow will allow for variations of perception of object. Heshmati was named one of Brooklyn Magazine’s 4 Must See Artists at The Other Art Fair, New York, 2017.


Erin Halligan

Custom Airbrush Tees By Erin

Ever wanted a custom t-shirt to celebrate your pet Betta fish? Have a new slogan you want forever cemented in soft grey cotton? Maybe just a shirt that says “FREE WIFI” on it. Well you're in luck! Halligan is on site to make some custom airbrush dreams come true. Her flash sheets and prebrushed designs are filled with sweetly voyeuristic figures, groovy fonts, and have an innovative running comic strip motif.

'til dawn


(Separately ticketed, at a location TBA to guests)


K-Hand (Acacia Records/Detroit, MI)

Kelli Hand, aka the First Lady of Detroit Techno, expertly traverses the line between the playful, soulful sounds of house and the tight, precise rhythms familiar to techno. She’s a master of setting the mood, known for taking a dance floor’s energy to unforeseen heights of intensity over the course of a night. She’s released music on esteemed labels like !K7 Records, Tresor, and most recently Nina Kraviz’s трип label. Kelli also helms Acacia Records, which she founded 27 years ago in her hometown of Detroit, MI. She will headline the afterhours portion of TUFFEST at the TUFFEST ‘tl Dawn party.


Eris Drew (Smart Bar/Chicago, IL)

Co-founder of Hugo Ball at Chicago’s Smart Bar, Eris believes in “the Mother Beat” as the driving force behind her creative energy. A DJ who’s spent more than 20 years behind the decks, she draws from a variety of musical sounds to inform her distinctive sound steeped in midwest tradition. Eris also has a live synth act she refers to as her “personal trans femme travel log.” She will perform at the afterhours portion of TUFFEST with K-Hand.


Reverend Dollars (Darqness/Seattle, WA)

Reverend Dollars is Renee Jarreau Greene, a Seattle-based DJ and producer who is the founder of the Darqness Seattle Queer and Trans People of Color arts collective and the organizer of Soul-Fi. Their work focuses on bringing together marginalized Black, Trans, Queer, and People of Color communities through the mediums of music and dance. A lifelong dancer, her sets are built on energetic club and hip-hop beats played at a frenetic pace. After a series of EPs dating back to 2011, she is currently working on her debut album as a producer.


Live Visuals by Anissa Amalia