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Label Me Crazy: Newbie Whitney Mackman Reminisces on Seattle’s Summer Festivals

Posted by October 25th, 2009 No Comments »

Label Me Crazy
Whitney Reminisces on this Summer’s Seattle Festivals

Just as Folklife celebrates the potential arrival of summer, Bumbershoot revels in the end of summer bliss. It’s the last chance for Seattle’s collective of crazies to sing and dance before retreating to their winter dwellings. 

Working production for many of the city’s summer festivals gives me a unique behind-the-scenes perspective. Although boasting an eclectic population, this city’s people are easily categorized at these events. I normally reject labels, however, festival patrons make it far too easy. 

There are six groups of people who attend Folklife:

  1. I have a washing machine and a shower that I don’t use because I’m a hippy.
  2. I actually was a hippie, and this is what a real tie-dye looks like, you gutter punk.
  3. Just because I own this doesn’t mean I should wear it.
  4. I just took a pill from a guy I met at the fountain.
  5. Thank God I’m normal, where’d all these freaks and weirdoes come from?
  6. I’m the child of someone belonging to groups 1-5. I’m lost and probably too young to be at a music festival.

Then summer solstice comes along and six more groups join the collective:

  1. My couch was out here at 3 a.m. Don’t even think about taking my spot.
  2. Yes, those are my privates under all this paint. I’m free!
  3. I’m just trying to get to PCC and the gym.
  4. I took the Burke-Gilman here. How do you like my spandex?
  5. I’m so drunk I’m having sex against the handrail.
  6. My outfit could make a rainbow have a seizure.

Just when you got bored, the West Seattle Summer Fest drags out more crazies:  

  1. You must be from across the bridge.
  2. We are the new, cool Seattle.
  3. I’m so nice I will make you puke.
  4. If you don’t talk to your cat about catnip, who will?
  5. I am at least 30, definitely a lesbian, and just moved here with my partner.
  6. I’m only here for a few years before I move to Shoreline.

And finally, just when you thought you had enough crazy, six more groups top off the collective at Bumbershoot:

  1. My hat describes my personality. If not, you can read it on my t-shirt!
  2. I don’t think anyone can tell I have liquor in my water bottle.
  3. Find my friends, find my friends, find my friends, find my friends…
  4. If the stage doesn’t have a beer garden, I won’t be there.
  5. I’m only here for the comedy.
  6. I’m so glad this happens so my wife and I can get wasted once a year.

If you don’t find yourself in one of these groups, well, you are lying to yourself. Or maybe you just don’t get out much. 

Seriously though, embrace the craziness next summer and check out some of the city’s many great live music festivals. It’s what makes Seattle the diverse Emerald City that so many wish they understood.


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