Seattle's premier arts and music festival takes over Labor Day weekend with a tour de force of musical acts, visual and literary arts, theatre and dance performances and a film festival. Bumbershoot also hosts a Wells Fargo–sponsored Kids' Pavilion for the little ones, where youth ages 6–12 can participate in hands-on crafts, science experiments and karaoke.
Big-name musical acts, from indie to pop, punk to hip-hop, perform hour-long sets (sometimes longer) on the mainstage, while up-and-comers tear it up on the What's Next Stage. Four other stages feature still more live bands. Headliners for this year's festival include Blondie, Yellowcard, Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest, AFI, Hawthorne Heights, Spoon and the Steve Miller Band.
Comedians, such as Christian Finnegan, Doug Benson and Paul F. Tompkins of VH1's Best Week Ever, perform their best bits, taking to the stage at the Charlotte Martin Theatre and Intiman Theatre. New this year is the 1 Reel Film Festival, supported by the Seattle International Film Festival, featuring more than 110 films and music videos from 13 countries. Another highlight of this year's festival is the Beyond Bollywood program, which looks at multiple facets of South Asian culture through music, literature, art, comedy and film.
The festival, now in its 36th year, also touts a variety of visual art exhibits and installations, as well as hands-on activities. This year, many of the exhibits focus of the idea of "High Tech vs. Home Ec," looking at the paralells and intersections of technology-based art and hand-crafted pieces. Another collection, End of Summer: Three Views of Bumbershoot, features photos of the 2005 edition of Bumbershoot, taken by photographers William Anthony, Bradley Hanson and Ryan Schierling.