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Friday, February 10, 2006

Friday on Bumbershoot’s Mind

Posted by on February 10 at 13:12 PM

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.

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I'm glad to hear you'll be digging into it. I'm worried about Bumbershoot's future... I'd like Bumbershoot not to fully become some "Seattle Weekly"-crowd friendly event.

I actually love Bumbershoot Friday (no lines, tiny crowds, and it's the family day), but I agree if it makes more financial and they can book a few more bands from outside the area... If I can catch a band locally, I prefer to do it that way than loose the spot for another abnd I would never have heard of another way.

I get mushy about bumbershoot, so seeing one day ambutated (and that's how it feel like to me) reflexsively brings up conservationist mind-set. Eh, whatever.

Friday is the best Bumbershoot day, by my count. One year I saw the Shins, Quasi and Modest Mouse on Friday. Who can say that's light on talent now? Friday is for the up-and-comers, not the big national draws.

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