Cypress Hill in concert at BottleRock Napa Valley in Napa, CA

Bumbershoot Arts & Music Festival 2024

AUGUST 31, 2024 - SEPTEMBER 01, 2024
SEATTLE, WA

THE SHORT VERSION

Bringing back the arts to the arts and music festival, Bumbershoot’s return last year laid the foundation for a renewed tradition of an immersive and often radical lineup.

Last year, Bumbershoot kicked off its half-centennial with a return to its roots: more local, more indie and more out there. Puddles Pity Party belted out covers while dressed as a Pagliacci-style clown, while the anti-fascist Russian band Pussy Riot had two dancers in BDSM outfits flanking the solo singer. 

Over Labor Day weekend, the festival will once again take to Seattle Center, with five primary stages in addition to a handful of other spaces for film screenings, circus acts, kissing booths and more of the unconventional activities Bumbershoot is known for. Pavement, James Blake, Cypress Hill and Marc Rebillet will headline the musical lineup this year. 

As we wrote in 2022, fifty years ago, Bumbershoot started in Seattle “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.” 

For a festival trying to get back to the independent scene, however, the cognitive dissonance in Bumbershoot’s new partnership with Amazon last year didn’t go unnoticed, and it continues this year. Now, if you can look past Amazon’s history of generating a massive carbon footprint and facilitating gentrification, Bumbershoot organizers have managed a decent deal with the company. Between 2015 and 2019, ticket prices jumped from $65 to $220, but through the partnership prices dropped back down to $75 for general admission, and Amazon provided 5000 tickets to be given out to local nonprofit and community organizations. 

What does this look like for the festival itself? The festival’s organizers promised a revived focus on art, and the 2024 visual arts programming covers the gamut of vibe, genre, and experience, from the Bigfoot Deepfake Competitions and experimental shorts films in the Animation District to the Pole Dancing Pavillion, Wig Farm, and Bumbermania! Wrestling Program. Hungry for food? Last year, local restaurants were curated by Ethan Stowell and included Philippine and Western African cuisines. 

The Specs

  • 40,000 people attended in 2023.
  • Tickets for single and weekend passes start at $70 and $125 respectively, while deluxe weekend passes start at $350.
  • Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to Seattle here.

FAQs

What is the closest airport to the festival?

Seattle–Tacoma International Airport is about 20 minutes from the venue which is in downtown Seattle. 

Is the festival ADA-accessible? 

Yes. In addition to typical accessibility accommodations (seating, parking, and more), a list of performances with ASL interpreters will be released alongside the full lineup in August.

Which artists are on the Bumbershoot 2024 lineup?

The music lineup for this year includes Pavement, James Blake, Cypress Hill, Marc Rebillet, Carl Cox, Thee Sacred Souls, Freddie Gibbs, Courtney Barnett, Cunningham/Bird, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Aly & AJ, BADBADNOTGOOD, Kim Gordon, St. Paul and The Broken Bones, K.Flay, Ladytron, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, All Them Witches, Lee Fields, I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, Helado Negro, Neal Francis, Lauren Mayberry from (Chvrches), Hurray For The Riff Raff, Mercury Rev, George Clanton, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, The Polyphonic Spree, King Buffalo, Lol Tolhurst x Budgie, Pink Siifu, Automatic, BALTHVS, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Angélica Garcia, Dean Johnson, TK & The Holy Know-Nothings, Corridor, Pom Pom Squad, Kassa Overall, Teke::Teke, Squirrel Flower, Parisalexa, Acid Tongue, Grynch, Moor Mother, Pure Bathing Culture, Spoon Benders, Disq, Rocket, Kultur Shock, Psymon Spine, REPOSADO, NAVVI, The Divorce, Stephanie Anne Johnson, Emi Pop, Oh, Rose, Tres Leches, Warren Dunes, Flesh Produce, The Groovy Nobody, Gold Chisme, Linda From Work, Lemon Boy and Sux.

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BY Suchita Chadha