Pandemic postpones Seattle’s Bumbershoot music fest for 2nd year

Organizers of the annual Bumbershoot festival are forming an exploratory committee to look at the event’s success over the years and plan for the best future.

A popular music festival will not be returning to Seattle Center this year.

Organizers of Bumbershoot said COVID-19 restrictions will not allow the curtain to rise on the event until at least 2022. As far as what the event may look like, that appears to be unknown.

In a press release Friday, the Seattle Center, along with nonprofit One Reel, announced the formation of what they are calling a “Bumbershoot Exploratory Committee.” This team is expected to look at what has made the event so successful over the years. They hope these details will help as they plan future events.

The release said, “The goal will be to continue the Festival’s heritage as an affordable, multi-disciplinary arts event celebrating regional, national and international arts and entertainment.”

Many business owners in the area have taken a hit during the pandemic. The news of another year without Bumbershoot is not what restaurants owners wanted to hear.

“It will be sad to not have the local tourism and not touch base with customers who might only come once in a while,” said Rodney Werthman, manager of Toulouse Petit Kitchen, a popular eatery in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood.

However, Werthman understands the move, believing it’s for the greater good. “I’m okay with whatever they let us do,” said Werthman, “We are going slow. I think that’s probably the right course of action.”

Organizers said the newly formed committee will seek public input and feedback as they try to find a “sustainable model” for Bumbershoot moving forward. They will then present their findings to leadership at Seattle Center.