Find a complete list of festivals in Seattle this fall on our Things To Do calendar.
SEPT 28–OCT 2
Some people expect Chance of Rain Urban Arts & Music Festival to fill Decibel Fest’s massive shoes, and that’s unfair. Still, Decibel volunteer Michael Manahan and crew have put together a solid bill for its inaugural electronic-music extravaganza. Formidable out-of-towners include Detroit techno pioneer Derrick May, Texas minimal-techno juggernaut Convextion, Canadian tech-house chameleon Jacques Greene, and coldwave master Circa Tapes. The local contingent is very strong, too: highbrow synth inventor/experimenter Randy Jones, transcendentalist techno producer Big Phone, Orb-tastic ambient sorcerer Gel-Sol, thrillingly malevolent industrial musician Bloom Offering, and electro-techno shapeshifter J.Alvarez. Come with an open mind and it just might get blown. DAVE SEGAL
SEPT 30-OCT 2
The legacy of Edith Macefield lives on for the fourth year of Macefield Music Festival, a typically rowdy weekend of live music and going buck in Ballard. The line-up features locally and internationally renowned heavy-hitters like Zola Jesus, Psychic TV, Industrial Revelation, Fly Moon Royalty, and many more, at several supportive venues across the neighborhood.
The Adult LEGO Hobbyists are spreading their love of all things LEGO at this two day event. All Builders (people who build things with LEGOS) are invited to bring their masterpieces to enter into a competition for the People's Choice. There will be a Building Zone for people wanting to either test out the LEGO-building waters or display their mad LEGO skills. Vendors will be set up throughout the hall with LEGO-themed paraphernalia.
Now is a time for tea. Perhaps this is more of a persistent stereotype than anything else, but I find tea calming in a way that other beverages aren’t. Alcohol can be supremely relaxing, of course, but it doesn’t quite assuage anxiety the way that tea can. And heaven knows we live in anxiety-ridden times. Anyway, for a reasonable $10-$15, escape to the Northwest Tea Festival and spend a weekend in relative tranquility. Learn about everything from tea etiquette to “Tasting Teas in a Chinese Professional Way” to cooking with tea (tea eggs!) to the “Wonderful World of Oolong.” On Sunday, there’s even a tea and meditation class. It’s going to be, in every sense of the word, very chill. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE
OCT 7-NOV 11
This is the season of Seattle's premier jazz event, the Earshot Jazz Festival, which includes more than 50 distinct concerts and events in venues across town. One of the big names at this year's festival is veteran pianist Freddy Cole, who will present with his trio a performance tied to the legacy of his late brother, Nat King Cole. There will also be a tribute to Charlie Parker, helmed by the award-winning saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. Local ubiquitous talent D'Vonne Lewis will curate a series of concerts with his groups Limited Edition and Industrial Revelation, the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band, and special jazz festival collaborators, as this year's Resident Artist.
Calling all Geek Girls! GeekGirlCon is a two-day convention that was founded following a panel at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con called “Geek Girls Exist,” bringing attention to the underrepresentation of women in the tech and gaming world. The convention aims to provide a safe space for women to celebrate their self-proclaimed geek status and to facilitate an unapologetic pursuit of their various passions. Attendees are encouraged to geek out over organized activities ranging from panels and vendors to a DIY science zone and cosplay (and so much more).
Washington State Convention & Trade Center
Seattle Interactive Conference is the culmination of the best technology that online business professionals, developers, and entrepreneurs from around the world have to offer. SIC brings technology, creativity, and current trends to one place for tech lovers to explore and discover. Attendees will be able to network and mingle with individuals in the tech industry while enjoying disruptive technology, business models, social media apps, new games, advertising, and more hands-on entertainment.
The Conference Center
This year's Sherlock Seattle Convention is themed "Watson Washington," and will, as such, celebrate all iterations of the world's most famous doctor. The convention will feature a cosplay contest, Sherlock Show and Tell, writing workshops, a Sherlock game room, and mocking of Sherlock Holmes movies in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 parody, Mystery Sherlock Theater 1895.
Broadway Performance Hall
This art, science, and technology festival will commemorate the 1966 exhibit 9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering, a symposium that featured performances, speakers, and exhibits by prominent artists including Yvonne Rainier, Rauschenberg, and John Cage.
King Street Station
Annual high-key wild-out throwdown FreakNight raises the bar for their 20th anniversary celebration, with a two-day set of live music, dancing, and a darkly neon environment of circus surprises, bizarre sideshow wonders, and carnival rides. Enjoy unruly sets from headliners Zedd, Armin Van Buuren, and Martin Garrix, as well as from Getter, Tchami, Galantis, Paul Van Dyk, Flux Pavilion, 3LAU, Jamie Jones, and many more.
Now in its sixth year, Short Run is a massive celebration and marketplace, with vendors selling all manner of art and comics and whatever else fits under that creative umbrella. There's typically a dance party or music show afterwards, but much of this year's festivities have yet to be publicized. Mainstays like Cold Cube Press, APRIL, and Fantagraphics are sure to make an appearance, with the full line-up available here once everything is announced.
Eat chocolate, make chocolate, live chocolate. The Northwest chocolate Festival invites all cocoa connoisseurs to join them to celebrate chocolate exhibits from around the world. There will be over eighty different chocolate, wine and beer tastings as well as chocolate education classes for those who need to brush up on their skills. If you still can't get enough, you can enjoy lounging in a fully functioning chocolate factory.
Smith Cove Cruise Terminal
This festival, created by new media curators Christian Petersen and Julia Greenway, will explore the 'post-internet' movement through sculpture, video, print, and installation works.
V2 Arts Center
The Nordic Heritage Museum is opening its doors for the 38th year to the annual Yulefest. Celebrate the holidays the Nordic way with traditional Scandinavian dance, music, and crafts. Adults over 21 can enjoy a fully stocked Scandinavian bar, while the kids can enjoy arts, crafts and a visit from Santa. Scoop up some Nordic prizes in the raffle or the Silent Auction.
Nordic Heritage Museum
Every year the Phinney neighborhood welcomes upwards of 5,000 visitors and customers flocking to look for the perfect holiday gifts for their friends and family members. With over a hundred vendors, there is certainly plenty to choose from. Live entertainment and delicious food will be on hand for the shoppers' enjoyment. A portion of the proceeds from the Winter Festival goes to support neighborhood works such as the PNA Soup Kitchen, the Greenwood Senior Center, the Phinney Center Art Galery, and others.
Phinney Neighborhood Association