MYNORTHWEST LIFESTYLE

‘Very eclectic festival’: Bumbershoot announces its 2024 lineup for Labor Day weekend

May 21, 2024, 2:58 PM

Image: James Blake attends the 66th GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. Blake wil...

James Blake attends the 66th GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. Blake will appear at the 2024 Bumbershoot festival in September. (Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer, Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

(Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer, Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

The Bumbershoot Arts & Music Festival is one of the longest running independent festivals in the world and will celebrate its 51st installment this Labor Day Weekend.

And this year, Labor Day is early as the event will be held Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1 at Seattle Center.

Chris Porter, the Bumbershoot music program director, has returned to the festival after a number of years away and is excited about the 2024 edition’s musical lineup, which was released Tuesday morning. The lineup includes headliners Pavement, James Blake, Cypress Hill, Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile, Kim Gordon, Freddie Gibbs and Aly & AJ.

But Porter also said finding new music to love is essential to a festival like Bumbershoot.

“I always say the essence of a festival is to discover new acts and maybe find your new favorite band at Bumbershoot,” Porter said to KIRO Newsradio. “And there’s always a lot of local and regional artists as well as internationally touring artists.”

In addition to the headliners, Porter called out a couple of other acts such as The Polyphonic Spree.

“They’re Texas based, but don’t tour very often,” Porter said. “They’ve been around a few years. But they’re essentially a choir, almost an indie-rock choir. They’re very unique. It will be quite a spectacle as well as wonderful music.”

Porter also noted Lol Tolhurst X Budgie as an act to watch. Tolhurst was a member of The Cure for many years and Budgie who was in the band Siouxsie and the Banshees. They’re a new duo doing something new and different together.

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What is it about Seattle that this festival is able to draw in a diverse group of artists?

Porter, who has lived in Seattle for decades after spending his formative years on the East Coast, credits the people in the area for being willing to expand their artistic palate, so to speak.

“Seattle has always been a very fertile ground of creativity, which I think breeds a lot of interest from people in all kinds of diverse sounds and artistic disciplines and genres,” Porter said. “There’s always an open mindedness to discover new things and to try stuff and help nurture new sounds.”

From there, Bumbershoot has been able to capitalize on the people in the area being willing to experience something they haven’t seen or tried before.

“Seattle has just always been very open minded about trying on new things and Bumbershoot has been one of the many conduits of that … It’s a very eclectic festival, Porter said.”

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Bumbershoot will offer more than its musical lineup

Bumbershoot also detailed its animation, culinary, and visual arts programming in its announcement Tuesday.

The Culinary Arts lineup will celebrate the best of the Northwest. That includes local restaurants, breweries, and wineries and even a couple of restaurants featured on The New York Times list of Best Restaurants in Seattle.

Also, new to the Visual Arts programming in 2024 is the Animation District which will host an array of installments around Seattle Center. As a statement explained, some of the highlights include presentations from the director of the Oscar-nominated “Nimona,” the VFX supervisor and production designer on the Oscar-nominated “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” the writer/director of Netflix’s anticipated “Ultraman: Rising” and the VFX and visualization supervisors of Sony’s upcoming “Harold and the Purple Crayon.” This year also marks the inaugural Bigfoot Deepfake Competition.

Tickets are available now. A single-day ticket costs $70 (plus a service fee). For those who want to go both days and buy a two-day ticket, it will cost $125 (plus a service fee). A “Deluxe GA+ Weekend Pass,” which includes admission to both days, parking, a private lounge and more costs $350 (plus a service fee). Children under 10 are free with a limit of two kids tickets per order.

Heather Bosch is an award-winning anchor and reporter on KIRO Newsradio. You can read more of her stories here. Follow Heather on X, or email her here.

Steve Coogan is the lead editor of MyNorthwest. You can read more of his stories here. Follow Steve on X, or email him here.

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