Big Events Happening in Seattle This Year

Break out the calendar 📅

A large crowd of people wave and cheer at the 2023 Capitol Hill Block Party in Capitol Hill, Seattle, Washington.

📸: Capitol Hill Block Party | Eric Tra

2024 is a banner year for big events in Seattle. It’s the 40th anniversary of ZooTunes at Woodland Park Zoo, the 50th anniversaries of Seattle Pride Month, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the Sounders, and the 75th anniversary of the SeaFair Festival. So break out your calendars, put on your party hats, and start reviewing some of these standout Seattle events, concerts, and festivals.

Seattle Pride Month 2024

June 1 – 30

📸: Seattle Pride

A group of friends lounging during a Pride event in Seattle.

📆 All of June

If Seattle is one thing, it’s proud.

As one of the gayest cities in America, the LGBTQ+ community in Seattle is strong and shows out in support of one another. That’s what makes Pride such a special time in the city—everyone is always poised to clackity-clack their fans and down to revel. Pride is all month long in June, but Seattle traditionally celebrates being queer on the last week of the month. This year, June 29th to 30th is Seattle’s 50th Pride. Like every year, Seattle PrideFest will host a big two-day party.

🏳‍🌈 PrideFest Capitol Hill
📆 Saturday, June 29th

⏰ 12 pm – 8 pm
🎟 Free to attend
📍 Broadway, Roy to John + Barbara Bailey Way/AIDS Memorial Pathway, and Cal Anderson Park

ℹ️ Full schedule coming by Memorial Day

On Saturday, the festival takes over Capitol Hill, closing Broadway Ave between E John and E Roy for vendors, food trucks, and performances. I’ve always loved Bait Shop Pride, where some of my favorite drag entertainers lip-sync in the blazing sun on a stage just outside the bar. (The perfect moment for Jello shots.)

🏳‍🌈 PrideFest Seattle Center
📆 Sunday, June 30th

⏰ 12 pm – 8 pm
🎟 Free to attend
📍 Seattle Center

ℹ️ Full schedule coming by Memorial Day

Then, on Sunday, loads of hungover gay people lounge around the PrideFest Seattle Center ground, watching more musical and dance performances or cooling off in the big fountain. It also serves as a landing place for the Seattle Pride Paradewhich takes place earlier that morning with hundreds of groups marching downtown and usually around 300,000 paradegoers cheering on the past, present, and future of the LGBT community.

Though not officially apart of the Seattle Pride organization, Queer/BarRhein HausThe Cuff, and Wildrose all host big festivals and parties, typically just outside their respective bars on Pride weekend. You should also keep an eye on queer-focused clubs like Kremwerk and new-to-the-scene Massive for all your late-night dance music needs. And, of course, there will be tons of one-off Pride events hosted by clubs, bars, and restaurants across the city, not just on Pride weekend but throughout June. Clear your schedule!

🖊 JAS KEIMIG

ZooTunes Concert Series 2024 @ Woodland Park Zoo

June 16 – August 21

📸: Waxahatchee

📆 Sunday, June 16th – Wednesday, August 21st
🎟 Individual tickets available here
📍 Woodland Park Zoo: 5500 Phinney Ave N, Seattle

For 40 yearsWoodland Park Zoo has welcomed fans to a summer concert series on the lawn. ZooTunes is more than a show. It’s a fundraiser for the zoo’s upkeep and its educational and conservation programs like Living Northwest, an effort that works to promote human-wildlife coexistence. (And also to protect endangered species like the Oregon silverspot butterfly. Bet you didn’t realize listening to a band could do all that.)

Shows take place in the zoo’s north meadow. General admission is first-come, first-served festival-style seating. Children two and under are free. ZooTunes often becomes a family affair due to the ability to pack your own food. However, local food trucks are on-site for those who want to splurge. And in true PNW style, all shows are held rain or shine—or heat or smoke! 

Some dates like The RootsViolent Femmes, and Norah Jones have already sold out—but you’re in luck. The following shows still have seats as of March 11th: 

Mother Mother/Cavetown with Destroy Boys
Saturday, June 16th, 2024

The Decemberists 
Wednesday, July 31st, 2024 

Sierra Ferrell with Nick Shoulders
Sunday, August 11th, 2024

The Japanese House with Skullcrusher
Monday, August 12th, 2024

Waxahatchee with Woods
Sunday, August 18th, 2024

Elle King
Thursday, August 21st, 2024

Note: Tickets to ZooTunes do not include zoo admission. To see the critters before the concert, purchase zoo admission separately.

