Each Labor Day weekend, thousands of Seattleites congregate below the Space Needle to experience Bumbershoot- a festival filled with music, art, food, and often lots of rain. Navigating through the hoards of people takes practice, and there are certain things every festival-goer should make sure to remember. So in honor of Bumbershoot this coming weekend, here is a brief guide for Bumbershoot virgins braving the deafening music, hoards of people, and endless fun that comes with any music festival.
- Try something new Although you might have spent your last few paychecks to hear your favorite band, there is so much more to Bumbershoot than the headliners. Before you walk out of Seattle’s largest festival, make sure you’ve tried a new food, heard a new sound, and experienced something other than a mosh pit. Perhaps you will find your calling while watching “Dump: A Garbage Burlesque” on Friday, or watching a laser show at the Pacific Science Center’s Laser Dome, you’ll never know unless you try. As far as food, there are the awkward-to-eat chocolate covered bananas, endless mango lemonade, and if you look hard enough you might even be able to find the curly fries that no one ever buys.
- When it comes to electronics, come prepared There are only a few things worse than watching your phone’s battery change from a reassuring green to a worrisome red to dead. Invest in a portable charger for a relatively low price of $20, allowing you to continue posting on your already obnoxious Snapchat story without having to worry about your phone’s lifespan. You could also try the cheaper, but not as socially acceptable alternative: actually keeping your phone in your pocket while you enjoy the experience you paid so much for.
- Stick with a group One of those few things that are worse than watching your battery die, is helplessly watching your friends disappear into a sweaty crowd of people, never to be found again. To avoid this disaster, please attend the festival with people you trust not to leave you behind. Wandering around Seattle Center alone, with thousands of your closest friends everywhere you look is not an ideal situation. But as a precaution, before you enter the festival have your group decide on a meeting spot for emergencies, possibly at a table in the Armory, or somewhere you’ll feel safe.
- Dress for the weather This is more or less advice for the ladies, because over the years there have been too many girls that confuse Bumbershoot, the festival literally named after an umbrella, with Coachella. It won’t be 100 degrees, it isn’t in the desert, and it gets cold at night. In fact, the forecast for this weekend predicts constant rain and a depressing high of 66. Although you may find yourself smushed in a crowd of hot and sweaty people, it’s highly possible you’ll be soaking wet and freezing cold in your booty shorts and barely-there shirt. My advice to you is to wear what you want, but buy a locker and stash a change of clothes and some layers for the midnight hours.
- Stay healthy Drink water! The last thing you want to do is feel awful, pass out, or throw up in the middle of the best concert of your life. Also make sure to eat continuously throughout the day, which shouldn’t be an issue as there is never a shortage of great food at the festival. If you insist on using drugs at the festival, please know your limits and stay safe. Bumbershoot is not necessarily a safe place or the time to experiment, and you definitely don’t want anything to stop you from having the best time possible.
Photos: By Connor Courtney