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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

September 1, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Bumbershoot 2014: The last word

 

Hurray for the Riff Raff on the Mural Amphitheatre stage at Bumbershoot 2014. Photo by Lindsey Wasson/The Seattle Times.

Hurray for the Riff Raff on the Mural Amphitheatre stage at Bumbershoot 2014. Photo by Lindsey Wasson/The Seattle Times.

Bumbershoot 2014 closed on a sunny note on Monday.

For dozens of photos by Seattle Times photographers from the weekend, click here.

For reviews from opening day, click here.

Video and some social-media moments are here.

And finally, here’s a Monday wrap-up from arts writer Misha Berson:

After a weekend of patchy clouds and intermittent rain showers, Bumbershoot got the weather it was hoping for this Labor Day, the finale of the three-day music and arts festival.

The sun shone brightly, yet temperatures were comfortably mild. From outdoor stages the sounds of psychedelic and country rock wafted on a gentle breeze. But the crowds streaming into Seattle Center were thin, as they were throughout the long weekend.

On Monday afternoon there were fairly short lines at even at the busiest refreshment stands (a Chipotle taco outlet, a personal pizza booth). And it wasn’t a long wait to slip into the most popular performance events, including comedy shows and the afternoon headliner at Memorial Stadium, the band Capital Cities. (The festival issued badges in advance for comedy performances, which helped control the flow.)

A few vendors, like Seattle jewelry maker Camisha Jackson, reported bigger sales than at last year’s Bumbershoot. But the volunteer staff of the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church food booth was more typical, reporting disappointing sales and fewer customers for the long weekend.

One Reel, the nonprofit producer of Bumbershoot, won’t release official attendance figures until later this week.

Was the record walk-up day-pass price of $70 keeping patrons away? The higher parking costs (up to $30 per day, in some nearby lots)?

Perhaps, but Aubrey Bergauer, the senior director of community engagement at One Reel, said the festival’s pre-sale was strong.

And those who bought three-day passes in advance (for $110) got a real deal — and, it turned out, what one attendee called “a mellow and relaxed atmosphere.”

Alex Dent, a South Lake Union resident who has been coming to Bumbershoot since he was a preschooler, said he views his annual pass purchase “as an investment in the arts in Seattle. While the festival has become a lot more expensive, I feel like we’re getting more for our money, with bigger and more popular bands.”

Monday’s daytime lineup was heavy on indie rock acts, numerous with Seattle roots (including Campfire OK, La Luz and Rose Windows). The evening’s schedule included headliners Neon Trees and Foster the People.

The talent seemed mainly aimed at a youngish adult crowd. There was less entertainment geared for children — no circus-style troupes or large play structures, as in the past. Dance companies were also missing in action. There was a smattering of the traditional folk, soul, country and classic pop acts associated with baby boomers.

But as usual, there were some delightful and hard-to-classify discoveries. One was the vibrant DakhaBrakha, a quartet from Kiev who are part of an avant-garde performance troupe. Their native costumes (including towering furry hats) and vigorous melding of Eastern European harmonizing, drumming, birdcalls and accordion exhilarated the audience. “We are from the free Ukraine,” announced one member, as Seattleites in sympathy waved the embattled country’s turquoise and yellow national flag.

Also making a strong impression was Detroit’s Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas. Hernandez is a slip of a thing with a poufy black ’do, a Dolly Parton accent and a powerhouse voice that reminds you of Amy Winehouse one minute and some big-mama New Orleans bluesters the next. Her group includes a growling trombone and some jazz-inflected rockers whose punchy sound could tear down a roadhouse.

 

 

 

 

Comments | More in Festivals | Topics: Bumbershoot 2014

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