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Bumbershoot Live Stream Seattle Music and Arts Festival

World Events, September , Bumbershoot Seattle
 

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Bumbershoot is an annual international music and arts festival held in Seattle, Washington. One of North America's largest such festivals, it takes place every Labor Day weekend at the 74 acre Seattle Center, which was built for the 1962 World's Fair. Seattle Center includes indoor theaters, outdoor stages, McCaw Hall, and Memorial Stadium. The name of the festival was taken from bumbershoot, a colloquial term for umbrella, probably coined in the 19th century a portmanteau of the words umbrella and parachute.

Bumbershoot began as a city-funded arts and music festival called "Mayor's Arts Festival", also known as "Festival '71", held at Seattle Center on August 1315, 1971. This event had a total attendance of 125,000 visitors. Amidst the local economic depression triggered by the near collapse of Boeing, the festival attempted to revive local spirits, and was the largest event held in Seattle Center since the 1962 World's Fair. Talk radio host Irving Clark Jr. chaired the fair committee, and avant-garde impresario Anne Focke used one-fifth of that for light shows (which incorporated lasers, still something of a novelty at that time), computer graphics, enormous inflatable soft sculptures by the Land Truth Company, and an electronic jam session. Other events included dance, theater, folk music, arts and crafts, art cars, body painting, a Miss Hot Pants Contest, amateur motorcycle races, and one out-of-town performer: country singer Sheb Wooley.

Seattle Center is a park and arts and entertainment center in Seattle, Washington. The 74-acre (300,000 m2) campus is the site used in 1962 by the Century 21 Exposition. It is located just north of Belltown in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood. Bumbershoot has signed numerous key national sponsors, including Rockstar Energy Drink and Starbucks, whose name was attached to key presentation venues (the "Rockstar Vert Ramp"). The apparent attempt at co-opting media outlets to advertise for the sponsors prompted local newsweekly The Stranger to refer to selected events with their sponsor-attached names redacted. This is despite the fact that The Stranger is also a Bumbershoot sponsor.

As the region's largest single showcase for regional talent, Bumbershoot became a cultural tastemaker. The festival which has become Seattle's longest-lived music and arts festival paved the way for other Seattle-area outdoor events, festivals, and happenings. Many of these, such as the Northwest Folklife Festival that premiered at Seattle Center on Memorial Day weekend nine months after the first Bumbershoot, have become established traditions in their own right.

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