After three years (and plenty of frustration) in KeyArena, Bumbershoot 2014 will move its main stage back outside to Memorial Stadium. A new layout will place the big stage on the north side of the field as opposed to the old east end zone configuration. A smaller stage will also be placed in the staduim's southwest corner, and bands will perform between the headliners' sets.
While using KeyArena was more cost effective for Bumbershoot's organizers, the arena had many flaws as a festival venue. These included long lines to enter, tight capacity caps which kept many from seeing the headliners they paid to watch, fans being forced to leave between the afternoon and evening headlining sessions, and ineffective (and quite frankly moronic) procedures for allowing festival goers down to the main floor (which led to multiple incidents where fans rushed past security to fill floor space). Patrons excited to be heading back outside can partially thank the Seattle Storm, as Bumbershoot was forced to look to alternative main stage options due the potential that a WNBA playoff game would have to be played on Bumbershoot's first day, Saturday, August 30. Overall, the change works out in the best interest of the fans.
Bumbershoot also revealed two separate events where the festival will announce portions of its lineup. Seattle's premiere indie rock pontificator, the Long Winters' John Roderick presents the theatre, spectacles, visual arts, and words and ideas lineups on Wednesday, April 16, when he hosts an edition of Bumbershoot's popular "Why?" series at Town Hall. The night's panel discussion will be “Why Selfies? Why Introverts? Why Now?” Tickets are available for $5 at TownHallSeattle.com.
To celebrate the announcement of the musical lineup, Bumbershoot is putting on the alliterative "Pink and Purple Pickwick Party" on May 8 at Nuemos. The night will be hosted by Jeopardy! super champ/novelist/Twitter ace Ken Jennings and feature musical performances by singer-songwriter Naomi Wachira and (obviously) Pickwick. (Here's a hint: Pickwick and Wachira are going to be playing Bumbershoot 2014. That's how these things work.) Tickets are on sale for $15 at Neumos.com.
Those looking to get an early jump on Bumbershoot can buy three-day passes at a discounted rate ($112–$500) at Bumbershoot.com. Single day tickets will go on sale on May 8, after the music lineup is announced.
Aug 30–Sept 1, Seattle Center, $112–$500 (three-day pass)