Photo by Christopher Nelson

Bumbershoot 2015: The Oldest Festival You’ve Probably Never Heard Of (And It’s Happening This Weekend)

As I get ready to head to Seattle for the first time in my life, I’m simultaneously preparing to go to a music festival that’s brand new to me, yet decades old to the city that hosts it. I’m talking about Bumbershoot, a music and art festival 45 years in the making, that occurs on Labor Day Weekend each year. For a music lover like me, what’s a better way to explore a new city than to check out the sights and sounds of a three-day festival that boasts comedy, film, visual art, dance, performing arts, and of course some of the biggest musical acts in the world? Bumbershoot brings all of that together, right under one of the most famous structures in the world: the Space Needle.

Now in our 45th year, Bumbershoot is one of Seattle’s largest cultural touchstones. Each year thousands of people across the country flock to Seattle to attend this acclaimed Festival, which has become one of the most unique and best-loved contemporary festivals in North America. Bumbershoot’s diverse programming includes live music, comedy, theatre, film, visual arts, dance performance, and more.

On paper Bumbershoot’s lineup seems somewhat familiar, when comparing this multi-genre event to other large festivals that have occurred in the U.S. this Summer. In a way Bumbershoot is different because we aren’t seeing names like Flume or Odesza, when we’ve seen them on most lineups across the States (also ironic given that Odesza are from Seattle). You can tell Bumbershoot is a very community-oriented festival, and not trying to squeeze people dry of their money (I’m looking at you Outside Lands/Coachella). At time of publishing, three-day passes are only $189 and single day passes are just $85.

While I’m a fan of music across all genres, we’re obviously here to highlight some of the electronic-focused artists that are playing at Bumbershoot this weekend. The biggest standout for me is Bassnectar, who never has a problem selling out shows or filling up a crowd in front of main stages. Bassnectar is absolutely absurd live and no one show sounds like the next. With Lorin constantly releasing new music, you can expect Bassnectar to close out the weekend in a big way.

Sunday sees three top-notch electronic acts in Zedd, Flosstradamus, and Tchami. You can bet your ass these acts will draw a crowd, but also make sure to catch Paper Diamond and Classixx who each have their own unique way of making crowds bounce. Other notable acts for the dance music lover will include Keys N Krates, The Floozies, and Emancipator. For something truly unique, go check out Lindsey Stirling, who will be playing violin over Dubstep beats, all the while choreographing some pretty serious dance moves to complete the live performance.

On a personal level I’m excited to check out some acts outside the dance realm, including The Weeknd, Cake and Faith No More (two childhood classics), Ben Harper, Lee Scratch Perry, and Jamestown Revival. Not to mention all the other aspects that make Bumbershoot so unique.

If you want to read up on the history of Bumbershoot, CLICK HERE. Looking forward to seeing all the smiling Seattle faces this weekend!