Misha Berson’s excellent review notes the sparse Bumbershoot crowds and asks, “Was the record walk-up day-pass price of $70 keeping patrons away?” Well, yes [“Bumbershoot 2014: The Last Word,” SoundPosts, Sept. 1].
Berson also correctly noted that there was nearly nothing there this year for children and no dance performance and that the demographic was largely young adult.
Not that many years ago there was a jazz stage, a world music stage, a folk stage, a classical stage, a R&B stage, a rock stage, a dance stage, a children’s music stage and a coffee house stage for poetry reading and a buskers stage — in addition to a few big-venue headliners.
Most of the performers were from the Northwest. We have a lot of exceptional performers in the Portland to Bellingham, Yakima, Ellensburg corridor. There was a colorful, goofy parade around the International Fountain. It took a staggering amount of organizing but without the cost of a lot of big-name performances, the price of admission was modest and the crowd much more diverse.
Like the Capitol Hill Block Party, Bumbershoot has morphed from a goofy, sprawling, mostly home-grown affair to a big-ticket headliner concert festival. Let’s not pretend that it is as a celebration of the arts and of the end of summer that will draw a much broader demographic. Hating to sound like the geezer that I am, I would like to see Bumbershoot careen back to its roots.
Ron Hammond, Bellevue