44 Years Later, Bumbershoot Is Still The Best Seattle Festival

September 5,6,7, 2015
Seattle, WA

     Nearing the end of festival season is always a sad time. Seeing your favorite performers go from an active schedule, then all of a sudden going dormant until the next season is tough. Luckily, Bumbershoot was a nice way to say goodbye to incredible streak of summer festivals. Throughout the three day event, Bumbershoot offered a lot of variety in entertainment. From music, to comedy, to dance, Seattle was buzzing with excitement.


This was the day weather reports had said would be the nicest of the weekend, but turned out to be the exact opposite. Most people were in Memorial Stadium which is an outdoor football field where one of the main stages was and of course- the worse place to be in a thunder and lightning storm. Before the storm a rapper by the name of Lil Dicky was performing. His set consisted of satire and uncomfortable moments. At one point during his set he brought up a girl from the crowd, took off his pants and then did a lap dance on her, it was very uncomfortable to watch. Throughout his performance, he may have played one full song while the rest were just 30 seconds. Most people who were at the set said it was one of the weirdest sets of the day they had seen.

Shortly after Lil Dicky left the stage, a rap duo by the name of Atmosphere took the stage. Ant’s heavily sampled stylings accompanied Slug’s lyrics in a way that the audience could vibe to. Atmosphere dropped their album titled song, GodLovesUgly right as the storm arrived above the festival.

Day1 Chance The Rapper (2)Up next was Jhené Aiko but while her live band was sound checking, the thunderstorm began.  Lightning hit the space needle and there was localized flooding. The organizer decided to stop all outdoor performances until the storm cleared. Jhené Aiko finally went on stage about an hour after her scheduled set time, but was nonetheless amazing. Her ethereal voice complimented the soft nature of her set. She sang the hit song Post To Be, which contains her infamous quote, “…Gotta eat the booty like groceries” and playfully called the audience gross for singing along. During her last song she decided to get wet with her fans and got down, singing and high fiving all the soaking wet fans who had waited in the pouring rain and thunder storm to be close to her.

After her set some people headed over to the EMP (Experience Music Project Museum) to dry off and to check out USC’s Silent Disco. People were greeted with headphones, dueling DJ’s, and a room so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Altesse’s bass heavy performance went against Connor Thomas’ house inspired set. The greatest thing was everyone was dancing, but you could never really tell to which channel anyone was listening to (unless their headphones were turned up too loud).

Up next was The Weeknd and almost everyone who was at Bumbershoot was heading over to watch the highly anticipated Canadian singer who blew up this summer. The anticipation was so high that there was a bit of tension in the crowd, which was most likely the biggest crowd the entire weekend. People were dancing during the entire show but fans went crazy when he played his hit songs including Earned It from 50 Shades of Grey and Can’t Feel My Face. He ended his set with an encore, talking about making his album in Seattle, and closed with Wicked Games.

To close out the night Chance The Rapper played Key Arena. He was the last and only person performing so everyone remaining at Bumbershoot headed over to the Arena making it packed. Fans were rapping along to all his songs and during one point in between songs he smoked weed and even threw blunts into the crowd which probably isn’t the smartest idea but the fans weren’t complaining. During one of his songs Pusha Man from his debut Acid Rap, he got the audience to chant “MMMM” and “GOT DAMN” along with him which was exciting to watch since there were 15,000+ people in the arena chanting along with him. It was a great way to cap the beginning to Bumbershoot.



Since the festival ended late Saturday night many people arrived later to the festival on Sunday.  The first performance we saw was Brand New. The crowd was full of anticipation since they don’t make it out to Seattle very often, and when they played their famous Seventy Times 7 and Jesus Christ the whole crowd went nuts, some people even starting mosh pits.

Key Arena was the busiest venue since that’s where a majority of the headliners were performing Sunday. One well known DJ Tchami came out and his set was infectious, getting the whole crowd to dance while dropping his song After Life. The priest has never failed to make everyone lose their minds during his sets.

After Tchami, the arena went from a chill, dance vibe to absolute hype as Flosstradamus took the stage. The trap heavy set was met with a moshpit during the duo’s appropriately named track Mosh Pit and also a Wall Of Death during another track of theirs. They also remixed Skrillex & Trollphace’s remix to Burial’s Yogi.

But throughout the day everyone was most excited to see the German DJ Zedd. Everyone knew his set was going to be good, but it blew everyone away. His progressive house set was accompanied by color-heavy visuals on LCD screens all over the stage as well as fireworks, confetti and fog machines that went off during the heaviest parts of his tracks. He dropped crowd favorites like Clarity and Spectrum from his debut album . The energy from the crowd was felt all around Key Arena, the feeling of love was almost overwhelming.


If you have Snapchat you probably saw posts all day on snapchat from the last day of Bumbershoot. Everyone was a little sad that it was the last day of the festival but nobody let that deter their fun. The Floozies started off the day with their funky electronic sound. Everybody had dance fever and it wasn’t hard to groove to their performance.

A bunch of people left early to head over to Brandon Flowers, also known as the frontman of The Killers set who opened up Memorial Stadium with the smash hit Human. His alternative sound was met by loyal fans who were screaming and singing the entire set, some of them even traveling from Mexico and Australia! He closed with everybody’s favorite Killers song, Mr. Brightside which surprised a lot of people since he wasn’t performing with The Killers.

The Irish Singer Hozier (pronounced just like it’s spelled) took the stage soon after. His soulful voice rang through the stadium along with the fans voices singing along to crowd favorites such From Eden, a cover of Ariana Grande’s hit song Problem and also his hit song Take Me To Church. He had the crowd pumped up for the last headliner of Bumbershoot.

Ellie Goulding was the last performer and although she said she felt all shy, the British sensation was bouncing around the entire stage. She had the crowd allDay3 Ellie Goulding  (5) riled up and dancing along with her the entire night. She sang her hit songs Anything Could Happen and Lights. The musically talented Goulding showed off her talent when she played drums and then guitar while singing during her hit song Burn. She also performed with Calvin Harris singing I Need Your Love before ending her set with her most recent single Love Me Like You Do which was also a song written for 50 Shades Of Grey.

While some people were watching Ellie Goulding other people were waiting for Bassnectar while watching an electronic trio Keys N Krates at the Key Arena. Their set was full of bass.  When they played their song Are We Faded?, the crowd replied “YES WE FADED!!!”, even the people in the stands were dancing and prepared for the “God of Bass”.

The last person to play bumbershoot 2015 was the God of bass himself, Bassnectar. If you have ever listened to electronic dance music also known as EDM you have probably heard of Bassnectar. The longhaired DJ got the entire arena dancing along to his heavy-hitting set (and at times weird visuals). A crowd favorite was when he dropped a remix of the Seattle Guitarist Jimi Hendrix’ famous song Fire. He took a moment to thank bumbershoot and then played one last track where confetti literally went everywhere in the venue while people danced out of the festival.

Bumbershoot was genuinely one of the best weekends (if not THE best weekend) of the festival season. If you’re ever in the Seattle area during Labor Day Weekend you don’t want to miss Bumbershoot. The energy of the festival overall was full of fun this year and sure it will be the same if not more so next year.  I can’t wait to see who will be at Bumbershoot Music Festival in 2016!

Review by: Isabella Young 

Day 1



Chance the Rapper

The Weeknd


Day 2

Brand New

Faith No More




Day 3 


Brandon Flowers

Ellie Goulding