Bumbershoot: A Brief History


Bumbershoot is the ultimate end of summer arts festival and has featured local and national acts such as Mudhoney and Bob Dylan. Along with music there are art shows and galleries, as well as, author readings, dance performances, street performers, and a variety of acts to tickle the mind.

In it’s 46th year it will feature music artists, such as, Death Cab for Cutie, Halsey, Father John Misty, Billy Idol, and our local talent, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis!

Third Eye Blind The Front Bottoms Run the Jewels 2 Neo

From its humble beginnings in 1971 Bumbershoot has been an entertainment mainstay in Seattle for the last 45 years and has attracted audiences of all ages. Initially known as Festival ’71 it ran for three days in July; with the name Bumbershoot making its debut in 1973. In ’71 it featured local acts and included a logging show, indoor motorcycle races, and horseback rides for children. It was free to attend and first year attendance was estimated at 125,000.

It grew from three days to five days, but with the economic troubles in the 1970’s it was cut back to four days and then moved to the Labor Day weekend. Attendance continued to grow year after year reaching an estimated 325,000 in 1974. Bumbershoot began charging a gate fee of $2.50 in 1980; though Fridays remained free. The acts grew bigger, as well as, the price of admission. For economic reasons, Fridays were taken off the calendar and it became a three day affair from Saturday through Labor Day. While it still remains a three day affair, Labor Day will no longer be included, and for the first time in years Friday hours have been restored!

Check out more of 2016’s Bumbershoot artists in our catalog!

~ posted by Diana R.

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