(From Venues Today, September 4, 2013) The Seattle Center recently celebrated the 43rd annual Bumbershoot Festival. This year the center served over seven million fans, the most fans the festival has ever seen in one year. Bumbershoot is put on by One Reel, a company that places intense focus on children. Any child under 11 is allowed free access into the festival if accompanied by a paying adult. The venue offers “Kid Zone” catered by the Seattle Children’s Museum where kids can enjoy presentations, exhibits, and other popular services from the museum. One Reel also maintains a program for donating tickets to the underprivileged. For every ticket bought during their two designated Send-A-Kid weeks, the company will donate one free child’s ticket. A main reason for such emphasis on children is because many festival goers have been attending religiously since their childhood. Bumbershoot sells numerous tickets to these repeat customers and fans who have grown up along with the festival. Many attendees eventually bring with them their own children, passing the tradition down and helping to form a more solid customer base.
The Seattle Center homes a large variety of different venues on its 74 acres, several of which are used by Bumbershoot. The main stage, KeyArena, accommodates the festival’s diverse lineup of artists and bands. This year the stage saw acts such as rap’s famed Kendrick Lamar, heard a little classic rock from Heart, and helped a few local acts get their name out as well. Comedy shows are also present at the festival. Stand-up can be enjoyed at the center’s Cornish Playhouse as well as Bagley Wright Theatre. The dramatic arts are performed at the Center House Theatre while art exhibits are saved for the Fisher and Seattle Center pavilions. Clearly Bumbershoot is certain to make use of the numerous stages and venues at the Center.