Festival life in your 40s? It can be done and your adult kids will love you for it. I have a few tips on how to do it, what to wear, and when to call it a night. Bumbershoot 2019 did not disappoint… well, with the small exception that Lizzo had to cancel due to a threatening sinus infection. Celebrities, they’re just like us! They get sick too! Feel better girl!
What to wear…when you’re too old to look like you just came back from Coachella…
“Don’t be afraid to sit in the front row of your life.” – Unknown
“Dress your age, not your shoe size” – AB
Dress comfy and in layers! It’s the Pacific NW people, you just never know! Clear backpacks are a must so you can breeze through security like a professional. Don’t have one? Chances are there will be a sponsor around inside that will make you work for it! (See Pandora Marbling activity next!) Footwear is key. This isn’t the day to break in a new pair of kicks and unless it’s a wedge, forget the heels ladies. Sunscreen. Apply it before, during, and after. (Ok, I’m kidding on the after part, since it will be night time when you leave, but as a cancer survivor, I take my sunscreen very seriously.) Hats are a great way to protect your face at a festival and spend less time worrying about how your hair is holding up. Stay hydrated, and by hydrated I mean drink some water too! Plan for those insta-moments you want to capture and rock at least one signature piece that channels your inner-Coachella.
Where to eat? One word. 5 letters. B-Eats.
B-Eats is one of my main reasons for even going to Bumbershoot. Where else can you get tasty bites from some of the following best restaurants in our city? Who made up this festival food super-hero team for 2019? Radiator Whiskey, White Swan Public House, Matt’s in the Market, Gracia, Bar Harbor, BokBok, Wood Shop BBQ, Adana/Taku, Musang, Southpaw Pizza, Manolin, Frankie & Jo’s, and Wink Doughnuts. Need more choices than that? The Seattle Center Armory Food & Events Hall has even MORE choices! You can check out the full list here. Later in the evening, we made a stop at The Confectional for chocolate dipped soft serve and macarons. (SECRET TIP! KING 5 Konnected will be taking over the Seattle Center Armory Food & Event Hall on Thursday night, April 2nd, 2020. SAVE THE DATE people, it’s going to be an EPIC 3rd annual philanthropic speed dating celebration!)
Next up: Festival Activations!
We walked past the Pandora Body Marbling booth at least twice before we decided to commit to the line. And to be honest, we were really just in it for the clear, iridescent Pandora backpacks they were handing out. (Pro-tip we learned the hard way: you don’t have to do the body marbling to get the bag. You just have to have one person agree to the survey. SORRY DENISE!) Body marbling is a painting process similar to paper marbling, in which paint is floated on water and transferred to a person’s skin. And, at a music festival where the average age is probably 18, Pandora was very clever in selecting this as their tent activation. Will I be using this at a future party I plan? The jury is still out on that one.
The wait was long, but the music was good! (Maybe I do need to listen to Pandora?!?!?) Regrets? Yeah, my friend Denise didn’t enjoy it before, during, or after. As for me and my adult kiddo’s, we’re usually always game to try something crazy. (And by crazy, I asked THREE TIMES to make sure the paint would come off. I had a 60s themed party to attend the next night, and a wedding the day after that. I needed to understand my level of commitment. Body Marbling is NOT henna thank goodness. But it does leave you feeling a little dirty, I’m not gonna lie.)
There were so many other activations I would have loved to have experienced, but you just can’t jam it all in one day. Next year I want to check out “YOGASHOOT” to get my stretch on and the “SILENT DISCO” at Chihuly Garden and Glass to get my groove on. I’ll have to skip the “LASER DOME” because the chances of me taking a “nap” in that experience are pretty high.
“Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it.”Seduced by Innocence” by Kimberly Kinrade
The “ART” of the festival…
Besides the people watching, one of my very favorite things to do at any festival is to just walk around and take photos. I love art of all kinds really, but I especially love “street art” and any kind of off the wall, pop-up experiences that provide a fun photo-opportunity. I’m not a professionally trained photographer and while I do have a very nice, professional camera, I think it’s somewhere buried deep in one of my closets collecting dust on the top of the camera bag on top of a bin full of shoes. Once the upgraded cameras started coming out as a hybrid with our mobile phones (hello portrait mode), I’ve spent more time using my cell phone lens and less time behind a real one. I’ve had a camera in my hand for as long as I can remember. And back in the day, when scrapbooking was a real thing, I took it real serious. Just ask my mom how many color coded storage tubs of photo albums I’ve got stored in their garage of my childhood home. Before Facebook for me, was scrapbooking and the life of my son has been WELL documented and adorned with stickers.
Here is a glimpse at some of my favorite “artsy” moments captured at Bumbershoot this year…
Oh wait, this is a MUSIC festival! Don’t worry, we did some of that too!
This was the first year we almost FORGOT to check out the music performances, because we were so busy doing everything else. I guess that’s why it’s a three day festival, because there really is so much to do and to see. And when you’re in your 40s, like me, you go at your own pace and have learned with age it’s not a race to see and do it all. I’m done with the FOMO (fear of missing out) part of my life and have moved on to what I liked to call the JOMO (joy of missing out) part of this next stage of my life.
With the cancelation of Lizzo last minute, our main reason for going Friday night, we ended up checking out Tyler the Creator. I waived down from the bleachers (aka the old people section) at my adult kiddos, Jakob & Emma down below as they worked their way into “the pit”. It was a good performance and a nice way to end a perfect evening at Bumbershoot Day one. We did also enjoy earlier in the evening, while dining at the B-Eats pop-up, listening to Bryce Vine.
All of this fun and I was still home and in my jammies before midnight. I asked Jakob, my almost 23 year old son, what it’s like to go to a festival “with his mom”. His response “Wouldn’t know, I didn’t really hang around you too much!” Thank you son. I love you too!
See you next year Bumbershoot! Love, @alysseinthecity