Through Sept 30
Every year, Chateau Ste. Michelle lays out a full summer season of music legends and cultural luminaries to grace their beautiful landscape of flowing wine. From Santana to the Moody Blues to John Legend to 2Cellos, this stacked lineup occurs in single shows every few days from May to September, many of which sell out almost immediately.
June 8–Sept 30
The 640-acre Marymoor Park again hosts its annual outdoor concert series, with headliners including Idina Menzel, Ween, and UB40.
Before the Equality March for Unity and Pride on Sunday, Capitol Hill's high-spirited outdoor festival will commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969 with music, a doggie drag costume contest, a candlelight vigil, and more.
Watch circus performers, acrobats, musicians, and artists of all kinds come together at this multidisciplinary festival that also promises games, food, and strange carnival fun.
This year's Pride Fest at Volunteer Park boasts a strong musical lineup, with live sets by Big Dipper, Double Duchess, SassyBlack, Sisters, Prom Queen, Mode Music Studios' Nuclear Quartet, and DJ Toya B. Local LGBTQIA folks get all of this, plus a vintage and local crafts bazaar, artist booths, a beer garden, food trucks, and more. DAVE SEGAL
June 14–Aug 20
Every year, this iconic summer festival that started in 1950 puts on dozens of events throughout Seattle, starting with a kickoff ceremony featuring hydroplanes and a knighting ceremony, and continuing for 10 weeks with events including multiple parades, cultural celebrations, and Fourth of July fireworks. Other highlights include Fleet Week, during which naval ships are docked in Elliott Bay for tours; Seafair Pow Wow Days, which showcase traditional Native American cultures; the Seafair Pirates' Landing, in which "pirates" come ashore to snarl in a friendly fashion at the kids; and the culminating Seafair Weekend, featuring a Boeing air show, a hydroplane race, wakeboarding, and live entertainment.
Beacon Hill is Seattle's best neighborhood. It's changing, yes, but it remains what it has been for decades: an affordable place for Seattle's diverse working-class, immigrant, and communities of color, complete with beautiful views, the fruit trees of orchards long past, and a "live and let live ethos" that encourages everyone to shine. Beacon Hill's meeting place is the Station, a cafe where the baristas are artists, the artists are activists, the activists are customers, and the customers are neighbors and friends. Today the Station, along with the all-volunteer nonprofit Beacon Arts, is throwing the best neighborhood its best party. Local artists and performers include Nikikita Oliver, Dave B., Guayaba, DoNormaal, Da Qween, Raven Matthews, Taylar Elizza Beth, Massive Monkees, ZELLi, Astro King Phoenix, and many more. Food options include Chamorro, Southern, Filipino, and Jamaican fare. ANGELA GARBES
Celebrate summer at the Fremont Solstice Fair, an event known primarily for its elaborately painted (and sometimes just wild 'n' free) nude bicyclists—but also offering tons of food, crafts, activities, performances, great people-watching, and a beer garden.
June 20–Aug 20
ZooTunes is a 30-plus-year Seattle tradition that brings big-name artists to the North Meadow of the Woodland Park Zoo, including Aimee Mann, Cake, and Pat Benatar.
Paradiso is the PNW's premier festival of WUB-WUB-WUB, colloquially known as brostep, also called EDM. Big name headliners like Tiesto, Yellow Claw, Zeds Dead, and Seven Lions will grace the stage, along with 57 other acclaimed DJs and producers.
Madaraka is your one-stop shop for feasting your eyes on African fashion and your ears on the music of Ghanaian star Robert Dawuri, Ethiopian American singer Meklit Hadero, South Sudanese refugee turned globally recognized Ruka music founder Dynamq, and R&B artist Otieno Terry, plus backing by Big World Breaks and Madaraka house band Pyramid. There'll also be a screening of Madaraka: The Documentary, which will show you how the festival empowers locals.
KISW's Pain in the Grass takes over Auburn for an all-day nostalgia-thrash fest, featuring acts like Korn, Stone Sour, Babymetal, The Pretty Reckless, YelaWolf, and Radkey.
The largest free Pride fest in North America welcome kids, youth, and everybody else with a rainbow streak to party in the streets of Capitol Hill, the day before the festival at Seattle Center.
PrideFest is the largest free Pride festival in North America, now in its tenth year. Featuring performances on three different stages from local and international touring acts like Mary Lambert, this year's fest also has family-friendly activities and a "Queer Geeks & Gamers" zone.
Hop on over to Gas Works Park, where Beer Camp on Tour will be offering what they promise is a lineup of hundreds of craft brewers from across the country, plus live music and food truck fare.
