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“Bumbershoot will return,” organizers say, after AEG pulls out of festival


Bumbershoot has been a long-time Labor Day institution in Seattle, WA, and since its 2015 edition, with AEG Live as lead promoter. Its future is now uncertain, though; as Crosscut reports, AEG has pulled out of its role. AEG Pacific Northwest Vice President Rob Thomas confirmed the news in a statement, saying, “Bumbershoot is a cultural fixture and an important part of our community. We worked tirelessly to come up with a long-term solution to remain involved, but came to the conclusion that we were unable to renew our contract at this juncture. We have had five wonderful years working with One Reel and the city of Seattle on creating some memorable Bumbershoot moments, and we want to thank everyone involved for allowing us to play a part in that.”

The statement also highlighted ongoing financial troubles that led to the split. “Following financial and operational challenges related to the 2014 festival,” it reads, “the City worked with the festival’s appointed producer, One Reel, to create a new business model to sustain Bumbershoot. AEG Presents stepped forward as a producing partner and provided a major financial infusion, saving the 2015 festival and sustaining the annual event for five years.”

Speculation has been rife over whether Bumbershoot would be able to continue without AEG. One Reel released a statement expressing their intention to continue:

You may be wondering if Bumbershoot will be back next year and we are happy to report…
Bumbershoot will return to Seattle Center on Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 4-6, 2020)!

What can you expect?
While the details won’t be announced until early next year, we can tell you this: Everyone at One Reel is excited to usher in a new era for Bumbershoot that embraces the festival’s long legacy of multi- generational programming and community participation.

We are currently working with the City of Seattle and Seattle Center, to create a new model for Bumbershoot that honors both the festival’s origin and history, while ensuring the festival is sustainable for the long haul.

Bumbershoot’s 2019 edition made headlines over a collapsing barricade; four people were taken to the hospital following the collapse.

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