If you're spooked by the ghost of festival season that looms over outdoor amphitheaters and waterfront parks, we've got news for you: Some of Seattle's most beloved annual summer events are returning this month, social distance-style! We're very excited to finally help you make plans in advance again, which is why we've rounded up the most notable festivals and major events in August that will be livestreamed or take place in another COVID-friendly manner, from the Seattle Tattoo Expo to the Seattle Deconstructed Art Fair to the Seattle Design Festival. For even more options, check out our complete in-person and streaming events calendars and our guide to outdoor and socially distanced things to do in Seattle all summer.
AUGUST 1PROTESTS & RESISTANCE
Umoja Parade March & Day of Unity
The organizers of Umoja Fest, an annual celebration of African diaspora culture in the Northwest, will honor the current swell of Black Lives Matter activism and visibility with a march and parade from the Central District to Jimi Hendrix Park. They promise drill and dance teams, speakers, kids' activities, and more all-ages fun.
23rd and Union (Central District)
Classic Thunder - The Seafair Hydros Special
The iconic summerlong festival Seafair may have canceled its in-person events, but you can still tune in to King 5 to see footage from memorable H1 Hydroplane races dating all the way to the '80s, plus some Boeing and Blue Angels air shows. Paul Silvi and Chris Egan will host.
AUGUST 1 & 8PERFORMANCE
GreenStage Virtual Play Reading Series
It's not Shakespeare in the Park, but GreenStage's virtual play-reading series will still provide you with the Bard's most famous works, performed live over Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook. This month brings Henry V (Aug 1) and The Tempest (Aug 8).
Ren Faire From Afar
Every Wednesday and Saturday in August, the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire will come to wherever you are with special live performances followed by cocktail and crafts sessions, kicking off with a set from the Scuppermonkeys and a wine bottle oil lamp workshop on Facebook Live. Don your pearls and silver medallions like the lords and ladies that you are.
Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation
The Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation, presented by Velocity Dance Center, will move online this year, allowing you to register for the whole festival or mix and match to build your own schedule. Just like the past 26 festivals, this one will feature a week of intensive and drop-in workshops, including one with local dancers Morgan Thorson and Fox Whitney.
AUGUST 2-SEPTEMBER 6MUSIC
Olympia Music Festival 2020 Virtual Salon Concerts
This Port Townsend summer classical music festival will bring you a whole month of (free!) virtual programming. In honor of Beethoven's 250th birthday, many of this year's concerts will pay special attention to the German composer.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 8SPORTS & RECREATION
Fred Hutch Obliteride
The Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center's annual fundraiser will continue its goal of fighting cancer and, this year, halting the spread of COVID-19. Pick any physical activity—from biking to running to skateboarding—and work toward your self-set goal for a good cause.
AUGUST 14-21FOOD & DRINK
Pike Place Market Dine & Donate
Pike Place Market turns 113 years old this month! The occasion is usually marked by Sunset Supper, where over 100 local restaurants, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and other market vendors commune on the cobblestones as the sun goes down. But since it's postponed until next year, make a pledge to dine at a participating restaurant (like Café Campagne, Matt’s in the Market, or Pikes Pit Bar-B-Que) and donate to the Power of Pike Place Recovery Fund.
Various locations (Downtown)
Seattle Hempfest 2020
While it won't take place in Myrtle Edwards Park, this year's virtual Hempfest will still return for the third weekend in August to "[address] the role that cannabis can play in a more sustainable, just, and equitable post-COVID world."
Seattle Tattoo Expo 2020
The Pacific Northwest is a legendary province for permanently decorated flesh, but it's not the only one. This two-day expo hosted by Hidden Hand Tattoo will return, virtually this time, featuring seminars and other online events with professional ink-givers from all over the world.
