When Is an umbrella not an umbrella?

Bum-ber-shoot. Noun.

(1) Another name for an umbrella.

(2) An incredible music &arts festival held every Labor Day weekend at Seattle Center.

I have lived in Washington for nearly a decade. In that time, I have attended exactly one day of one Bumbershoot. It was back in 2009, but the memories still live in my soul. I had friends visiting from the Midwest. I left the tickets at home and had to ride the Monorail and two buses home &back, cringing the whole way. We saw Katy Perry, All-American Rejects, Iglu &Hartly, and the Old 97’s. We left when Sheryl Crow came on, partly because she’s from where we’re from and we were inundated with her music ever since she hit it big in 1993. But mostly we left because we were utterly exhausted and didn’t want to miss the late bus back to Snohomish County.

The amount of crazy energy that charges everyone at a music festival is different, to me, than that of just a regular concert. It takes your breath away, keeps fatigue at bay, and gets you excited about almost anything. C’mon! We saw Katy Perry for crying out loud. If we could get excited about her, we knew no one that day could disappoint us.

When Bumbershoot recently announced this year’s music lineup, I knew it was time to hang up my Old Fart Cardigan and put on my Young Punk Tee. I know it’s impossible to see all the acts you want to see at a festival. I know that the comedy tickets (lineup will be announced later this summer) are nearly impossible to score. And I know that before the weekend is over I will be worn out and feeling older than my age suggests I should feel. But it’s so worth it to see, sometimes in very intimate venues, bands that I love and/or respect.

If you’d like to try some bands before the big day(s), here’s a set of tunes from Bumbershoot 2013 artists that you can listen to, for FREE, courtesy of your library.

Are you going? Who are you most excited to see? And the most important question: are we there yet?

Be sure to visit A Reading Life for more reviews and news of all things happening at the Everett Public Library.

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