Crowds. Musicians love to be in front of big ones, but fans can typically do without them.
Such is the Bumbershoot conundrum. For more than thirty years the Seattle music and arts festival has boasted a very good mix of performers from a variety of genres. There are tons of things to see each day, but good luck getting in to everything on your list without a teleporter.
So here’s a tip from an old pro: part of
the secret recipe for Bumbershoot success is “letting go of the idea
that you’ll see everything on your list." Set realistic expectations
and, if you’re really excited to see a particular act, get there early
and claim your place. That way you have all the time you need to just
relax. Maybe read a magazine, send some Tweets or chat with some
festival attendees… because trying to rush through the masses from
stage to stage is just plain chicken house crazy.
Of course, if you’re planning on doing the main stage you need a
wristband, so grab one early and then choose shows in the immediate area
prior to your main stage event.
For example, since I want to see The Lonely Forest at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, I shouldn’t be at the other end of the park at 1:28 p.m. I would have
to fight strollers, hacky-sackers, jugglers and aimless wanderers and would never make it in time.
This year I will be dividing my time between the Exhibition Hall, Decibel Stage, Fisher Green Stage, Fountain Lawn, and
Main Stage. That is a lot of stages, sure, but there are some great acts I
haven’t seen before. I will make sure to leave each one a bit early so I
can arrive at the next in time to stake my metaphorical tent.
Here’s my agenda for Saturday:
Red Fang blew up the internet radar with their videos for "Prehistoric Dog" and "Wires." The videos are spectacular slacker and
the music is positively "hesher." I have got to see these guys and luckily they
are in good company; The Exhibition Hall Stage goes completely METAL
The act that I most want to see is Astronautalis (aka Andrew
Bothwell). One part Modest Mouse, one part Soul Coughing and a whole
lot of awesome. Known for a lot of audience interaction at his live
shows I’m also hoping he also preview a lot of his new release This is
Our Science which will be coming out mid-September.
Guess what though boys and girls? Astronautalis is on 3:15 p.m. and Red
Fang is on at 2:45 p.m. Yet again comes my great decision: Metal or Hip-Hop?
I’ll just see where the day takes me I guess.
The other artists not too miss for Saturday are Shabazz Palaces
(Black Up is one of the finest albums of the year, despite what one of my Nada colleagues wrote earlier this year), the sweet synth pop
of Little Dragon and avant-electronic Free the Robots.
The Fisher Green Stage is the place to be on Sunday. I may just dig a
hole in the ground by the stage and live in it all day. Das Racist,
Butthole Surfers and The Kills? Are you kidding me? That is just a
whole lot of spectacular.
Red Lehman will cover Saturday and Sunday action at Bumbershoot 2011. Keep up with him via the Nada Twitter feed at @nadamucho.
Check out more Bumbershoot #ProTips.