Bumbershoot Festival 2016 Recap

Bumbershoot 2016 was a smashing success! Founded in 1971 as a celebration of Seattle’s art and music culture, Bumbershoot has grown considerably into the festival it is today. The annual event is often praised by many in that it not only celebrates big name acts but offers a fantastic lineup of local talent. This juxtaposition of music both old, new, big and small offers an amazing variety that provides a refreshing quality to the Bumbershoot experience. From rock and roll to EDM this festival has it all and this year was no exception.


Friday’s acts kicked off the festival with a bang. The mainstage included an exciting blend of sights and sounds with the likes of Tyler the Creator, Father John Misty, and later Halsey and KYGO to close out the mainstage. Judging by the sheer volume of fans, it was easy to see that Halsey and KYGO were crowd favorites. Halsey in particular gave a fantastic performance that featured a finale that blasted the crowd with rainbow confetti. Simply epic.

Both the Fisher Green Stage and the Starbucks Stage also boasted several phenomenal rock artists worthy of recognition. Two in particular were Chevy Metal and Zella Day. Ever heard of Chevy Metal? If not, you might be more familiar with the band’s founding member, Taylor Hawkins, more popularly known as the drummer for the Foo Fighters. Unaware festival goers were greeted with a rare treat as the band rocked out to Black Sabbath covers and an awesome rendition of “My Sherona”. Zella Day gave a solid evening performance on the Starbucks Stage that featured hit songs such as “Sweet Ophelia” and “Mustang Kids”. Zella Day’s wonderfully enthusiastic performance had the audience on their feet with their hands in the air throughout the entire set.


Saturday’s events was a fantastic mix of music that any fan could appreciate. Mainstage acts featured some of hip hop’s finest. From Flatbush Zombies, Run the Jewels and hometown favorites, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Memorial Stadium (main stage) was likely the most high energy stage over the whole weekend. Macklemore, however, took his set to another level as he delivered a two hour set featuring surprise guests such as G-Eazy and a few members of the Seattle Seahawks. Macklemore stated in a recap Instagram photo: “All for the city” as a proud dedication to his hometown of Seattle.

Smaller stages saw a variety of acts such as Radiation City, Lemolo, Jagwar Ma, Explosions in the Sky and even early 2000’s pop artist, Jojo. Jagwar Ma, especially, was a awesome live set featuring drone-like synth beats and psych rock guitar riffs. Explosions in the Sky later closed out the second stage with an incredible performance complete with their distinctive guitar driven crescendos textured with rolling drums and crashing cymbals. After a long day of partying, Explosions in the Sky was the sweet relief many festival goers needed.

Meagan Grandall and drummer Adrian Centoni of Lemolo delivered an enchanting performance on the KEXP stage Saturday evening. The Hometown dreampop rockers played a fantastic set that featured a great selection of songs off of their latest album Red Right Return. Word to the wise, if you ever have a chance to see this band you will not be disappointed.


The last day of the festival was another mix bag of acts that featured mainstage headliners such as the much anticipated, Tame Impala and locals, Death Cab for Cutie. Tame Impala’s set, simply put, was amazing. The only thing that left fans feeling empty handed was the band’s famed grand confetti finale that was nowhere to be seen. Despite this, the Australian psych rock band still managed to provide an outstanding performance of hit songs such “Let it Happen” and “Elephant”. Long time indie rockers Death Cab for Cutie also put on a fantastic set however fans were so exhausted from the weekend’s festivities that many had already left the festival leaving much of the the audience section deserted. With that said, frontman, Ben Gibbard and band pulled out all the stops playing a collection of songs that both new and old Death Cab fans could appreciate.

The KEXP stage saw some awesome female led acts. In particular, Thunderpussy and Deep Sea Diver both gave fans a taste of some of the best local talent Seattle has to offer. Deep Sea Diver led by Jessica Dobson was the perfect closing act to the KEXP stage as they rolled through a fun selection of tunes from their latest album Secrets.

Now moving on into it’s 46th year, Bumbershoot is set to take place again next year over the Labor Day weekend. If you’re in the area next year this is one festival not to miss.


Andrew Bird
Chevy Metal
Death Cab for Cutie
Deep Sea Diver
Explosions in the Sky
Jagwar Ma
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Radiation City
Run the Jewels
Tame Impala
Zella Day
Around the Festival
Thanks Squarespace!