Friday, August 29, 2008

Bumbershoot 2008: Helpful tips on the eve of the big festival

We're a day away from the start of the 2008 Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival at Seattle Center. I'm Albert from Seattle Gay News, and I'll do my best to provide you with updates, highlights, mini reviews and guest interviews from the much-anticipated event. My video pick for today is "No One's Gonna Love You" by Band of Horses, one of the top ten tracks/singles of 2007 picked by Seattle Gay News in our year-end best of music issue. The link for the video is below. Pictured is Neko Case. Both Band of Horses and Neko Case are scheduled to perform at Memorial Stadium tomorrow at the festival.

Watch "No One's Gonna Love You":

Here are 10 useful tips as you prepare for Bumbershoot this weekend.

1 Transportation

Relieve yourself of traffic congestion and parking headaches, instead take a Metro bus ($1.50 one-way) from downtown Seattle. The best spot to catch a Seattle Center-bound bus is on Third Avenue, between Pike and Pine streets, and look for Seattle Center signage. You can also ride the monorail to-from Seattle Center ($2 one-way) from a platform located on the top level of Westlake Center (Fourth and Pine).

2 Entry

Tickets, priced at $40 (adult), will be available during each day of the festival at Mercer and Thomas street gates. However, I strongly recommend buying them at your nearest Starbucks location to save time. Once inside, you can see whatever you want to see. Look below for information on main stage performances.

3 Re-entering

Festivalgoers are allowed to leave and re-enter the event, but you must receive a hand stamp from one of the gate attendants in order to do so.

4 Food

Food is available for purchase inside the festival grounds, however if you're on a budget you may want to stop at nearby Safeway, QFC, or Metropolitan Market stores on the way in. Lines tend to be long and menu items are pricey at many of the on-premise food vendors, so I recommend going to the grocery store or stopping at nearby Pagliaci, Dicks, or Kid Valley before or after attending the festival. Another money-saving suggestion is to purchase meals at the "Food Court", located inside the Pavillion at Seattle Center. There, you'll find Subway, Pizza Haven, Orange Julius, and other known food retailers with better and less expensive options.


There will be ATMs available on the festival grounds, but the lines are usually long and the transaction fees will be close to $5 aside from what your own bank will charge you. Most major banks have locations in lower Queen Anne, so use an ATM before entering Bumbershoot to save you time and money.

6 Alcohol

No outside alcoholic beverages are allowed into the festival, though you may purchase beer and other types of liquor inside.

7 Wristbands

While your ticket allows you access to all Bumbershoot performances, you must have a wristband to enter Memorial Stadium for main stage shows (Beck, Stone Temple Pilots, Death Cab for Cutie, etc.). Visit this link to see where you can get a free wristband, available on a first come-first served basis:

8 Clothes

It may be sunny and warm during the day, but temperatures tend to drop dramatically at night. If spending the entire day at Bumbershoot, bring a long-sleeve shirt or light sweater that can be wrapped around your waist and a pair of long pants to change into later. Also, a light pair of shoes or sneakers with comfortable support are great to have or change into. I'm planning on taking a pair of flip-flops and sneakers for different portions of the day.

9 Backpacks

Backpacks are allowed into Seattle Center, but they can't exceed 17" x 12" x 10". Remember, the more you bring in the more you have to carry - so pack light. My recommendation is a tote bag vs. a backpack.

10 Smoking

Smoking is not allowed inside any of the concert venues at Bumbershoot or inside any of the beer gardens. You may smoke in any of the outdoor areas at Seattle Center, but please dispose of your cigarettes in appropriate receptacles.

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