Every Labor Day weekend, the PNW receives a special gift from the music gods: Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival. The PNW favorite brought a wide variety of artists, from The Chainsmokers to J. Cole, and even Bhad Bhabie, to the 3-day festival. We had the chance to check out the festival once again on what was a beautiful, sunny, Labor Day weekend. Here are our thoughts:
Entry and Exit
Faster than Jimmy John’s! The entry of the festival took us less than 5 minutes each day. There was never a line long enough to make you wait. The exit was pretty smooth as well, however, getting an Uber back to wherever you came from was not that pretty. On Sunday, we had to walk over two miles and wait an hour or so to avoid getting charged over $100 for an Uber.
Bumbershoot 2018 returned to the Seattle Center. The stages are set up throughout the surrounding area, with the main stage on the field of Memorial Stadium. Most significantly, Bumbershoot did away with the much-maligned Key Arena stage, pushing all the biggest artists outdoors to the much more convenient stadium space. Shops and food areas, such as the Armory, are open for business during the festival. End to end, the festival was about a 10-15 minute walk; nothing too tiring for a long day of festivities.
Bumbershoot is more than a music festival. There are numerous ways to keep yourself occupied no matter how old you are. There were so many diverse food options, it was hard to decide what we wanted to eat for dinner each night! Of course, attendees over 21 had access to multiple beer gardens spread across the entire venue, but there was a lot more in store.
Vendor tents were aplenty, and always worth checking out. One of the best things we saw was a dance-off at the Monster Energy tent. Other fun things to do include taking pictures in-front of massive art installations, making tie-dye shirts, and climbing an adult playground!
Long story short, you could NOT be bored at Bumbershoot.
Of course, we came for the electronic music. On day one, RL Grime, Gryffin and, yes, The Chainsmokers stole the show. The Chainsmokers brought the smoke, fire, and new music aplenty with them, as they made their Seattle return in what has become years in the making.
On day two, Illenium and Tritonal blew us away with their one hour sets. Everywhere you looked, you could find an Illenial wearing a number 3 jersey.
For day three, we ventured to the colorful, EDM-focused EX Hall Stage, taking place inside the Pacific Northwest Ballet. GG McGee destroyed our necks with a bass-heavy set, filled with heavy metal, and samples from popular 90s tracks. Perhaps our biggest surprise of the weekend, famed hip-hop producer London on da Track threw down an EDM-heavy set that had the crowd going absolutely wild. We loved his tribute to Avicii!
Seattle’s biggest pop, and hip-hop, radio stations also helped fuel the festival’s soundtrack, bringing in their best DJs to throw down some tunes in their respective tents. Music is everywhere at Bumbershoot, and we were A-okay with that.
A farewell to Key Arena
To the delight of many in attendance, Key Arena did not host a stage this year. Many of the big names on this year’s lineup played in the spacious, open-air Memorial Stadium. Getting in was a breeze, and there was no security to worry about.
Most of the EDM artists played at Memorial, or the EX Hall Stage, both so wide, there was plenty of room to get our dance on. The stage setups were perfect this year, and we hope things will stay put in Bumbershoots to come.
Would we come back? Of course! Bumbershoot is one of our favorite local festivals, and, best of all, it’s in our very own backyard in Seattle. Each and every year, the festival improves, and works on making itself better. We can’t wait to see what the fest has in stored for next year.
What did you think of Bumbershoot this year? Let us know in the comments below!