5 New Bands to See at Bumbershoot

Seattle – Labor Day weekend is here, which means summer is drawing to a close. That’s right, the days of spending afternoons by the lake and evenings at an outdoor movie are almost over – but that doesn’t mean we can’t end the season with a bang here in the Pacific Northwest.

This weekend happens to be the nation’s largest arts festival. From August 30 to September 1, Bumbershoot Arts Festival offers a multitude of musical acts, live comedy, visual art and more, beneath Seattle’s iconic Space Needle. Produced by One Reel in collaboration with Seattle Center, the festival was established in 1971.

In its 44th installment, Bumbershoot presents heavyweight acts Wu-Tang Clan, The Replacements, and Elvis Costello alongside more recent favorites like Foster the People, The Head and the Heart, and J. Cole. But the real treats are the up-and-coming acts and local underdogs – and let’s admit it, it’s as much of a rush to see one of your favorite established bands as it is to discover an amazing new artist. Here, we list five artists to see at Bumbershoot – but don’t let it limit you in catching the many other worthwhile performances this weekend.

Danny Brown

Pitchfork - Danny Brown

A mainstay of the festival circuit this year, Detroit-based rapper Danny Brown impressed the crowd at Pitchfork and countless other performances throughout the summer. Since the release of his 2013 album Old and collabs with notable rap artists, the MC has impressed many with his unique blend of “hood” and “hipster,” and his old school yet cutting-edge artistry. Watch him perform on Saturday, 8/30, at 4:30pm at Fisher Green Stage.

Walk the Moon

Walk The Moon

Indie rockers out of Cincinnati, Ohio, Walk the Moon have been around for a few years. Comprised of Nicholas Petricca, Kevin Ray, Sean Waugaman, and Eli Maiman, the quartet has a knack for crafting strong pop tunes with a foundation in art rock and New Wave. You probably recognize their hit track “Anna Sun” (an anthemic summer tune ever since it dropped back in 2012) or their great cover of Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House.” They’ve recently impressed with a string of “Gospel Covers” on their Facebook page – brief clips of song requests submitted by fans, and beautifully arranged with a cappella harmonies (Coldplay’s “Yellow”) or whimsically performed with an acoustic guitar (Simon and Garfunkel’s “At the Zoo”). Since their 2012 eponymous EP, Walk the Moon has plenty of new material to perform at Bumbershoot. Catch them Saturday, 8/30, at 9pm at the Fountain Lawn Stage.

Manatee Commune

Manatee Commune

Electronic artist Grant L’Kayl Eadie, better known as Manatee Commune, already earned his Seattle festival stripes after his hit performance at the Capitol Hill Block Party earlier this summer. Hailing from another Pacific Northwest city, Bellingham, the finalist in this year’s EMP Sound Off! Contest is inspired by the region’s natural landscapes (drizzly forests, wind-knocked oceans, and more) to create lush, atmospheric tunes – perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Catch Manatee Commune on Sunday, 8/31, at 12:15pm on the Pavilion Stage.



Local garage rockers Pickwick caught Seattle’s attention three years ago, and have steadily risen through the ranks of the region’s already impressive music scene thanks to tours supporting Neko Case and Black Joe Lewis. Frontman Galen Disston’s distinctive vocals combined with shimmering guitar, sunny keys, and heavy drums on their 2013 full-length Can’t Talk Medicine have since expanded into including a fuzzy, dark horn section and more as heard on their recent single “Window Sill (Recall),” an impressive glimpse into what will be seen this weekend. Pickwick plays Fisher Green Stage on Sunday, 8/31, at 8:15pm.

San Fermin

San Ferman

Avant-garde outfit San Fermin is the impressive project of Brooklyn composer and songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone. With cinematic instrumentations and powerful choral arrangements, the band’s 2013 debut album was a critic darling, topping many end-of-the-year “Best of” lists. Now an eight-piece, San Fermin will surely put on an exciting, aurally explosive show at Bumbershoot’s End Zone Stage on Sunday, 8/31, at 8:30pm.

For more information on Bumbershoot Arts Festival, and a full schedule, visit http://bumbershoot.org/.

Caitlin Peterkin

Caitlin Peterkin

Caitlin Peterkin is a Seattle transplant fresh from the Midwest. She owes her passion for music to her parents, who filled the house with artists from The Beatles to The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel to Carly Simon, and Jackson Browne to Michael Jackson. One of her favorite memories includes being presented with her mom’s original vinyl copy of Sgt. Pepper when she got her first record player.

With degrees in journalism and music, Caitlin’s written for Paste Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and MajoringinMusic.com. She loves cheese, laughing at GIFs of corgis, road trip sing-alongs, and connecting with people over good beer and good music.
Caitlin Peterkin

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