Seattle Design Festival
Now in its 10th year, Design in Public's Seattle Design Festival will switch over their programming to the internet to continue to explore how urbanism, architecture, and design can further justice, ecology, and community. Look forward to livestreamed webinars and discussions, a weekly "Thinkercyze" virtual challenge, and even in-person displays throughout the city that you can visit while social distancing.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 22MUSIC
Virtual Bothell Block Party & BrewFest 2020
This downtown Bothell event will take place online in the form of a fundraiser for UW Bothell's Black Opportunity Fund. Jam out in your house to awesome local acts like the Black Tones, Black Stax, King Youngblood, BEARAXE, Shaina Shepherd, All Star Opera, and Tres Leches.
Seattle Marathon Summer 5/10K
Choose your distance and course and submit your results and race photos in this modified version of the annual 5K and 10K race.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 28FILM
Submit a Film to SLAY
The team who brought you HUMP!, SPLIFF, and CoFF presents SLAY, another extra-freaky amateur film festival that invites you to put your darkest fears on film and send it over to The Stranger for the chance to win cold hard cash. Films must be under eight minutes.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 29FILM
Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival 2020
Postponed from its original date in March, the 15th edition of this fest presented by SIFF and MoPOP will highlight “illuminating and unconventional” animated and live-action science fiction, fantasy, and horror-tinged short films from around the globe for one day on the internet.
Indie Bookstore Day
We know you've been collecting all sorts of reading lists, so take this day, Seattle's celebration of the city's plentiful and varied independent bookstores, to support your favorite local tome suppliers in stores and online. You can also expect in-store and online events, games, and exclusives offerings.
Record Store Day 2020
Excellently divisive music-nerd holiday Record Store Day acts as an annual reminder of how Seattle is still very much a music-obsessed town. For those of you who aren't saving your pennies for specific releases, Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 as a day of celebration and discounts for vinyl enthusiasts. Depending on whom you ask, it's either a booster shot to music retailers or a headache for smaller labels that have to compete with major labels to get their releases pressed on time. Since pawing through stacks of vinyl in person is still on hold at some shops, this year's three-date event will be a little different from past events—the Record Store Day folks will release an official list on each date, and you can shop for those titles online or in-person, depending on where you go.
Seattle Cider Summit
Hard-cider heads can get their sweet nectar of choice in the form of a tasting kit at this socially distant version of the Seattle Cider Summit. Choose from the Modern Cider Kit ($42) for choices like Bad Granny's Ginger Lime and Schilling Chaider Chai Spice or the Bottled Classics Kit ($69) for Alpenfire's Traditional Cuvee, Liberty's Garratza, and other, well, classic options. You can pick up your order at a drive-through or get it delivered if you live within range. The event itself is on September 12, but you must place your order by August 30.
THROUGH AUGUST 31ART
Seattle Deconstructed Art Fair
The Seattle Art Fair was canceled, but a bunch of local galleries—many of which are in Pioneer Square—are taking it upon themselves to keep the tradition alive while abiding by social distancing guidelines with a DIY, self-guided version featuring exciting new pieces by artists like Anthony White. Stay tuned for details and exact dates.
Seattle loves a good opportunity to bliss out over our Nordic culture (Reykjavik is our sister city, in case you haven't heard), and this summer extravaganza is no exception. While it won't take place in person this year, you can look forward to a whole month of virtual activities focused on sustainability and the beauty of the outdoors.
Doe Bay Fest
Instead of hosting live music and camping in a little Orcas Island cove, this grassroots festival will move its operations onto the internet for its 13th annual installment, bringing on live acts like Sons of Rainier (through Aug 3), the Moondoggies (Aug 4-10), Whitney Mongé and Adra Boo (Aug 25-31), and others on Facebook Live.
2020 Gigantic Bicycle Festival
Celebrate the Northwest's favorite populist transit option, the bicycle, by participating in remote, prize-bearing biking challenges and tuning into live performances and events online. Festival care packages include an album by a local artist, a bag of coffee from Middlefork Roasters, and other goodies.