French electronic pop band M83 performs on the main stage at Key Arena during the Bumbershoot music festival in Seattle on September 3, 2012. Photo via Shutterstock.

Bumbershoot Arts & Music Festival 2023

SEPTEMBER 02-03, 2023


Imagine a lineup so superb and scenery so epic that you don’t mind being caught in the rain for hours

At Bumbershoot Arts and Music Festival, it’s so rainy that the name of the event is a fancy word for umbrella. If I’m being honest, the September weather forecast hasn’t come out yet, but if this Seattle-based music festival is true to its Washington roots (and anything like years past), you’re likely to get stuck in at least one shower. 

However, if you’re not afraid to brave the elements, this festival has a lot to offer. It takes place right in the middle of Seattle, the bustling Pacific Northwest city where snow capped mountains and lush greenery can be viewed just beyond the skyline. Seattle is also known for its grunge, punk and indie rock roots, and Bumbershoot Arts and Music Festival has that and more. 

While the 2023 lineup has yet to be announced, past bills saw indie and psych rock faves like Tame Impala and Father John Misty, electronic music for the ravers in the crowd like Zeds Dead, and hip hop acts like Tyler the Creator and Kendrick Lamar. The event does a really good job of booking larger names that are sure to bring massive crowds, and smaller indie artists that play at Seattle’s famous KEXP Studios, which doubles as a stage. 

Warning, though: A festival wristband does not grant you immunity to lines. There are multiple stages, most notably the Key Amphitheater, that only allow a certain capacity, and you might get stuck waiting for a spot inside. 

Bumbershoot Arts and Music Festival also has a killer lineup of immersive activities, like BurlesKARAOKE, where you can sing your heart out to karaoke while live burlesque performers accompany (and probably tease) you. There is also a roller skating rink, pole dancing and wrestling, among others fun pastimes. 

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.

The Specs

  • The event attendance varies every year, but has seen as many as 300,000 people attend in past years over the course of the two days.
  • The ticket prices are as follows: Two-day GA: $110; Saturday GA: $50; Sunday GA: $50
  • Kids 10 and under are free with an accompanied adult.
  • Since you’ll be right in the heart of Seattle, be sure to read up on what to eat and drink while you’re there.

BY Ayla Burnett