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 obviously known for its grunge, punk and indie rock roots, and Bumbershoot Arts and Music Festival has that and more.

This year’s lineup features a stellar group of headliners: Sleater-Kinney, The Revivalists, Zhu, Jawbreaker, AFI, Brittany Howard, Fatboy Slim, Sunny Day Real Estate and Phantogram. Also on the Bumbershoot festival music lineup are Band of Horses, Descendents, Matt and Kim, Bomba Estereo, Durand Jones, Uncle Waffles, A-Trak, Ride, Valerie June, Benny The Butcher, Jacob Banks, Major League DJZ, Domi & JD Beck, The Dip, Rebirth Brass Band, Temples, Puddles Pity Party, Destroy Boys, Dandy Warhols, Thunderpussy, Algernon Cadwallader, Hunx and His Punx, Sol, Anabel Englund, Screaming Females, Gustaf, Trinix, Reignwolf, Debby Friday, True Loves, Morgan and the Organ Donors, Sweet Water, Chong the Nomad, Modernlove., Slift, Girl Trouble, The Black Tones, DaveB, King Youngblood, Chimurenga Renaissance, Massy Ferguson, Cassandra Lewis, Radioactivity, Wimps, Them, Simone BG, Breaks and Swells, Long Dark Moon, Pressha, Fouad Masoud, Spirit Award, Black Ends, Pink Boa, Beverly Crusher, Shannon and the Clams, Scarves.

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, Bumbershoot grew its live music offering more than the art side of the fet, 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.


Where and when will Seattle’s Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival be held?

Bumbershoot 2023, the festival’s 50th anniversary, is booked for Seattle Center on Labor Day Weekend, Sept 2-3, 2023.

Who produces Bumbershoot?

This year, New Rising Sun (NRS), a team of promoters and curators, is producing the fest in partnership with Seattle Center and non-profit Third Stone. According to a press release, NRS’s expertise is in “immersive programming” that “amplifies the art, music, food, technology and culture that permeates the region.”

What are all the ticket prices?

The ticket pricing and tiers are as follows:

  • $50 early bird 50th Anniversary GA single day ticket made possible by Amazon (limited allotment, this is first come, first served and will sell out)
  • $85 early bird 50th Anniversary GA two day ticket made possible by Amazon (limited allotment, this is first come, first served and will sell out)
  • $65 Tier 2 GA single day ticket
  • $110 Tier 2 GA two day ticket
  • $85 Tier 3 GA single day ticket
  • $130 Tier 3 GA two day ticket


Louis The Child, 2019

The Chainsmokers, 2018

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, 2016

#bumbershootfest on TikTok


BY Ayla Burnett