Bumbershoot offers good tunes, laughs and zombies, oh my

This year’s Bumbershoot to include headliners Death Cab for Cutie, Heart, plus undead mob

Contributing writerAugust 30, 2013 

Most people probably think of Seattle’s Bumbershoot as a music festival. And it certainly is that, with this year’s headliners including Death Cab for Cutie, who’ll play the entirety of 2003’s “Transatlanticism,” and Heart, making its first Bumbershoot appearance.

But the festival also includes a deluge of comedy, film and theater, with a good sprinkling of kids stuff, visual art and even lectures.

This year, the three-day festival also includes a lot of zombies. (And no, this isn’t a snide reference to mindless pop music fans.)

There actually will be two kinds of zombies occupying the Seattle Center this weekend.

One is the 1960s band The Zombies, back from the dead (well, not quite) to play such hits as “Time of the Season” at 8:15 p.m. Sunday on the Starbucks stage.

And the other is the kind that has been making numerous public appearances over the past couple of years – people wearing ragged clothes and most-unflattering makeup dragging themselves around and muttering about the deliciousness of brains.

The festival has thoughtfully scheduled the zombie attacks so festival goers can either watch or try to avoid them. (They’ll happen at 1 and 7 p.m. daily somewhere on the festival grounds.)

The undead will stagger out for their daily constitutional at 10 p.m. and dance in “Thriller” flash mobs set for 4:30 each afternoon. (Isn’t the point of flash mobs to surprise people? Again, though, the Bumbershoot folks aren’t saying where they’ll happen.)

For the analytically minded, there’s even a relevant talk, “Why Board Games? Why Zombies? Why Now?” (2 p.m. Monday on the Words & Ideas stage).

Another unexpected addition to the festival this year is puppet sex. A Muppety couple star in “Audrey & Nelson: A Puppet Sex Musical” (5:15 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday on the Theatre Puget Sound stage).

On her blog, puppet artist Rachel Jackson wrote about rehearsing for the show: “As with any musical, the songs tend to get stuck in my head. Unlike most musicals, I really, really, really shouldn’t sing any of these songs in public.”

While that’s not your children’s puppet show, Bumbershoot’s Youngershoot lineup does offer lots for the kids to do, including interactive activities, films, and plenty of family-friendly shows that parents also will enjoy – including the aforementioned The Zombies. There’s also headliner Fun and Tacoma’s own Vicci Martinez, who’s been singing all over the country since finishing third on the first season of NBC’s “The Voice.”

“I leave a suitcase out all the time,” Martinez told the Tacoma News Tribune last year. “It’s just easier for me to get my clothes.”

Music highlights


2:45 p.m. Joey Bada$$, main stage

4 p.m. Kendrick Lamar, main stage

4:30 p.m. Icona Pop, TuneIn stage

8 p.m. Gary Numan, TuneIn stage

8:30 p.m. Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, main stage

9:45 p.m. Heart, main stage

9:45 p.m. Maceo Parker, Starbucks stage


2 p.m. Tegan and Sara, main stage

3 p.m. The Duke Robillard Band, Starbucks stage

3:30 p.m. Fun, main stage

4:45 p.m. Eric Burdon & The Animals, Starbucks stage

6:15 p.m. Bob Mould, TuneIn stage

8 p.m. The Breeders, TuneIn stage

8:15 p.m. Ra Ra Riot, main stage

8:45 p.m. Beats Antique, fountain lawn stage

9:45 p.m. Death Cab for Cutie, main stage

10 p.m. Vicci Martinez, Starbucks stage


2 p.m. Alt-J, main stage

3:30 p.m. MGMT, main stage

3:30 p.m. Redd Kross, fountain lawn stage

7 p.m. Superchunk, fountain lawn stage

8 p.m. Justin Townes Earle, Starbucks stage

8 p.m. Allen Stone, TuneIn stage

8:15 p.m. GTA, main stage

9:45 p.m. Bassnectar, main stage

9:45 p.m. Trampled by Turtles, Starbucks stage

10 p.m. The Joy Formidable, TuneIn stage Bumbershoot

What: Seattle’s annual festival of music and much more is a Labor Day weekend tradition.

When: 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday

Where: Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle

Tickets: $62 for one day; $30 for seniors, military, veterans and those with disabilities; free for children 10 and younger

information: bumbershoot.org

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