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What to do and see at this year’s Bumbershoot

The party’s rocking on Labor Day weekend.

A crowd of fans gather in front of the Space Needle at night at Seattle's Bumbershoot festival

Bumbershoot has regrouped after a three-year hiatus.

Photo by Christopher Nelson

Wow, has it really been half a century since Bumbershoot began? Seattle’s famous end-of-summer arts and music festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary Labor Day weekend (Saturday, Sept. 3 + Sunday, Sept. 4). And it should be hopping.

This year, producer New Rising Sun has taken over producing the party. There will still be the usual big acts playing around Seattle Center, but the fest’s original shaggy vibe is going to be amped up a bit with an emphasis on local artists and side attractions.

Below are a few highlights. Single-day tickets are still available for $75.

The band Sleater-Kinney playing on stage.

Sleater-Kinney got its start nearly 30 years ago in Olympia.

Photo by Jason Williamson

Tuning in

Five stages means the music from major bands will be spread out over two days, including:

  • Brittany Howard, 8:35 p.m. Saturday at Fisher Pavilion
  • Sunny Day Real Estate, 8:45 p.m Saturday at the Mural
  • Sleater-Kinney, 9:40 p.m. Saturday at the Fountain
  • The Dandy Warhols, 6:45 p.m. Sunday at KEXP
  • Band of Horses, 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Mural

Artsy mini districts

Bumbershoot has its own neighborhoods, including a “Fashion District” where you can find a tattoo artists, hair + nail designers, and even a runway show by a Garfield High School student.

Pop over to the “Recess District” for live wrestling, pole dancing, pogo stunt teams, and double-dutch performers. Geodesic Domes (no relation to the Spheres) will host the Witch Temple’s and Cat Circus. We’re so there.

A large smash burger from Seattle's Big Max next to a bag of thin-cut fries

Big Max Burger is simply smashing.

Photo via Bumbershoot

All the grub

It’ll be hard to go hungry around the grounds as Seattle’s top chefs set up shop. Big Max Burger, Musang, and Shug’s Soda Fountain are among the vendors making a rare pop-up appearance.

You’ll also find Neon Taco, the Mexican food favorite from Monica Dimas that got lots of critical acclaim before its First Hill restaurant shut down in 2021. A welcome encore, for sure.