Each Labour Day weekend since 1971 Seattle has been hosting one of the most accessible arts and entertainment festivals in the Pacific Northwest. Smack dab in the middle of the Seattle Center and under the watch of the iconic Space Needle, Bumbershoot hosts a mix of musical acts and art installations as well as 100,000+ concertgoers. Although that attendance is nothing to scoff at, Bumbershoot is not for everyone.
So who is Bumbershoot for? Let’s found out with this list of 5 reasons why Bumbershoot might be for you.
If Camping Isn’t Your Thing
First up on why experiencing Bumbershoot is experiencing the best getaway festival there is is the simple fact that it is located in downtown Seattle. This means no camping and no tipped over Porta-potties. There truly is something magical about seeing a bonafide headliner before hitting some bars in Belltown and then crashing in a comfortable hotel bed.
On top of that, getting to and from the festival grounds is super easy. You can take the Monorail from downtown, the S.L.U.T (South Lake Union Transit) or, simply, walk.
If Traffic Jams Aren’t Your Thing
Another great thing about experiencing Bumbershoot is the lack of lineups getting to the festival or the long distance you have to drive to get there. Sure, Squamish, Pemberton, and Sasquatch Festival’s have incredible natural backdrops, but my God the lineups getting in and out are horrible. No thanks.
Plus with the future of Squamish’s and Pemberton’s festival’s up in the air (and now Sasquatch!) or permanently on hiatus, Bumbershoot is a great option.
If Music, Art and Comedy are Your Things
Experiencing Bumbershoot is also so much more than the music. Spread out over 74-acres, you will find everything from comedians doing standup, pop up barbershops, old-school arcade games, food trucks, and oh-so-many stages hosting oh-so-many great bands.
Bumbershoot festival favourites that we’re not musical acts included a Sub Pop Records pop up shop, the umbrella walkway, and, of course, the giant inflatable rabbits.
Also, the acts from the main stage projected on the centrepiece fountain is truly something else!
If Great Food and Craft Beer is Your Thing
Of course, with Bumbershoot being held in Seatle, the food and beer is on point. Local food trucks can be found throughout the festival grounds as can craft beer and cool cocktails.
On a sad note, alcohol is only allowed in designated areas. Because of this, we spent the bulk of our time experiencing Bumbershoot from stage left at the beer gardens. This turned out to be a great spot as the bulk of bands I wanted to see were playing this stage.
If Seeing More Than Just the Festival Grounds is Your Thing
Alongside being located in a major city centre comes the possibilities of exploring beyond the festival grounds. A weekend of great music is great but mixing that with some non-festival activities is better. My time experiencing Bumbershoot also included checking out the surrounding area. This meant an amazing stroll through Pike Place Market with stops at the Crumpet Shop and the sticky Gum Wall.
On the way out of town, I took the opportunity to explore Fremont, Seattle’s quirkiest neighbourhood. A lakeside factory turned park? Check. A troll under a bridge? Check. A Stalin statue, a rocket ship, and Fremont Brewing? Check, check, and check.
Let’s see you find this kind of quirky and cool near another music festival!
Bumbershoot – A Getaway Festival if There Ever Was One
So there you have it, 5 reasons why Bumbershoot just might be your thing and why it is one of the best getaway festivals in the Pacific Northwest. If big bands without big fuss in seeing them is your thing then Bumbershoot is for you. Maybe it will open you up to other festivals, (Life is Beautiful in Las Vegas is another amazing and accessible festival!) or maybe it will spoil you.
`Only one way to find out.
Tickets for 2018’s festival are available now! This year‘s lineup is a gooder!
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Although I was provided media passes to Bumbershoot,
the experience, opinions, and new favourite festival discovery are my own.