City Pledges “Change and Revitalization” After AEG Backs Out Of Bumbershoot



Make it local again. Make it free or $20 not $200. Get one or two headliners and stop trying to turn it into Coachella.
Good riddance AEG, and take Oak River Group with you.


Take a clue from the Folk Life Festival.


Follow the example of the Portland Riverfront Blues Festival. The entire event is used to raise money and food for the Oregon Food Bank. They get a good mix of local and regional acts. Ticket prices are reasonable and people bring food donations. We can do something similar here with a mix of national acts and regional acts.

Good riddance AEG!


Besides the ticket prices and horrible "Coachella-esque" lineup, the worst thing AEG did was make it no-rentry. Once you were in, you had to stay in for the whole day, and fuck that. This is a festival in the middle of a city/neighborhood with great bars and restaurants and the opportunity to chill out between acts, and they forced you to stay in the grounds and eat/drink only overpriced crap. That, along with the ticket prices and bad lineups, is why people are staying away from Bumbershoot.


Go hard the other direction, try it as exposure for unknown local bands. Have speed-dating sessions first, and then people can go see the bands they like for a longer set.


21 and over.


@4 Agreed. No re-entry was an absolute dealbreaker. I don't care as much who the headliners are as long as there are bands, I just want to spend a day or a weekend listening to music without having to spend $400


Every single year Bumbershoot is in danger of not happening. Every single year the 4th of July fireworks are in danger of not happening. Seattle has so much obscene wealth and yet it is in a never ending state of crisis that always gets bailed out at the last minute. It's so unbelievably predictable and truly absurd that this is how it goes year after year after year (for the last 17 years that I personally know of, anyway).

"The city’s defines Bumbershoot’s “essential character” as being “an affordable, moderately priced event, with the goal of making the Festival accessible to the largest possible community.”

^^^That has not been true for a LONG time^^^ When a ticket cost more than $50/day, it's not a moderately priced event and $125/day is in no way accessible to the largest possible community.

Instead of the constant crisis management, how about simply let it not happen? Give it up. The entire original intent of the festival and the decades it flourished are over. Trying to keep it going in this manner is just plan stupid. Seattle does not care about what was > see the daily destruction of everything around you. Seattle has other music festivals and way more problems that need to be solved.


Everything good about the festival is gone. I never missed a single day since 1987 but did not go the last two years. The no in/out was the final straw.

I also first knew Marty Griswald in the late 70's and it is reassuring to see his is in charge. The man has always known how to make things fun.


"Take a clue from the Folk Life Festival."

More patchouli and shitty arts & crafts?


I didn't mind AEG taking over originally as no offense to One Reel--they were good at local and community organization and art related endeavors, but didn't have the same access to artists and just plain weren't good at organizing festivals as AEG, and had AEG not stepped in more in 2015, the end of Bumbershoot may have happened sooner.

It's easy for haters to dog-pile on AEG has a large multi-national corporate agency--but in all honesty, they do have a local presence larger than Bumbershoot. They have long been involved in bringing summer concert series to Marymoore on the Eastside and keep decent acts coming to the Showboxes in Seattle, whom otherwise would probably never visit second-tier Seattle over say LA or NY.

AEG did their best to help prop up a Bumbershoot that had been on life support for years, and probably even lost millions in the process, and until this past year--actually brought in some decent historic acts (Hello Blondie in 2018?). I can tell you they never made a profit--they could just fold the losses into their larger multi-national foot-print until they stopped deciding it was feasible four years later.

Bumbershoot can survive, but it needs to change and adapt. Maybe be one or two days instead of three. Maybe get better contracts so artists aren't always backing out. Have a good eclectic mix of artists, both large and small, and local and from the other side of the planet. Also make it affordable. I shouldn't need to make three monthly payments like I'm paying back a large loan to go to a local festival.


Did someone say racism?

Are we talking about that rich white lady in D2 whose supporters beat up on Mark Solomon and wouldn't give up "space" for the only African American in the race??


Good riddance. The ticket prices this year were just surreal.


I do love that "Socks and Birkenstocks" is complaining about Folklife smelling like Patchouli...

I bought some patchouli at Tenzing Momo a while back. It's more of a resin than I expected. Kind of fun getting it going on charcoal disks. Really strong though and has set off my smoke alarm a few times.


Let KEXP book it !!!
Make it a KEXP event


I would LOVE a pared down, simpler Bumbershoot, the kind where you could just walk up day of, not stand in lines for hours of each day, find your friends at some common landmark, retreat into the center house for some food... it was just so much better back in the day.


Bumbershoot definitely has it’s problems, but I do want to add in that the only year that re-entry was not allowed was in 2018. They brought it back this year after the overwhelming, and justified, complaints.

