Bumbershoot blossomed in the early 1970s as the Mayor’s Festival, showcasing homegrown musical and artistic talent at the Seattle Center. It’s even been heralded by some as “the mother of all festivals.” Fast forward to 2023, and after some pauses and uncertainty, the Seattle area’s flagship festival is set to make its long awaited return to celebrate its golden birthday.
Bumbershoot 2023 will take place Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 2 and 3, at the Seattle Center. What will be pleasing to many is that early bird special tickets will go for $50 for Bumbershoot’s 50 years. Tickets will go on sale February 24th at 10:00 a.m. This was made possible in partnership with Amazon.
Earlier in 2022, Bumbershoot was passed on to new management, who at the time teased major changes for its next iteration. The end-of-summer hurrah is being taken over by Neumos co-owner Steven Severin, entrepreneur Greg Lungdren, and concert promoter Joe Paganelli: all long time, active members of the Seattle music and art scene. With the effects of the pandemic, coupled with this change in direction, Bumbershoot needed time and due diligence to reshape the future of the event.
Severin’s startup, New Rising Sun, will aim to respect the bohemian history of the festival, while simultaneously propelling a new vision moving forward. The new group also wants to highlight and bring out the hidden art and talent of the area that Severin calls a “treasure trove.” There are also talks of having a rolling list of other smaller Bumbershoot events, not confining the event to Labor Day Weekend.
This festival is near (literally) and dear to DMNW, as we’ve covered them extensively over the years, citing its highs and lows and everything in between. We are excited and also incredibly curious to see what changes the new ownership brings to the festival, while hopefully maintaining the parts that embodied the soul of Seattle in the early 1970’s.
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