The annual end of summer music, and arts festival Bumbershoot, offered something for everyone over the labor day long weekend in the Emerald City. As a first time festival goer, who was somewhat unsure of what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of things to see and do, that it was practically impossible to get around to everything, leaving me with a feeling of wanting to come back next year.
What is Bumbershoot exactly? Read up on it's history here.
The festival spans 74-acres at the Seattle Center, from the Space Needle, to the Key Arena, and everything within and around it. The area is densely populated with pure entertainment, vendors, stages, exhibits and all sorts of people. The event was also easily accessible via the Monorail.
One thing that I think surprised me the most about Bumbershoot is that it does not favor a specific musical genre, or style, or demographic of people for that matter. Performers from Beck, Estelle, Death Cab for Cutie, to the Stone Temple Pilots, The Offspring, Bedouin Soundclash, Final Fantasy as well as folk, country, jazz and electronic acts to name a few, performed on various stages all over the grounds throughout the day and night. Families, and young people all coming together to enjoy the festival. Skate ramps, screenings, drop-in art classes with live models, comedy performers like Human Giant, and thought-provoking exhibits like "The Power of One" illustrate the diverse appeal and interests of the festival. The food was international, from Thai, and Filipino, to your basic Corn on the Cob, and Russian baked goods. And the free samples of the festival sponsors like Starbucks, Rockstar Energy Drinks, and Cliff Bars wasn't bad either.
Despite how chaotic, Bumbershoot may sound, it was actually very well organized, and controlled. Even though I went to Bumbershoot half the time (the other half was spent at the Penny Arcade Expo), I still was able to find something to do. Even if it meant breaking off from my friends group, exploring the festival grounds by myself, and discovering The Power of One exhibit. It was such a strong contrast to all the entertainment going on, that it actually affected me and brought down the festive mood. In a good way. The images of mutilated soldiers of war, and the struggling people of different countries, was eyeopening.
Please check out The Power of One online, to learn more.
Estelle put on a head-bopping, ass shaking performance. The UK singer charmed the audience with her down-to-earth personality, and shed some light on her songs, love, breakups, and being in the music industry. Her live performance should be recorded as an album because after hearing her in person, listening to her studio record just isn't the same. The band added so much to the music, it was like hearing remixes.
Stone Temple Pilots performed for a packed crowd, that rocked the festival. Anyone who has forgot who they are was definitely reminded when they played familiar hits from their albums. I was planning on attending Beck's performance, but I ended up being unable to secure a ticket to the show, so I opted for the GameWorks 1UP meetup instead at PAX.
All in all, Bumbershoot was fantastic, and I plan on attending next year. You should too! And if you're stressing about the price for a 3 day pass.. it's totally worth it with the amount of stuff you get access to.