Rain City Ambience

Seattle-based Northwest music source established in 2005

Local Spotlight


Genre: Music and Arts Festival
From: Seattle, WA
Posted on by

Settling in the heart of Seattle, an immense gathering of locals comes together every year to celebrate a three-day music and arts festival known as Bumbershoot. This annual event takes place over Labor Day weekend, August 31-September 2, at Seattle Center where over 120 musical guests, artists, writers, and comedians are scheduled to attend.

Bumbershoot, started in 1971, is Seattle’s longest-lived music and arts festival and known as the Pacific Northwest’s largest showcase for regional talent. Such talents include hometown heroes Death Cab for Cutie, Vicci Martinez (a top four finalist on The Voice in 2011), and Grynch. It was announced that Death Cab for Cutie will perform their 2003 LP Transatlanticism in its entirety for its 10 year anniversary. The band revealed the news via their website and Facebook – the response has been explosive! All of the positive feedback indicates that Death Cab’s performance will be something you won’t want to miss.

Other acts include fun., Tegan and Sara, Crystal Castles, MGMT, Matt and Kim, Ra Ra Riot, Heart, Alt-J, Kendrick Lamar, and The Mowgli’s – to name a few. The full lineup can bee seen below.

Bumbershoot is not only music-oriented. Every year the festival presents Words & Ideas, Bumbershoot’s popular literary arts and lectures program. It features performances, panel discussions, conversations and readings that explore pop culture. This event will include guest appearances of the writing staff from the acclaimed NBC comedy series, Parks & Recreation; and returning for its third year is the highly anticipated panel series, “Why This? Why That? Why Now?” that will touch base on current cultural trends.

The 42-year-running fete may be miniscule compared to music blowouts such as SXSW or Coachella but they have acquired numerous nationwide sponsors including Rockstar Energy Drink and Starbucks. In 1980, One Reel (a Northwest non-profit organization) was brought in to produce the event and have backed Bumbershoot ever since. According to their site, One Reel “fuels civic pride through signature experiences that foster growth and development in community and the arts”. They offer volunteer positions that will grant you free access to the festival (may exclude access to the main stage) and a nifty t-shirt. If you’re interested in helping out check out the available positions here!

So slip on those TOMS and lather up the SPF 30 for another great year at Bumbershoot!

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Brianna Madsen

About Brianna Madsen

Music blogger & Portland photographer.

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