For three days, celebrate all things wooden boats—from toy vessels to huge historic ones—with a boat race, model construction, boat restoration, food, music, and more.
Psychedelic music will never die, as long as people still need sonic panaceas to escape mundane and/or horrible reality. The Royal Room's four-night festival offers a panoramic view of Seattle's robust psych underground, with nods to past superstars of transcendent rock, fusion, and blues. DAVE SEGAL
Bring your own blanket to laze on the Seattle Center lawn and enjoy more than 200 types of classic or "exotic" beers.
Washington State is booze-rich, and PROOF gives you the chance to sample gin, whiskey, vodka, and bourbon, meet distillers, and buy bottles of your favorite Washington-made spirits. There will also be bites from many top-notch Seattle restaurants like RN74, Theo Chocolate, Amaro, and Uli's Famous Sausage.
It's not surprising that this festival gets insanely crowded: it's focused on fresh seafood for sale and it's free. Celebrate Ballard's Nordic fishing heritage with the fruits of the sea and music, crafts, a beer garden, and more. Just get there early—75,000 people are expected to attend!
Timber! Outdoor Music Festival returns to Carnation for another year of diverse music and small-town, outdoor fun. The all-star lineup includes big names like Sisters of Soul, Sera Cahoone, and Shovels & Rope, with local gems like Maiah Manser, the True Loves, Smokey Brights, Cataldo, and Adra Boo rounding it out, and many more involved. There will also be activities including a 5K run, swimming, mountain biking, stargazing, and tree-climbing.
Starborne presents Cascadia NW Arts & Music Festival at the Masonic Family Campgrounds in Granite Falls, an entire weekend to camp out and enjoy live music, interactive art, workshops, performances and artisan vending. In their words: "Family Friendly and Party Approved."
Some of Seattle's favorite bands will head out to the West Seattle Junction for this summer's festival: Tacocat, Grace Love & the True Loves, Chastity Belt, Pillar Point, Hobosexual, and many more. If you know any of these names, you can tell it's a lineup of pop, soul, and punk talent. There will also be a market: If previous years are anything to go by, one can eat tasty fried food, watch clowns be unintentionally creepy, learn about sustainability, and play giant Jenga.
More than 75 food trucks will gather, flanked by looming South Lake Union skyscrapers, for a curbside food festival, with a beer hall and a Night Market that lasts until 11 pm.
Basin Summer Sounds is the largest free contemporary music and arts festival in the Northwest, featuring live music performances, kid-focused events, visual arts, and a charity basketball tournament. The two-day festival showcases both local and international acts, including XEB (with original members of Third Eye Blind), Spike & the Impalers, Brewer's Grade, Nitewave, and more, on the lawn of the historic Grant County Courthouse.
Bite of Seattle fills up every year with people chasing morsels from more than 60 local restaurants. Everything will be under $10, including $3.75 "Just a Bite" items from each restaurant. There will also be cook-offs, demos, wine and cider tastings, and, we reiterate, very, very large crowds.
Twenty-odd years ago, Capitol Hill Block Party was a one-day music event, featuring just a single stage. This year, the now iconic Capitol Hill festival will take over six blocks of the Pike/Pine corridor for three days of local and national artists on five separate stages. You'll have the chance to see headliners Diplo, Run The Jewels, and Lord Huron, along with exceptional local artists like Zoolab, Sloucher, and Saint Claire, larger touring talents Angel Olsen, Wolf Parade, Lizzo, Thundercat, and many, many more.
Watershed Country Music Festival returns to the Gorge for a wild weekend of twangin' goodness. Put on your "Shedder gear" (trucker hats?) and get ready for three whole days of down-home studs.
About 1,000 athletes will take to the oars of dragon boats, sleek kayak-shaped 20-seaters, and race to the beating of drums. For us spectators on shore, there's music on the World Beat Stage, as well as crafts, workshops, and food.
Chateau Ste. Michelle kicks off another year of blues in the wine country, with a stacked summer festival bill of live sets by blues masters Colin James, John Mayall, Charlie Musselwhite, and Buddy Guy.
Popular bluegrass festival Pickathon returns to Pendarvis Farm for some rootin-tootin' and new-boot-scootin' and whatever else qualifies as country fun. Despite always staying true to its bleedin' bluegrass heart, Pickathon has expanded its reach in recent years to include artists like Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Dinosaur Jr., Tank & The Bangas, Ty Segall, Jonathan Richman, and many more.
