Now approaching half a century, Bumbershoot is one of Seattle's largest cultural touchstones. Each year, thousands of people from across the country flock to Seattle Center to attend this acclaimed festival, which has become one of the biggest and most-loved contemporary festivals in North America, while having maintained its Northwest spirit and innovative roots. The name Bumbershoot was chosen both as a knowing nod of respect to our city’s most famous weather pattern, and a symbol of the overarching mission of this festival: to be an umbrella for all of the arts. Its seeds were planted in 1971 with Festival 71--the brainchild of then Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman. The next year Bumbershoot was born: a multi-disciplinary arts festival showcasing the best of comedy, dance, film, literary arts, music, performing arts, theatre, visual arts and more. Spanning the Seattle Center grounds, a campus originally created for the 1962 World’s Fair, Bumbershoot has continued its legacy of celebrating innovation and the search for what’s next.
The programming at Bumbershoot strives to be a contemporary microcosm of what is current across all disciplines and genres within those art forms, giving our audience opportunities few other festivals in the world offer.