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Experiencing Bumbershoot 2023


September 03, 2023

Bumbershoot 2023 Returns Better Than Before!

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top photo by: Travis Trautt

Article & All other photos by: Ace Hartmann

Bumbershoot returned this weekend with its 50th Anniversary inside the Seattle Center on its normally scheduled weekend, Labor Day Weekend. By one o'clock as I arrived on Saturday, with the sun out and bright, I took some time to walk around to get the feel of it all, the smells, the sounds, the activities and more importantly the blueprint and the outline of the festival.

  First time organizers, New Rising Sun, have took over the historic festival and promised to bring Bumbershoot back to the origin of the Seattle music and arts festival, an accessible, affordable celebration of Seattles art and music and city center. When the Music and Artist lineup was released earlier in the year Bumbershoot and the new organizers seem to have a festival in mind that wasn't reflective on pop culture but more reflective of Seattle, there seemed to be something for everyone. After seeing the ideas New Rising Sun was promising, I had to experience to the 'new era' of Bumbershoot.

Bumbershoot 2023 offered quite a few activities and art forms for guests to view and be entertained by. The 'Recess District' offered various amounts of active entertainment from Roller Skating, Jump Roping, Creative Dance and even had 100_1102.JPG (4.36 MB)a wrestling ring Set up and had four, 2 hour segments of action packed wrestling by Grit City Wrestling. As I continued my way around I found myself in the 'Fashion District' where you could of found the Vera stage, inside the Vera Project as well as the KEXP stage outside. Nearby sat a catwalk where throughout the days(s) where multiple models walking the runway, modeling unique, creative fashions. Here is where you can get nail art done and shop boutiques and grab the freshest garmets.Bumbershoot2023_cats_Jim-Bennett_001.jpg (2.77 MB) From there I headed to the epicenter where both The Fountain and Fisher stage both laid brightly in the sun, in the shadow of the Space needle. On my way to the Fisher stage, i walked by the longest line of the festival, which made me wonder, what food and/or beer was being offered in the front of this line. As I slowly paced near by the line, I soon came to realize this line was not for beer, food, or some kind of meet and greet, but for Motely Zoom Animal Rescues' Cat Circus.

From offering to view short films, buy classic and new posters, nail art, to all the food and beverage and everything in-between Bumbershoot 2023 grounds felt local and creative as much as a Seattle Music & Arts Festival could.

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A mix of both Local and National acts took the stages throughout the weekend and no matter what you were looking for in a lineup of bands and musicians, Bumbershoot 2023 had something for everyone. Punk Band icons such as The Descendents, Jawbreaker, and AFI would take the two biggest stages of the weekend. Local bands, The Dip would kick the100_1140.JPG (4.01 MB) sounds off from the Fisher Stage, one of the central stages. Thunder Pussy, Wimps, Sleater Kinney and Band of Horses and other local bands would fill the weekend on multiple stages. Jazz, Funk and R&B would be amazingly represented by bands and artists like Puddles Pity Party, who I had been anticipating on seeing for some time now, did not disappoint. As I look back, Puddles was one of my favorite acts this weekend. Rebirth Brass Band, Brittany Howard and Durand Jones added their flavor of Soul, Rhythm and Blues, making any near by listener dance and move. Bumbershoot 2023 didnt leave out EDM, they brought in the Original, Fatboy Slim and one of the most prolific names, A-Trak.

New Rising Sun, pledged to make Bumbershoot about a festival more than music and Bumbershoot 2023 was just that, A festival mixing all arts and bringing it altogether. I saw baby boomers wearing classic (not reproduction) Bumbershoot t-shirts, 30 year old punk rockers (not just me), Strolling families, and a lot of youth (from witches, to emo kids, to ravers, to ones figuring out their way) experiencing Bumbershoot and Seattles Art! For an experience that is inclusive to all types of arts and genres blended in together seemlessly Bumbershoot honored their word and delivered a fun, .  that is  Now with Bumbershoot 2024 (364 days away) I am intrigued to see how New Rising Sun returns to the Seattle Center, but what seems like the first time in a long time, I feel I wont be disappointed and now looking forward to this Seattle Tradition. 

View our Bumbershoot 2023 Photography Album

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