Plan Your Bumbershoot 2016 Experience

What's going down at this year's mega-music and arts festival

By Jim Demetre


August 1, 2016

This article originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Now in its 46th year, Seattle’s behemoth music and arts festival returns to Seattle Center for Labor Day weekend (September 2-4). This year’s headliners include some hometown heroes: hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and Bellingham indie rockers Death Cab for Cutie. They’ll share the stage with English punk rocker Billy Idol, soulful balladeer Father John Misty, electro-pop princess Halsey, Aussie psychedelic rockers Tame Impala and other big names from the worlds of indie rock and dance/electronica (Norwegian DJ Kygo; China’s breakout electronica star, Zhu; mysterious masked producer Marshmello; rap/hip-hop Atlanta super group Run the Jewels; and Grammy-nominated “Trap Queen” king, Fetty Wap).

Bumbershoot isn’t just music, of course. The festival continues its tradition of giving over its stages to some of the brightest emerging names in comedy. This year’s roster includes Ron Funches, The Improvised Shakespeare Company, Kate Berlant, Nick Thune, The Goddamn Comedy Jam, Morgan Murphy, Dan Soder, Andy Haynes and many others.

“Words and Ideas” features a panel with the writers of the award-winning Amazon comedy series Transparent, while The Seattle Review of Books hosts writers Sherman Alexie, Robert Lashley and EJ Koh. Comedian/activist Brett Hamil’s political talk show The Seattle Process and Hugo House’s monthly Ask the Oracle with poet Johnny Horton will move to Bumbershoot from their regular locations. And don’t miss The Battle of the Word poetry slam.


Also on the schedule: Reign Supreme breakdancing competition, Dane Whitlock’s comic musical Are You There, God? It’s Me, Karen Carpenter and an evening of dance, highlighting the work of Seattle choreographers.

Velocity Dance Center artistic director Tonya Lockyer will curate an evening of dance, highlighting the work of Seattle choreographers, keeping it local and focused on art.

Interstitial Gallery will present a new media art installation with work by artists Andy Behrle, Dakota Gearhart, Casey Scalf, Thomas Everett Green and Brent Watanabe—whose works are immersive, interactive, video game-like environments. Seattle Experimental Animation Team and the Seattle International Film Festival are both presenting film series.

And finally—there’s yoga, too (natch). Rachel Brathen, aka Yoga Girl, will lead a 60-minute yoga class on site, open to festival attendees. Seattle Center;

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