Seattle Makes Its Mark Festival Scene With a Myriad of Music Festivals – Rolling Stone

Well known for being the birthplace of grunge and home to many successful musicians and groups from a variety of genres, Seattle has established itself within the music space as a cultural hub. Over the last 50 years the city’s growing music festival scene has also made it a must-visit destination for music lovers and festival goers around the world. 

This year brought us the rebirth of one of Seattle’s most iconic music festivals, Bumbershoot, which, after a three year hiatus, returned to Seattle Center to celebrate its 50th anniversary in September. This festival is a celebration of music, art, and everything that makes the creative community in the Pacific Northwest so unique. With a lineup of over 20 musical acts from the area and another 30+ visual and performance artists, Bumbershoot has promoted and amplified different perspectives on what it is to be an artist. The return of the festival over Labor Day this year was a massive success with a huge diversity of vendors and artists that so aptly displayed the cultural tapestry of Seattle. Capitol Hill Block Party, a festival and highlight of the Seattle summer, also returned this year to celebrate its 25th year in July. This festival, set in the heart of Seattle, takes over the streets of Capitol Hill and brings some of the biggest acts in music to its stages. The acts at Capitol Hill Block Party range from alt-pop icons to dance music multi-hyphenates to Seattle-area rappers. The successful legacy of music festivals like Bumbershoot and Capitol Hill Block Party are a testament to Seattle’s wide spread love of music and art, especially when it comes from local talent. 

Last year, Seattle added another music festival to its roster. Cloudbreak is a city-wide live music festival built with visitors in mind. Hosted this year from November 1st through the 22nd, Cloudbreak introduces a new model to music festivals: giving people staying at participating Downtown Seattle hotels free access to select concerts throughout the city. This combination of music and hospitality provides music lovers an innovative new way to attend festivals while exploring a city. Visitors and guests can access a free live music pass by booking a room in a participating Seattle hotel during the festival dates. They can then show their pass and hotel key card at participating venue doors to experience Cloudbreak shows during their hotel stay. A festival model like this one reflects the growing trend of fans and concert-goers being more willing to travel longer distances for live music and performances. Cloudbreak’s success highlights the symbiotic relationship between hospitality and music within cities.

This year’s Cloudbreak festival will include 185 artists, 28 venues, and 71 participating hotels. Headliners include Mudhoney, Jenn Champion, The Fall of Troy, and more. Beyond the heavy hitting music lineup, the festival has also partnered with iconic Seattle institutions to host the performances. Cloudbreak kicks off November 1st at the Seattle’s historic music venue, The Crocodile, with a lineup of Kill Rock Stars & Friends Tour, Ben Hunter & Cameron Lavi-Jones, and Rocky Votolato. Cloudbreak is a highly curated festival that shows off Seattle’s status as a music mecca, celebrates the up-and-coming artists that continue the city’s rich music legacy, and gives visitors the insider’s guide to Seattle music—all for the price of a hotel room. 

Music lovers can flock to Seattle throughout the year for live music and festivals that celebrate the arts and culture of this one of a kind city. Day in, Day Out, another newcomer to the festival roster, runs for two days in August at Fisher Green Pavilion in Seattle Center. Northwest Folklife Festival, in May, focuses on preserving and celebrating folk art and music in the Pacific Northwest. In June, Beyond Wonderland is a music festival that grounds itself in the principles of love, positivity, and inclusivity. 
There is no better way to discover and explore a city than investing your time in local artists and live performances. Seattle makes that easy by offering a myriad of music festivals that cater to any and all musical inclinations, underscoring the rich cultural diversity of the city. Hosting a music festival like Cloudbreak, which is built around visitors, only further exemplifies Seattle’s welcoming and open nature with so much to offer music lovers across the globe.


Shaina Shepherd performs at Cloudbreak 2022

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