The number of acts on the 2017 Bumbershoot lineup with albums released before 1993: zero.
Since entertainment production giant AEG took over the Labor Day weekend festival’s musical programming two years ago, and there’s been a sonic shift aimed at capturing a younger audience. Two-thirds of the headliners for 2017 are EDM acts (Flume and Seattle’s own Odesza), and 20-year-old pop star Lorde occupies the third slot. When Weezer, the Roots, and Bay Area rapper E-40 qualify by default as legacy acts because they’re the only performers on the bill to put out a record in the first half of the ’90s, there’s no way to claim the festival is targeting anyone over 45.
Does it actually matter that Bumbershoot is undergoing this youthful makeover? While the festival was founded by the city as a civic music celebration, it soon expanded beyond its humble beginnings. If AEG hadn’t stepped in to financially bail out Bumbershoot a couple years ago, it might have folded completely. It can be a bummer to lose that feeling that an entire family can attend Bumbershoot and each member will find something that appeals—but something is better than nothing.
The fest still features plenty of great local music (Tacocat, Cataldo, Porter Ray, the Maldives, Crater, and more), and One Reel has beefed up the weekend’s nonmusical local arts programming with help from institutions like Velocity Dance, Theatre Puget Sound, and Cornish College of the Arts.
Bumbershoot might not be Northwest Coachella yet, but this certainly ain’t your daddy’s festival anymore.
Sep 01, 2017 at 1:30 PM;
Sep 02, 2017 at 1:30 PM;
Sep 03, 2017 at 1:30 PM