The 50th anniversary of the Bumbershoot Arts & Music Festival in Seattle, WA is rapidly approaching as it takes place across the 74-acre Seattle Center beneath the city’s iconic Space Needle. over Labor Day weekend, September 2-3. This iconic festival, known for its eclectic blend of music, art, and culture features a diverse lineup that includes the likes of Brittany Howard, Fatboy Slim, Band of Horses, Zhu, Matt & Kim, Sleater-Kinney, AFI and Phantogram. This year’s festival marks a return for this iconic event after switching producers in 2020. This year’s relaunch will also feature a wide array of the arts across the festival grounds that will include large-scale installations from Wolf Deluxe, Mutuus Studio, Sean Hamilton, and Ariel Parrow which can be found throughout the Seattle Center campus. Choreographed performances from Kisha Vaughn, Alice Gosti, and UNO will be part of the Free-Range Arts Program and the Fashion District will feature emerging designers, hair, skin, and nail art, clothing vendors, and drag. With all the activities and musical acts performing, we’ve collated a list of “must-see” performers!
Puddles Pity Party- Saturday Sept. 2
If you don’t know Puddles, reading his Spotify bio will only confuse you more. At the center of this act is a performer named Mike Geier, who portrays the character of “Puddles the Clown.” Puddles is known for his distinctive appearance: he wears a sad clown costume with white face paint, oversized clothes, and often is shoeless.
The Dip- Saturday Sept. 2
Formed by a group of jazz students from the University of Washington, The Dip combines classic pop instruments with a 3-part horn section. After releasing their first album in 2015, they have been featured at many festivals and even toured with Durand Jones during the summer of 2019.
Thunderpussy- Saturday sept 2
The Seattle based all female super group Thunderpussy have been captivating audiences since they came together in early 2014. Taking influences from bands like The Marshall Tucker Band and Heart, lead guitarist Whitney Petty has described their live shows as Led Zeppelin meets Beyoncé.
Durand Jones- Saturday Sept 2
This group formed over their love of songwriting and old soul 45’s. Today they are accredited as being a key part of the soul revivalist movement. They have twice been nominated for best R&B album, and their live performances are stunning.
Zhu – Saturday Sept. 2
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Zhu came on the scene during a legendary performance at Coachella in 2014. Zhu’s first track featured an ingenious mashup of several Outkast’s songs and has a catalogue of classics including “Faded”, “Cocaine Model”, “Working For It” and his live performances are electric that now featuring him on vocals.
Benny the Butcher- Sunday Sept. 3
Part of hip-hop collective Griselda and The Black Soprano Family, Benny the Butcher, also known as Benny, came on the scene in the late 2000’s. His unique sound tells powerful stories about street-life and his own self lived experience. Although having a “late” start to his career in his mid thirties, he has garnered much praise for his releases like last year’s ‘Tana Talk 4’ and 2020’s ‘Burden of Proof’.
Band of Horses- Sunday Sept. 3
Band of Horses, the veteran group native to Seattle, is one of the biggest draws on the schedule this year. With soaring anthems and alt-country/indie rock vibes, Band of Horses have been consistently releasing albums and songs that continue to inspire and touch audiences. No more is that evident than in songs like “No One’s Gonna Love You” and “The Funeral”, which is even more impactful when seen performed live.
Phantogram- Sunday Sept. 3
Formed in 2007 by two preschool besties, Phantogram combines rock, pop, psychedelia, and electronics. Both members, Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter are multi-talented musicians performing vocals along with guitars, pianos, synthesizers, drums, and percussion.
Fatboy Slim- Sunday Sept 3.
Fatboy Slim, or Norman Quentin Cook, is a British DJ, musician, and producer known for being a pioneer in the electronic music scene. His often sample driven, upbeat, and energetic sound put catchy hooks and electronic beats on well remixed tracks.