Bumbershoot is an annually held music and arts festival that takes place on Labor Day weekend in Seattle, Washington, that has hosted a slew of big names(such as The Pixies, Blondie, and Kanye Westto mention a few) among many more numerous smaller local bands. It's crowded and the entrance prices seem to rise a few bucks more every year, but most people I have talked to judge it well worth it and are quiet enthusiastic about the whole affair.
Bumbershoot is also a popular place to have what seems to be a pothead convention for kids between 14 and 20… if you are a Seattleite of this age group, it is almost a given you will recognize the boy you had homeroom with in fifth grade or your sister’s crush sitting in one of the little clusters around “the tree,” buying, selling or sharing. Other types of drugs such as mushrooms are present as well, but I’m not in on the drug scene so don’t know in what quantity or what types…
Bumbershoot is popular among Seattle teens not only because of the great music, but because it’s an enormous social event where basically everyone you’ve ever known who can pay the entrance fee is invited. It’s a quirky occasion often with a number of small foreign groups along with the bigger names, and tons of local bands (there is a variety of music, but the majority is rock). The festival takes place in the accommodating grounds of the Seattle Center, where there are multiple stages both indoor and out, wide fields, an enormous fountain, many statues, handy buildings to convert into art venues and gift shops, and a food court. Not to mention the amusement park.
There is the abundance of crafts and food booths that are present in most festivals, and buskers and local artist set up shop on the crowded walkways that weave through the Center, lined with streamers, flags, lights, wooden constructions and strings of brightly painted umbrellas. A great number of hippies/goths (the young, the old and the wannabe) are seen circulating or seated comfortably throughout the celebration, and thus people watching is fun because of the colorful hair and fashion statements.
I would like to give a special mention of the shirtless older gent in a purple skirt, who has been sighted at every public music event for years waving a seemingly endless supply of scarves around with a rather dazed, bemused expression on his face and a tangled grey beard down to his belly button, and of the multiply pierced drug addled teen carrying the barney doll, who is also a regular but a bit more creepy because he likes to hiss and speak in tongues and is hard to politely get rid of. The experience has an added familiarity or definitive flavor with their presence (like a mascot), and it would not be the same without them.