by Randall Cleveland

Ever since we Woot Writers got to Seattle people have encouraged us to take advantage of the bountiful resources at our disposal: we've eaten freshly-thrown fish at Pike Place market, we've been to that room we can't print the name of here at The Copper Gate, and we've clucked our tongues and shaken our heads disapprovingly at all the idiots on those Duck tours. There was one Seattle tradition we had yet to experience, though, so last Saturday I headed out to the 40th annual Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival with little more than a camera, our WootLive Twitter account, my loving wife, and a deep-seated disdain for hipsters... 


Just to be clear, moshing at Bumbershoot is not allowed. That being said, it will happen and if you do it, you do it at your own risk and it's not their fault if you get hurt. But don't do it. Got it? Good.


With acts like "Squonk Opera" on the bill, we weren't terribly worried about catching all the music acts. We mainly stuck to the comedy stages and the vendor tents, where the REAL action was. A man handed me a flier for medical marijuana and asked, "Do you have a qualifying condition?"

"No, but I'm hoping to get one soon," I joked.

"Well I'll get you a doctor who will find one." I wasn't sure if he was promising to help me score a dime bag or threatening me. We moved on.

And avoided these people like the plague.

It's amazing the types of wares people come crawling out of the woodwork to sell at these types of things. We saw everything from strange rainbow-clad women offering "HAIR BODY PAINT:"

"Wait. Are you painting body hair or painting WITH body hair? I've changed my mind either way."

...to 1200-thread-count sheets to socks designed to pimp your nerd cred.

Ironically, the "kosher" socks were made of pork.

There was even a sports bar set up, which makes absolutely no sense unless you're the type of idiot to pay for a concert ticket and then sit inside watching sports the whole time.

"Sure wish someone would turn that music down."

Some vendors knew the demographic better than others.

We even saw what I could only assume was the most poorly-thought-out name in the history of fair food:

"Can I get one wrapped in 2-ply to go? "

Speaking of poor marketing decisions, whoever designed this children's ride probably never figured out why it failed so abysmally.  

clown ride"ANOTHER day with no customers?!"

Ditto for this one, which seemed to blend the thrill of a centrifuge with the challenge of, uh, pole vaulting? I guess? 

"Well to be honest we're not sure what it does, either. But hop on!"

Of course no festival experience is complete without good people watching. Bumbershoot had everything: furries... 

Why would they need to wear shorts?

Guys in funny hats offering free hugs... 

Free Hugs
Story of my life, pal.

and of course, dancing hippies: 




Think you had a better time at Bumbershoot? Got a better festival you think we should cover? Let us know in the comments!