🖊 PATHERESA WELLS

Seafair Festival 2024 @ Gas Works Park, Downtown Seattle, Lake Washington, and More Local Spots

June 29 – August 4

📸: Seafair Festival

Alaska Airlines drill team of flight attendants perform during the annual Torchlight Parade at the Seafair Festival in Seattle, Washington.

📆 Saturday, June 29th – Sunday, August 4th
👀 Festival highlights include:

🏴‍☠️ Seafair Summer 4th (Thursday, July 4th)
🏴‍☠️ Torchlight Parade (Saturday, July 27th)
🏴‍☠️ Seattle Fleet Week (Monday, July 29thSunday, August 4th)
🏴‍☠️ Seafair Weekend Fest (Friday, August 2nd – Sunday, August 4th)
🎟 See the full calendar of events

The biggest summer festival in the area turns 75 this year! While the hydroplane racesBlue Angel demonstrations, and 4th of July fireworks show get the majority of attention, Seattle’s Seafair Festival includes over 40 events that bring together an estimated more than two million people each year.

The Seafair Festival was first organized by a group of businessmen in 1950. Their aim was to showcase Seattle as the “boating capital of the world” and attract tourists. The inaugural festival featured a unique ritual that still thrives today—members of the Washington State Press Club dressed as pirates. These pirates would land and ignite a decommissioned ship with fireworks, a spectacle that marked the beginning of a tradition.

The Seafair Festival will run from June 29th to August 4th this year. A full calendar of events is online, but mark your calendars for these favorites: 

🇺🇸 Seafair 4th Of July @ Gas Works and South Lake Union Parks
📆 Thursday, July 4th
⏰ 3 pm – 11 pm
📍 Gas Works Park: 2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle
📍 South Lake Union Park: 860 Terry Ave N, Seattle
📍 Lake Union
DJs, food trucks, and beer gardens will fill Gas Works Park and South Lake Union Park, along with those looking for spectacular views of the choreographed light show.

🏴‍☠️ Pirates Landing @ Alki Beach Park 
📅 Saturday, July 6th
⏰ 1 pm 
📍 Alki Beach Park: 2665 Alki Ave SW, Seattle
Pirates will raid the beach to steal the key to the city. Who will stop them?? Show up early for the fun and stay around to score some booty. 

🔥 Torchlight Parade @ Downtown Seattle
📅 Saturday, July 27th
⏰ 3 pm – 6 pm
📍 4th Ave
Seafair is home to numerous community festivals, but the Torchlight Parade is where our city’s cultural diversity culminates. Drill teams, dragon dancers, and marching bands will join Seafair Royalty and the Grand Marshals for the procession. Ticket-reserved seating is available. 

🛩️ Seafair Weekend @ Genesee Park and Lake Washington
📆 Friday, August 2nd — Sunday, August 4th 
⏰ 9 am – 5 pm
📍 Genesee Park: 4316 S Genesee St, Seattle
📍 Lake Washington
An airshow, hydroplane races, and the largest boating party (called a “log boom”) are just a fraction of the festivities. Live music, a car show, family-friendly activities, and, of course, food are also on the agenda. 🖊 PATHERESA WELLS

