Bumbershoot 2022 has been cancelled.
It’s hard to define Bumbershoot, and that is a big part of its appeal. Sure, it’s a music festival, but one could also call it an avant garde circus, a modern art exhibit, a community theater, a poetry slam, a quiz bowl hosted by local celebrities, or a motorcycle race and still in some way be correct. Whatever it is, it’s homegrown, reflecting the specific ebullience of the Seattle arts scene. Fifty years ago, the festival started as a zany way to lift spirits during an economic downtown. Since then it has boomed — and busted — and along the way hosted some of the Pacific Northwest’s most prodigious children. James Brown, Tina Turner, Death Cab for Cutie, and Sleater Kinney have all played Bumbershoot. In recent years, the festival grew more music than art heavy, much to Seattleites chagrin. Now, with a change in ownership, Bumbershoot is undergoing a redefinition — evident from the Bumbershoot 2022 cancellation — one that will likely see it return to the laser shows and interactive art installations of its earlier self.
Get a taste of past events from these videos: