Bumbershoot: Welcome to the Jungle

Seattle Weekly’s guide to outfoxing the gnarly terrain of the great Northwest über-fest.

Yeah, yeah—we've heard what you've been saying about Bumbershoot. How you don't want to maneuver through crowds of questionable speed, or wait in line for five hours to see Janeane Garafolo, or be forced to leave at the tail end of the Pacific Northwest Ballet just to catch the Whore Moans. We've heard how you don't want to buy an elephant ear, only to have some fanny-packer bump into you and spill it all over your shirt. And we've heard how you don't like being corralled like moo-cows just because you want a $7 beer.

These are all common Bumbershoot aches 'n' pains; we've had them, too. But trust us when we say that (1) it's not as hard as it seems, and (2) it's the cultural event of the year, so it's worth it. Better yet, this guide you have in your hands is designed to eliminate much of the stress related to Bumbershoot.

As confirmed culture snobs, the Weekly has taken pains to highlight only the best of this years' Bumbershoot. Inside, you'll find features on hip-hop giants, schizophrenic geniuses, '80s pop stars, local filmmakers, installation artists, and people willing to have their diaries read in public. What's more, there's a compelling firsthand account of what it's like to be a spelling bee champ, and a breakdown of food vendors by category. And because the last thing we'd want to see is you wandering into an event we deemed unworthy, we've provided a three-day breakdown of only the best offerings from the world of music, comedy, and art. We've even designed a special Miranda July multiple-choice test, which we encourage you to take while waiting in line to see her (because you will wait in line to see her).

This is the only guide worth carrying around this year, dear Bumbershooter—so fold it up, put it in your back pocket (or your fanny pack, messenger bag, or ecofriendly tote if you must), and hit the pavement. And remember, we're only here to help.

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