Bumbershoot has been Seattle’s premier music and arts festival since its inception in 1971, and every year it brings together musicians and artists from around the world to take the stage at Seattle Center. This year’s lineup is no different, fusing the newfound up-and-comers with the classic and renowned, sprawling across this upcoming Labor Day Weekend. Among the attendees: Daryl Hall & John Oates, Wiz Khalifa, Ray LaMontagne & the Pariah Dogs, Big Boi, Mavis Staples, Broken Social Scene, The Presidents of the United States of America, The Reverend Horton Heat, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Minus the Bear, The Kills, and Butthole Surfers.
And if the chance to see Hall & Oates is making your dreams come true, you’re not alone! Check out this impormptu video of some 2011 Bumbershoot artists — including Shelby Earl, Dave Einmo from Head Like a Kite, Asya from Smoosh, and others — singing a Hall & Oates cover beneath the Space Needle:
As in years past, KEXP will be broadcasting on the Seattle Center grounds from a secret stage at the Bumbershoot Music Lounge. Over the weekend, we’ll bring you exclusive live performances from Shabazz Palaces, Fitz & the Tantrums, Charles Bradley, Urge Overkill, Grant Lee Buffalo, and many others. Early registration for these sessions is already closed, but if you’re at the festival this weekend, stop by the KEXP tent (next to the Fisher Green Stage) an hour before each performance for any additional tickets that might be released. Otherwise, tune at home
Here’s but some of the many highlights of the festival this Labor Day weekend:
Saturday’s highlights begin at 1:15 on the Main Stage, with the young adult electropop quartet Brite Futures (who formerly swept the Northwest as Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head). This is far from the band’s first appearance at Bumbershoot, but their return may spark hopes for a follow-up album to 2008’s Glistening Pleasure. If you’re in a more shoegazing mood, Craft Spells takes the Fountain Lawn Stage at 1:30. Meanwhile, over on the Fisher Green Stage at 2:15, local hip-hop favorites Champagne Champagne will spit versatile raps over electro-infused beats, ensuring a sweat-filled dance party. Vying for the 2:45 spot on your schedule are acclaimed Portland punk-metal foursome Red Fang and the classic tongue-in-cheek pop-rock of The Presidents of the United States of America.
Seattle’s own Shabazz Palaces lead off the afternoon highlights at 5:45 on the Fisher Green Stage, where they’ll bring their mysterious, ghostly beats to an unsuspecting crowd. At 6, local balearic dance-pop favorites Beat Connection will rock the Decibel Stage at the EMP Sky Church, while at 6:45 dreamy folk luminaries Vetiver will waft along the Fountain Lawn. If that’s a little too soothing, the Lawn will then play host to Portland electropop all-stars Starfucker, who’ve skyrocketed to fame after their Vera Project debut in 2008. Seattle’s own Minus the Bear will close the Fisher Green Stage at 9:15, while Ray LaMontagne & the Pariah Dogs will prep the Main Stage crowd for the near-flawless vocal talents of soulful R&B songstress Mavis Staples.
Growing Seattle favorites The Lonely Forest are beginning to be noticed on a national level, which may explain their presence on the Main Stage at 1:30. Their nostalgic indie pop reeks of heartache in the best way possible, with minor inflections of blues and country permeating their rock. Elsewhere, partycore electrorap group Mad Rad will rock the Fisher Green stage at 2:15. Back on the Main Stage at 3 will be Canadian indie rock collective Broken Social Scene, the band that birthed such acts as Feist and Metric. 5:00 on the Fountain Lawn surf-tinged indie pop duo Tennis will bring their sunlit melodies to the fore, while 5:45 will find rap-comedy trio Das Racist and folk-rock singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield vying for your time, on the Fisher Green and Starbucks stages, respectively.
The Exhibition Hall stage is notoriously punk rock, and nothing’s changed this year as the renowned Anti-Flag will take it over at 6:30. Meanwhile, at 6:45, all-girl art-rock quartet Warpaint will storm the Fountain Lawn. If you’re still amped from Anti-Flag, head over to the Fisher Green stage at 7:30 for noise-punkers Butthole Surfers. The Main Stage at 8 will find Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in a heartfelt but danceable hip-hop performance. 8:30 on the Fountain Lawn will see chillwaver Toro Y Moi rock his new wave-infused R&B. Closing out the day on the Fisher Green Stage are The Kills, the smoky garage-rock duo of Jamie Hince and Alison Mossheart (The Dead Weather) at 9:15. 9:30 sees rapper Wiz Khalifa take the Main Stage, but you’re probably better off snagging some sleep before Monday.
Blues rockers My Goodness have rocked the KEXP studios and the Concerts at the Mural, and now they’re back for Bumbershoot, securing their fanbase’s attention at 2:00 in the Exhibition Hall. 3:00 will see former Outkast founder Big Boi hip-hoppin’ while future pop duo Purity Ring gets their glitch on at the EMP Level 3 Stage. 3:15 at the Fountain Lawn will bring DFA’s dance-rockers YACHT, complete with disco-ready grooves and synth swirls. Back to EMP Level 3, the two-girl local pair Lemolo takes the stage at 4:30, and will fill the venue with lo-fi electropop. At 5:45 on the Fisher Green stage, Daptone Records alum Charles Bradley will bring on the soul.
6:45 sees poetic singer-songwriter Sharon Von Etten aboard the Fountain Lawn Stage, fresh off tours with Junip and The National. Later, EMP Level 3 returns with Ravenna Woods at 7:30, KEXP’s favorite gloomy folk-punkers. Fitz and the Tantrums attack the Main Stage at 7:45, filling the stadium with the soulful, clap-worthy rock. 8:30 on the Fountain Lawn sees shoegaze-tronics with a hefty helping of beats in the duo of Phantogram. At 9, Truckasauras’ explosive lo-fi electronics will thunder through the Decibel Stage at the EMP Sky Church, but they may be deafened by the roar of the Main Stage crowd at 9:15 as “rock n’ soul” icons Daryl Hall and John Oates close out the festival.