As someone that attends and volunteers at Bumbershoot every year, it really gets old hearing almost every single person complain about how it used to free, $5, etc. Nothing in Seattle is the same price now as it was 20 years ago. However, I also agree that $100+ per day for the crappy lineups the last couple of years is way too much. Something reasonably priced, $50-60 a day or something, half local artists with some bigger names mixed in seems totally reasonable to me. I certainly hope it doesn’t go away completely, it really is the highlight of summer in Seattle to me.


What @1 said.


“I do love that "Socks and Birkenstocks" is complaining about Folklife smelling like Patchouli..."

"Smell" is too polite. It stinks.


@1-4, 16:

The city eliminated One Reel’s funding for Bumbershoot back in the ‘90s - it was then-Mayor Rice at his most smarmily neoliberal. We could have our incoming City Council restore funding to the modern equivalent of that level.

Then recall that “Bumbershoot” was a play on seasonal rains returning to Seattle AND it being an “umbrella” festival for LOCAL artists. So, yes, hire KEXP to program all of the musical stages, focusing on the largely-unknown artists which KEXP exists to promote. Get our local art museums, libraries, and bookstores into programming their venues, again with largely unknown and mostly-local talents. Food is easy — Seattle has a GREAT selection of food trucks! Bring on the buskers. Throw in oddball stuff like live traditional metalworking. Make it either free or less than $50 for all four days.

Then hope your four-day party can happen without any actual rain!


Think of all the genres of music that were almost totally eliminated from the festival over the last few years: African, Cajun, Zydeco, Alt-country, Blues, Jazz, Folk, Folk-rock, Mexican, Reggae, Ska, Celtic, Rock-a-billy, heritage acts (whether Tony Bennett, the Viceroys, or Charles Bradley), World (I don't like the moniker, but hopefully you know what I mean). Think of all the big, great art installations that used to be offered. The affordable food.... Not a lot of folks want to pay over 100 bucks a day to see a monocast. I went this year, 2 out of 3 days (I skipped one because there was just literally no reason to go that day) and I was appalled. What sums it up for me: a young woman (OK, maybe I should say a teen) turned to her friend and simply said, "I'm bored". Well, I'm 70, and so was I. That previously NOT the case. -- Do I like Bumbershoot? Well, I'm in the movie Paul Dorpat made about it. (I know -- you hadn't heard of it. It's called Bumberchronicles, and it's on YouTube in its entirety. Caution: if you watch it, you may get really sad.)


Bumbershoot is a Seattle tradition and it’s irreplaceable! I’ve seen so much insanely good music over the years and it’d be wrenching to see it leave. I’ve been disappointed for several years as the prices got way too high and the lineup lost my interest, but there’s nothing like it and I sure hope it can be saved! I agree that combining both national and local talent is important, but the problem is how to pay for our great end of summer party. A practical solution is the only way to save it because artists have to be paid for their work. I’m clueless as to how the city can come up with the money, but maybe some billionaire or philanthropist can help. If the city government only knew how important this festival is to Seattle, they’d work really hard to save it. Especially now that we’ve lost Sasquatch.


@23: “Especially now that we’ve lost Sasquatch.”

The hip, destinational music festival is on the way out. Bumbershoot should therefore return to its roots as a local ARTS festival, with a few out-of-town artists included if they happen to be passing through. That was the secret of its past success.


There are other cheap and free festivals in Seattle, and some of those free festivals have gotten to be accompanied by bang bang by the great people of the world.

You need security period. Bumbershoot when it was free was a long time ago, when this city was not full of bang bang like it is now.

Let people go to the trash festivals. Bumbershoot got low attendance not just because it was expensive, but because it was a massive hassle to get to see who you want to see. The final rub is just, 'screw it, I'll go see the band I want to see when they play a regular concert.'

The Seattle Center can only house so many music acts, and people don't want to see the same old lame bands. They're not going to pay Gorge money for No Fun E.

Bumbershoot should either get a few headliners in the big stadiums, and just make those regular attendance at a high price, and then you get to go to the rest of the festival, which would be mostly arts for once, and then make attendance to the general festival without the big acts much cheaper. But this situation with buying a ticket, and then running to get a bracelet before its sold out is so stupid it defies description. If they want cratered attendance again, do exactly that.

Also, throw some adult dance parties at night around the fountain, no kids allowed. Get creative for once, Seattle


Also, music festivals are on the way out in the USA because the music sucks and the light shows suck. Noone wants to listen to crap hop live any more either. There's a reason rock bands work live, and sampled acts are fricking boring, in whatever genre.

Still, Europe is still pulling off the big EDM festivals, but then they don't hand all their population firearms like America the fascist gun nation does.


Sorry to overpost, but yeah, turn it over to KEXP, and make sure they represent all genres. Make it a music discovery event again. When the Arena opens again, they can bring in a giant name act. And get back to more arts stuff with some decent curation. There is so much going on in the field of lighting these days, that could have a big presence. The smaller unknown acts means the grounds won't have to be overwhelmed by crowds demanding one thing. Make those big acts access Memorial Stadum independently of the rest of the grounds. Charge around $60 bucks for two days of access, $90 for the entire program.