Datebook: 40th Bumbershoot–Bob Dylan and More

The 40th Bumbershoot gives Seattle the gift of an American legend

By Brangien Davis

December 31, 1969

This article originally appeared in the September 2010 issue of Seattle Magazine.

When rumors started swirling that this year’s Bumbershoot headliner was Bob Dylan, many Seattleites were disbelieving. The Bob Dylan? At our little Bumbershoot? But then it turned out to be true. (And people are still in disbelief.) Perhaps not since the ’60s, when Elvis visited the World’s Fair and the Beatles played the old Coliseum, has Seattle Center hosted as gigantic a musical guest. Dylan’s appearance is an apt commemoration of the festival, which has soldiered on for nearly 40 years despite various obstacles—all in the name of arts and music. The rest of this year’s roster is none too shabby, with musicians such as Mary J. Blige, Weezer, Hole and Meat Puppets, and author Rick Moody and comedy-folk duo Garfunkel and Oates. It’s a long way from the first ’Shoot in 1971, when the proceedings included a then-cutting-edge laser light show, singer Sheb Wooley of “Purple People Eater” fame and a Miss Hot Pants contest. It seems the times, they are a-changin’. 9/4–9/6. Times and prices vary. Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St.; 206.816.6444;