Denver producer Derek Vincent Smith has zoomed to massive popularity over the last decade with soulful, expansive tracks that smooth out hiphop's invigorating funkiness and create a gently glowing orchestral corona around downtempo electronica. He also does a celestial cover of Chic's deeply moving "At Last I Am Free," replete with a sample of Robert Wyatt singing it. Influential producer Rick Rubin lauds Pretty Lights as "the face and the voice of the new American electronic music scene," and has the Beastie Boys/LL Cool J/Slayer studio wiz ever been wrong? Well, a few times, but not in this case. DS
In true KEXP fashion, another enjoyable round of free family-friendly concerts this year are up at the Mural Amphitheater at Seattle Center. Local and touring artists included in last year's line-up featured Seattle sons Industrial Revelation with Kyle Craft, Mommy Long Legs, the Thermals, and Crater.
SalmonFest stems from a previous annual celebration, Lake City Pioneer Days, which began in 1941. Today, the SalmonFest features a bake of the revered local fish, supplied by family-owned Loki Fish Co. It's not just a piscine repast that's on the menu—there's also a street festival with guest musicians, a beer garden, booths, and a car show.
Are we reaching food/booze festival saturation? Or are you too busy imagining all the combinations of craft beer and artisan tater tots to think about it? This 21+ festival invites you to try about 40 different brews and eight different types of tots.
Nestled in the mountains of central Washington, Summer Meltdown aims to provide a weekend of high-energy live music performances in a lush woodland setting. Featured artists will include the String Cheese Incident, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Elephant Revival, the Wailers, the Grouch, TAUK, and many more.
Every year, South Lake Union throws itself a party, featuring diverse musical pleasures from local band talents, as well as food trucks, a grilling competition, beer garden, and other things that crowds like.
Summer Camp is 107.7 The End's version of Warped Tour: all the bands you hear on your favorite Seattle rock station, but actually in the flesh on stage at Marymoor Park, playing all the hits. This year's lineup features Metric, Vance Joy, Bishop Briggs, Minus The Bear, Beth Ditto, and many more.
Hempfest! It's a word that floods love into the hearts of countless marijuana activists and pot aficionados (tie-dyed Phish-shirt division). Since its 1991 kick-off as the "Washington Hemp Expo" in Volunteer Park, Hempfest's grown into a nationally recognized destination event on the Seattle waterfront, where hundreds of thousands of weed-curious citizens gather for a three-day festival of weed-themed music, speeches, and tchotchke commerce, and law enforcement looks the other way as dense puffs of smoke sporadically fill the air. DAVID SCHMADER
First you ride your bike (for 50 miles) and then you're done and you get to hang out and listen to music. You also can just drive. Cyclists take off from Centennial Fields Park on Saturday morning and follow an established route throughout Snoqualmie and then back to the park, where artists like La Luz, Lemolo, Star Anna, and Carrie Akre will be waiting to play live sets over the weekend, all in celebration of the Northwest's favorite populist transit option.
We all know burritos pack so much into one food missile that they cause gravitational distortion. Well, this Burrito Fest might actually prove dangerous to the fabric of space-time, because with thousands of enthusiasts planning on gorging themselves, the ratio of beans, rice, and tortilla to empty space in Ballard is going to tilt radically. Celebrate the food-induced end of the universe with live music and kids' games.
Founded this year, Mercer X Summit Block Party intends to be a free all-ages music festival held at the intersection of Summit and Mercer on the north end of Capitol Hill. The lineup for this new summer fest includes local heavy-hitters like Smokey Brights, Acapulco Lips, youryoungbody, and Sleeping Lessons.
The second annual TUF FEST is an all-day/all-night extravaganza spotlighting musical performances, visual art installations, workshops, and artist discussions by female/nonbinary/trans members of the electronic-music community. Powered by the local TUF collective, the event features live sets by acclaimed DJs and beatmakers, with a TUF FEST 'Til Dawn after-hours party. In a field dominated by male-centric bills, TUF FEST is a spring-loaded step into a fresh future. DAVE SEGAL
Bumbershoot, Seattle's biggest music, comedy, and arts festival, will take over Seattle Center for the 47th year. This year's lineup is full to bursting with local and national stars, including headliners like Flume, Lorde, Odesza, Solange, Weezer, Big Sean, and Gucci Mane, mid-range acts like Cody Jinks, Conor Oberst, Vince Staples, and Sofi Tukker, and hometown gems like Dude York, Porter Ray, Stas THEE Boss, and Crater.
PAX West is an annual convention in Seattle devoted exclusively to gaming, and, since it started in 2004, it has become one of the two largest gaming events in North America, along with its Boston spinoff, PAX East. The convention features panels, an exhibit hall, new game demonstrations, and special guests.