But in practice, in the Northwest, the term means something else: music, movies, writers, stand-up comedy, TV and more.
The three-day Bumbershoot will again take over 74 acres at the Seattle Center from Saturday through Monday. True to its name, the event will bring together almost all aspects of the arts under its umbrella.
The best way to approach the festival is on a day-by-day basis, especially since some of the biggest attractions don't close out the night -- they happen in the middle of the afternoon.
Highlights start early on the festival's opening day, with an appearance at 1 p.m. from comedians Mike Vecchione and Marc Maron. Vecchione has appeared on Comedy Central, while Maron often tops the iTunes podcast chart with his show, "WTF."
Kendrick Lamar is the first big-name musical act of the festival. The rapper, who plays at 4 p.m., is touring behind his wildly acclaimed debut, "Good Kid, m.A.A.d city," which was named one of the best albums of the year by numerous outlets.
Icona Pop then will get a chance to play its high-energy radio hit, "I Love It," for the masses at 4:30 p.m.
Stand-up comic Patton Oswalt will make his sixth appearance at Bumbershoot at 6 p.m. Oswalt's varied career has found him voicing a Pixar rat in "Ratatouille," and appearing alongside Charlize Theron in "Young Adult."
The night closes down with more music. Indie rock sensation Washed Out takes the stage at 9 p.m. That set will conflict with the evening's de facto headliners, Heart, as the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers play at 9:45 p.m.
Finally, Crystal Castles will play a set of their synth-pop at 10 p.m.
Arguably the festival's biggest day, Sunday has must-see acts almost all day long.
Festivalgoers can ease into the day with a roundtable discussion about Barsuk Records, the famed label that is celebrating its 15th anniversary.
Then they can scamper over to see an actual band, Tegan and Sara, at 2 p.m. The indie rock sister act is touring behind its poppy seventh album, "Heartthrob."
At 3:30 p.m., the chart-topping pop band fun. -- one of the biggest bands of the entire festival -- plays its set. The group, which scored a huge hit with its song "We Are Young," earned six well-deserved Grammy nominations last year.
At 4:30 p.m., Charlie XCX is on deck. The singer, most famous for appearing on Icona Pop's hit single "I Love It," is touring behind her own acclaimed debut album, "True Romance."
If music is wearing thin, people can catch a live taping of Maron's "WTF" podcast at 4:45 p.m., or sit down for a roundtable discussion at 6 p.m. with writers from the acclaimed TV sitcom "Parks and Recreation."
The night closes down with a string of must-see acts, many with competing time slots.
The Breeders, famous for its 1990s hit "Cannonball," play at 8 p.m. The Zombies are also back on the road, with the 1960s British invasion band playing at 8:15 p.m.
Then at 9:45 p.m., multiplatinum indie rockers Death Cab for Cutie will play in its entirety its 2003 breakthrough album, "Transatlanticism," its final album for Barsuk Records. The group, which formed in Bellingham, is sure to get a huge welcome.
The crazed musical energy of Matt and Kim may siphon off some of Death Cab's crowd, however, as the duo play a set at 10 p.m.
The festival winds down with a few more musical acts.
Alt-J, the British rock quartet, plays a set at 2 p.m. The England-based group won the Mercury Prize for its album, "An Awesome Wave," which spawned the radio hit "Breezeblocks."
Then MGMT, best known for penning alt-rock anthems like "Time to Pretend," plays at 3:30 p.m. The duo is prepping its third studio album, a self-titled record that promises to be another trippy outing.
A string of buzzed-about bands closes out the festival that night.
Deerhunter hits the stage at 9 p.m., as it tours behind its acclaimed new rock album, "Monomania." At 9:45 p.m., long-running electronica artist Bassnectar plays a set.
And finally, at 10 p.m., the alt-rock group the Joy Formidable closes out the festival.
See the full schedule and ticket information for Bumbershoot at bumbershoot.org.
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