In its third year being run by production company AEG, Bumbershoot hits all the right buttons with young fans.
About halfway through the first evening of Bumbershoot, superstar Detroit rapper Big Sean yelled from the main stage, “Seattle knows how to party!” The JumboTron revealed a young crowd donned in cutoff shorts, choker necklaces and tight crop tops, amid a cloud of marijuana smoke. The moment was indicative of what Bumbershoot has become: a red-hot pop-music festival now stoked by a new generation of tastemakers — millennials.
“I love getting introduced to new bands,” said Gisel Espinosa, 24, “and I love to come and see other people’s fashion.”
As the festival has gotten younger, it feels safer and more organized than in years past. It’s Bumbershoot’s third year under production company AEG, and it appears that many of the kinks that perturbed festivalgoers last year — like the long, snaking lines — have been ironed out. Lines moved quickly and without a hitch and security focused on crowd safety in the heat. Security patrolled dense parts of the audience and passed out water bottles to parched listeners.
Most notably, official branded posters that read “Thank you for being you. We love and welcome all genders, all races, all sexual orientations, all faiths, all hugs & high-fives,” were plastered around the KeyArena. This sort of open-mindedness and acceptance has become a totem of the progressive, youth-driven EDM community, and overall a priority in the eyes of millennials.
To that effect, many of Friday and Saturday’s acts were upbeat electronica and rap that reflected that ethos. Rapper Watsky, for instance, enlivened the crowd with the political outspokenness he’s known for during his performance at Fisher Green Stage. “How is it we managed to elect the worst person on the planet?” he said. The crowd responded with shouts and fist pumps.
The twisted South African hip-hop duo Die Antwoord closed out Friday night at Key with “turnt” while audiences grinded against the arena stair rails. Australian DJ Flume more than delivered with his remixes of Lorde’s “Tennis Courts” and Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” as well as a psychedelic light show, complete with fireworks. On Saturday, listeners bounced with the bass-driven beats of…