Arts Friday on Bumbershoot’s Mind
Venerable Seattle arts festival Bumbershoot has announced it will delete Friday from its Labor Day Weekend extravaganza (it takes place for the 36th time this year September 2-4 at Seattle Center). Friday traditionally has been the weakest day for the fest in both attendance and aesthetics.
On Bumbershoot’s website, festival producer Heather Smith explains the cut from four days to three, “We decided to consolidate every single programming dollar into three days instead of four for maximum impact. We’re trying to achieve a virtual explosion of artistry in the three-day weekend so we can give our audience an amazing experience.ā€¯
An informal poll (and my own opinion) reveals that losing Friday won’t necessarily be a bad thing. B-shoot has been spreading itself too thin with the talent-booking anyway. Condensing the fest to three days will likely result in a higher quality lineup—and lessen fatigue in attendees and festival workers.
However, Bumbershoot slicing a quarter from its schedule could be symptomatic of a deeper problem, maybe even a foreshadowing of impending doom. We’ll be digging to discover if more worrisome fissures exist within the organization than were revealed in the rather innocuous PR statement and will report our findings in next week’s issue.