Prepare to Festival with Bumbershoot 2012 Pro-Tips
We here at The SunBreak like to live A Life of Pro-Tips. To that end, here are some tips and tricks for how to best get around the festival, new and improved for 2012!
Shawn: My tips from last year are still mostly valid. Nothing besides SIFF is going on in the NW Rooms this year though, since KEXP is supposed to have started the process of moving their studio space over there. Another big change is that the Visual Arts are now in Fisher Pavilion. This is where the poster show Flatstock typically had been [Ed: This year it's at the Armory.]
Josh: As a general tip, the Bumbershoot phone app is ready for downloading. It still doesn’t know about sharing your schedule with friends (or, even better, tracking your friends on the Seattle Center grounds) or figuring out which acts are the most popular among app users, but it’s a start and will still help you on time and aware of the schedule when your newsprint version gets horribly smudged.
Audrey: Pray that the internets situation is better this year.
Josh: The KEXP Music Lounge, where they broadcast from an undisclosed location on the Seattle Center campus, is always a nice escape from the teeming crowds. Unfortunately, this year’s sessions are already full, but you can still buy your way in with a Platinum Pass, which also gets you all sorts of other crowd- and sobriety-defying perks.
Also worth noting: sunlight-averse Bumbershooters may prefer this year’s (separately-ticketed) AfterDark programming by the Decibel Festival, which brings electronic music fans into the Exhibition Hall dungeon into the wee hours.
Audrey: There’s also the Free Yr Radio lineup, with mostly Bumber-acts (but a few local extras!) here for another year at the festival. Which means you can end up with potentially three ways to see a Bumber-buzz band: their stage set, KEXP set, and the Free Yr Radio set. It’s almost an overwhelming number of scheduling options.
MvB: One Reel is putting free water tents all around the grounds, so just bring a refillable water bottle (or two) and save on buying anything at all.
Audrey: Yes, FREE WATER is a pro-tip. Don’t be a chump!
Shawn: They don’t check bags at the main gates, so bring in as much water as you like. I don’t think they even care if it is in view when you walk in. However, the mainstage and most of the indoor venues DO check bags and DON’T allow outside water, so keep that in mind.
If you are hungry/thirsty, sneak out to QFC or Met Market for a reasonably priced sandwich and drink. Or plan ahead and grab stuff before you head into Seattle Center.
Audrey: On campus, your best non-food court bet is POP, especially if you take advantage of happy hour. My biggest Bumber Pro-Tip is MONORAIL to get you to and from Seattle Center in two minutes flat. Labor Day is the only time all year I take that accursed mode of transportation, so I’m glad it’s running late this weekend (till 11:30 p.m.).
Josh: If you insist on taking the bus, you’ll probably have more luck getting a seat if you pick it up in Queen Anne instead of downstream on Denny.
Tony: One interesting (and unpredictable) sidebar thrown into the mix is the extensive work that’s been done on Mercer Street. I’m curious as to what kind of impact all of the re-routing will have on Bumber-traffic in general, and Bumbershoot attendance in particular. Whatever the case, leaving even earlier than usual will be a must for anyone who’s driving or busing in from outside of downtown proper.
Audrey: That’s one more reason why the monorail is my ultimate Bumbershoot Pro Tip! Easy in and easy out!
Katelyn: Stay hydrated, don’t eat pot brownies made by strangers, and know where the nearest restroom is at all times.
Josh: If you’re not rolling through the festival with shiny gold or platinum passes around your neck and care deeply about the comedy lineup, be sure to show up early to get a Comedy Pass. The main stage, now in Key Arena though, doesn’t require a special token as all shows are first-come (up to 90 minutes ahead), first-served.
Dana: The comedy shows are a great way to escape the constant crush of people at the music venues and on the grounds. You get to sit on a comfy chair in an air-conditioned room and laugh your ass off! Be sure to arrive early, as there is always a long line.
MvB: Best bathrooms? I think there are some that end up less “used.” If you get my drift. Generally, those in specific venues, rather than the ones on the main floor of the Center House. There be monsters.
Shawn: Also, the bathrooms in the NW Rooms are usually the least used of the ones you don’t have to wait in a long comedy line to get to.
MvB: Avoid any path lined with food if you’re in a hurry, because you will either wear yourself out playing Red Rover with multiple food lines or end up with a plate of yakisoba on your shirt.
Josh: You’ll want to get a hundred posters at Flatstock; time your purchases so you’re not hauling your merch around all day and starting accidental tube fights during particularly boisterous sets on the Fountain Lawn.
MvB: It’s still summer, so don’t forget some kind of hat and SPF159. If you forget, it would be worth running across the street to Met Market or QFC. You may want to consider buying extra sunscreen and selling it at a huge markup to people turning lobster.
Josh: On the Be Prepared front, get ready for your phone’s battery to fade. Keep a printout of the schedule handy and pick a meeting time and place to find your friends when you inevitably get split up over funnel cakes vs. elephant ears or Skrillex vs. anything other than Skrillex.
MvB: Comfy shoes. Ear plugs.