Friday, August 31, 2007

Bumber-blog 2007: Leave the bumbershoot at home!

Hey! It's Lorelei here, and m'colleague Albert and I are your B'shoot guides. Our primo music festival may presage the end of summer - notice how the skies opened up right on cue? - but that doesn't mean acting like it's also the end of the world. We'll be blogging like mad all weekend, in between shows and raindrops, letting you know the latest about the lineup, who we've seen and what's going on in general Bumbershootage. By now you've read my recommendations for your listening pleasure; here are my recommendations for keeping your body and soul thriving over three strenuous and exciting days of music.

1. Bring a poncho. No umbrellas - bumbershoots - are allowed on the premises. Think how annoyed you'd be if someone opened up a big parasol and blocked your view of the Backyard Stage act, and you'll understand the rule. Plastic ponchos are also great for sitting on when the ground is wet - protecting your, uh, assets.

2. Wear sunscreen. I know it seems silly to wear your SPF if the weather is overcast, but you'd be surprised how badly you can get burned when the sun's not blazing. This means bringing a hat, sunglasses, the whole nine, and reapplying liberally and often. You'll thank me when your face isn't peeling off at work on Tuesday.

3. Take Metro. I don't drive, so I don't have an option, but you can avoid the parking hassles by sucking it up on public transportation. From downtown numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 16 take you right by Seattle Center; from Capitol Hill the 8 is also direct. An all-day pass is only $2.50; just make sure you tuck it in a safe place or you'll find yourself digging for quarters at 10:15 at night, with a bunch of irate passengers waiting in line behind you.

4. Dress in layers. It's a hassle to carry around extra clothing, but I'm totally serious. It may be 80 degrees when you're standing in line for your wristband, but if you're staying for the night's mainstage show you'll want at least a light jacket. Your poncho - did you remember your poncho? I'm not your mother - will insulate you a little, but if you're only wearing a short-sleeve t-shirt it will be chilly touching your skin when it's raining.

5. Play it by ear. Sure, go with a rough idea of who you're going to see, but try not to be heartbroken if your favorite group - even your raison d'Bumbershoot - cancels. It hapens. I usually arrive with a packed schedule and only make it to half of the shows I planned. Keep your ears open; a surprising act may capture your attention and become your new fave!

6. Bring your TICKET! I hope you pre-bought your B'shoot ticket while it was still fairly cheap, but if you don't put it in your wallet you'll end up paying in both moolah and embarrassment when you have to shell out $35 per day.

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