Everybody does a preview post for festivals, but I like to do a post-view post as well, after my eyes have recovered from editing a prillion photos and I've had some time to reflect on the three days of the giant annual Seattle music and arts festival, Bumbershoot. I look forward to the fest every year for both the familiar and the novel, and every year has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for me as both a photographer and a gen pop attendee. So, let's set the Way Back Machine for two weeks ago, shall we? I've made a little list, because People Like Lists, you know.


1. The Weather. Thank you, Weather, for not being too rainy on Saturday at all, and then being just about perfect on Sunday and Monday. Super-helpful of you, Bro Nature, and I was really grateful I didn't have to put my clunky Camera Rain Condom on my gear.

2. People Getting Their Grooves On. From the hippies to the kiddies to the Rockin' Grandmas to the metalheads, there were plenty of folks that were not shy about moving to the music. I think that's very nice, and almost all of the groovers seemed to be grooving in their own space and not impinging on the Subtle Groovers, which is very thoughtful.

3. The Mainstage Moving Back To Memorial Stadium: I'm not a big fan of Key Arena for several reasons, so I was quite happy that the big acts were back in the open air. I love the luxury of photographing concerts in the daylight, there was plenty of room on the stadium floor for people to stand, sit, groove (see above), and for kids to run around if they needed to burn off a little energy while Mom and Dad dug Elvis Costello. Downsides were that the barrier was oddly far from the stage and the railing-less, very steep stairs at the Platinum, Gold, and Press entrance. The latter freaked me out so badly whilst carrying all my heavy gear that I actually begged for a stairless way down to the floor, and was very kindly and empathetically escorted by some friendly volunteers.

4. That I Mispronounced The Legendary Festival Strawberries-On-A-Stick Treat "Shiska-Berries" as "Shiksa-Berries," Which They Shall Forever Now Be Known To Me And Maybe Also You. Oy.

5. Everyone. That's right. Every single year I've attended Bumbershoot I have been so impressed with how amazingly well everyone gets along. No one is having drama fits, puking up substances, pushing into people, or other common fest behaviors. Everyone gets along, and that includes the police and the Bumbershoot staff and press members besides the fest fans. One person over the entire long weekend -- one -- was momentarily crappy to me, so I'd say one out of 100,000 is pretty decent, hmm? Bumbershoot works hard at producing a festival that is welcoming, inclusive, and easy to attend, and it shows. Very special thanks to Jessica Kaminski and Jo Juarez!

6. Mac DeMarco at KEXP Bumbershoot Music Lounge. The Music Lounge is the semi-secret little broadcast nook of KEXP radio during the festival and it is a real treat to be able to see musicians perform live on air in such an intimate venue. Goofy and terrifically talented Mac is a fave of mine, and was the perfect beginning to the fest for me.

7. This Guy Watching Sandrider Perform.

8. This Guy Performing In Sandrider.

9. More Parents Protecting Tiny Ears. It may seem to some like overkill at an outdoor fest, but kids' ears are sensitive lil' things, so I love seeing the cans on.

10. Starbucks. Every year, Starbucks gives away thousands of delicious drinks at Bumbershoot with such amazing speed, precision, and cheerfulness that it's kind of mindblowing. If you ever want to learn how to run a business, just spend a few hours watching these guys and girls take on this task. I was so grateful to get my free Iced Latte as fatigue was kicking in hard on Monday that I wanted to kiss them all. I refrained.

11. Adorable Puppies And Kittens! Everyone in the press room went "SQUEE!" when local animal rescue organization Motley Zoo brought over a tiny puppy and even tinier kitten for us to cuddle with. Brilliantly, Motley Zoo brings (with permission, of course) some of their rescued and adoptable animals backstage at shows to have the animals pose with rock stars and other such celebs, which brings attention to the organization in a fun and clever way. Most importantly, it helps gets these animals into good homes fast. I love them. (Photo by Lori Paulson)

12. The Dream Syndicate. Kicked ass, twice in one day. I was simply awestruck by how good they were.

13. The Jini Dellaccio Photography Exhibit. I missed almost all of the spoken word and visual arts events this year at Bumbershoot because of schedule conflicts and for not having vibrant clones of myself, and that's a big bummer. The one I did get to was the one I would not miss for anything. Jini Dellaccio was a pioneering Northwest rock n' roll photographer who died this year at age 97. She was not only an incredibly gifted artist, but an inspirational human being as well. I've met some pretty cool and famous folks in my life, but Jini I think tops that list with ease. If you haven't seen director Karen Whitehead's documentary on Jini's life, Her Aim Is True, you may get it at iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and Google Play! Spread the word!

14. I Survived This Fried Rice. I did have an excellent burger at Skillet inside the Seattle Center Armory, though. There's that.

15. The Heart-Melting Return Of The Replacements. The entire show felt like a rock n' roll triumph of the spirit. It was difficult to photograph, but MAN, I'm glad I hung in there! It was such a joy to be there, in part because it seemed like they were having the time of their lives right along with the crowd.

16. The Camaraderie of My Fellow Press Pals/Photographers. I can say in pre-explanation that it isn't like this everywhere; no, more often than not when you photograph a festival the atmosphere in the pit and the press room can be decidedly chilly and competitive. Instead, at Bumbershoot it's old and new friends having fun, chatting, admiring each other's shots, making way so everyone has room to shoot, acting professionally but not uptight, sharing a bagel, or watching each other's gear if someone needs a break. If someone needs a phone charger or an Advil, it will appear. We like each other, we support each other, and I think we are all mindful of the privilege it is to work at such a marvelous event. I am grateful to be part of the community, and will always try very hard to do work that reflects that. (And super-thanks to photographer Chalkie Davies for surprise encouragement! Wow!)

If you'd like to see just what that work was this year, here come the LINKS! OH YEAH! Also note that all my Flickr set links are embedded in each post, so you can see even MORE photos from each artist!