@theticketsea Ahoy sailors and Seattleites, it’s Fleet Week ⚓️ A part of Seafair (@seafairfestival), the Seattle Fleet Week Boeing Maritime Celebration has been held at the waterfront since 1950. What is Fleet Week? It’s when US Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard ships that have been deployed return to dock in major cities for one week. The sailors get a chance to enjoy the city, and they also offer us an opportunity to tour their fleet. Below is a list of some tour dates and times. See a full list by clicking our link in bio 🫡 ⚓️ PIER 46 ⚓️ 🚢 US Navy Ship Tours 🚢
August 3rd, 4th, and 6th: Tours 9:30 am – 3 pm August 5th: Tours 9:30 am – 11 am 🚢 US Coast Guard Ship Tours 🚢
August 4th – 6th: Tours 9:30 am – 3 pm  ⚓️ PIER 62 ⚓️ 🚢 US Coast Guard Ship Tours 🚢
August 1st: Tours in the afternoon ⚓️ PIER 66 ⚓️ 🚢 US Coast Guard Ship Tours 🚢
August 2nd: Tours 9:30 am – 3 pm August 3rd: Tours 9:30 am – 11 am Tours are free and open to the public. On Tuesday, Pier 62 was the place to be for the Parade of Ships and performances by US Navy Band Northwest! Ships featured were the USS Barry, HMCS Yellowknife, and HMCS Edmonton. 🖊️ @patheresa_ #theticket #fleetweekseattle #seafair ♬ original sound – TheTicketSeattle

SAM Remix 2024 @ Seattle Art Museum

Summer date TBA

📸: SAM Remix

A cover image for SAM Remix

📆 Next date TBA
👀 Keep an eye on this page

Ever wanted to gossip under an Alexander Calder mobile? Take a dramatic turn around the Porcelain room? Swirl spirits in front of a Christ child? Smooch surreptitiously underneath Jaume Plensa’s disconcerting Echo?

Seattle Art Museum’s SAM Remix series is your best bet to engage with the museum’s extensive art collection after dark. Once every quarter, SAM opens its doors at either its downtown location or Olympic Sculpture Park for an evening of music, art, dancing, and partying with whatever besties you bring in tow. SAM started the party back in 2008 to invite local artists and musicians to collaborate on a one-evening-only nighttime event in what they call their “love letter to Seattle.” The night often incorporates the themes and images found in SAM’s temporary and permanent exhibitions, like at the March 2024 Remix when Maiden Voyage curated a high-fidelity listening experience based on works in American Art: The Stories We Carry. We love a bespoke evening of merriment! 

A tip—buy your tickets AS SOON AS THEY DROP. SAM Remix usually sells out pretty quickly, so tickets are a hot commodity. While museums are places for all-ages fun, this event in particular is 21+ so be sure to hire a babysitter. Also remember: no touching the art and be respectful of those around you. Now remix away!

🖊 JAS KEIMIG

Downtown Summer Sounds 2024 @ Westlake Park and More Seattle Locations

Summer dates TBA

📸: UMI | Photo by Adam Kubota

Seattle singer UMI throws flowers to a crowd in Westlake Park during Downtown Summer Sounds 2023 in Seattle, Washington.

📆 Dates to be announced across July and September, 2024
🎟 Free to attend
📍 Previous venues have included
Westlake Park, City Hall Park, City Hall Plaza, Occidental Square, Freeway Park, and more downtown Seattle venues

Last year, a few days after the fourth of July, Seattle sensation UMI drew a massive crowd to Westlake Park to kick off the Downtown Summer Sounds series. Attendees got to catch the R&B songstress, known to hold sound bath sessions and text fans daily affirmations, shortly after her first Coachella performance. 

Organized and produced by the Downtown Seattle Association, the series brings free live music from local performers to numerous outdoor venues from July through September. In 2023, an estimated 17,000 people enjoyed the over 40 performances popping up in places like City Hall Plaza, Occidental Square, and Lake Union Park. 

The 2024 lineup will be announced soon, but anticipate rock reverberating through the streets, with funk facilitating a carefree summer vibe. Previous performers include jazz from Chief Ahamefule J. Oluo and The Shrine All-Star Band, sweet and sour punk trio Lemon Boy, and Americana group Massy Ferguson. Stay tuned to the Downtown Summer Sounds Instagram for this year’s full lineup. 

🖊️ PATHERESA WELLS

Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire 2024 @ Sky Meadows Lane (Snohomish)

July 19 – August 18

📸: Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire

A group of people celebrate at the Ren Faire in Washington

📆 July 19th–21st, 26th–28th, August 2nd–4th, 9th–11th, and 16th–18th
📍 18601 Sky Meadows Lane, Snohomish

Hear ye, hear ye! Prepare thy lance and don thy chainmail—the Renaissance Faire hath arrived in our midst.

The Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire is back and celebrating its 14th season in all its 15th- and 16th-century glory. Throughout July and August, the town of Merriwick will be abuzz with as many faeries, fire eaters, and turkey legs as our hearts desire. Though organizers are still firming up details, revelers can expect a merchant market (filled with handcrafted splendors like leather goods, perfumes, jewelry, and the like), era-appropriate pubs for those who are 21+, tons of food as well as entertainment in the form of jousting, axe throwing, and comedy sets. Just like ye olden times!

This year, the faire has expanded from three weekends to five, upping your dose of Renaissance by 60%. Moreover, this edition’s themes are manifold and fun:

  • Weekend 1: A Magical Midsummer – an enthusiastic beginning!
  • Weekend 2: Pirates’ Plunder: A High Seas Adventure – a throwback to the golden age of piracy
  • Weekend 3: Choose Your Alliance: Villain or Hero? – come dressed as your favorite hero or villain from comic books, anime, movies, sci-fi, etc. 
  • Weekend 4: Warriors of the Wild: Swords & Shields – an homage to Viking and Barbarian warriors
  • Weekend 5: Mystical Realms: A Fantastical Finale – faeries, wizards, and gnomes will be afoot!

Your own take on Renaissance attire is encouraged, so roll through donning your best bustier and elf ears. You may spot Queen Elizabeth I herself!

🖊 JAS KEIMIG

Capitol Hill Block Party 2024

July 19 – 21

📸: CHBP

A preview image for the Capitol Hill Block Party 2024, featuring a large crowd in 2023.

📆 Friday, July 19th – Sunday, July 21st
🎟 Presale passes available
🎶 UPDATE 3/5: Kaytranada, Kim Petras, Still Woozy and more performing this summer

Nothing says summer in Seattle like the Capitol Hill Block Party (CHBP). 

For one weekend every July, the three-day music festival takes over four blocks in the Pike/Pine Corridor on Capitol Hill. It brings some of the hottest names, locally and globally, to perform for crowds of sweaty, enthusiastic concertgoers. You haven’t seen anything until you’ve watched Charli XCX perform “Vroom” right next to the 79 on Pine, Yves Tumor slink around the outdoor Vera Stage, or raucous Tacoma band Enumclaw chuck CD cases at the crowd. 

Capitol Hill Block Party 2024 Lineup 🎵

Kaytranada • Kim Petras • Still Woozy • Cannons • Elderbrook • Chappell Roan • Girl Talk • Becky Hill • COBRAH • The Beaches • Mindchatter • Slow Pulp • Flyana Boss • Joey Valence & Brae • Vandelux • Show Me The Body • Tkay Maidza • BUNT. • Dreamer Isioma • Late Night Drive Home • Corook • Annie DiRusso • Vansire • Alice Longyu Gao • METTE • Frost Children • Maeta • Nourished by Time • Fiji Blue • Carol Ades • chokecherry • THEM • Akira Galaxy • Cherry Ferrari • LIVt • Princess Pulpit • Oblé Reed • TeZATalks • Juliette • King Sheim • Jaiden Grayson • The Rayes • Tinsley • Anna Thompson • Linda From Work • Aryana León • Jaywop • Instant Crush • Zookraught • Nobi and the Force • Seiichi • Lovely Colours • Balcony Bridge • mold mom • Dark Chisme • Camille • swamp wife • Fleetwood Snack • Terra Nobody • Jaymyloni • Power Strip • Blksknn • Jna • Warren Dunes • Saint Deon • FCON • Caspian Coberly • sister swimmer 

CHBP’s roots go back to 1997 when Jen Gapay organized a free one-day event on the Hill with five bands, a couple of DJs, and a small stage on 10th and Union. In the 26 years since, the festival’s footprint has expanded to encompass several venues in the area, bringing in big-name talents like Lizzo and Diplo. And it’s certainly no longer free. However, CHBP is a good opportunity to see an eclectic mix of popular, upcoming national acts alongside Seattle musicians on big stages. 

This year, the block party goes down from July 19th to 21st. While specifics are still yet to be announced, CHBP typically has close to 10 stages to check out: a main stage near Broadway, the Vera Stage on 11th and Union, the entire Neumos complex, Cha Cha Lounge, Vermillion, Cafe Racer, Wild Rose, and activations in Chophouse Row. The block party is for all ages, but there are beer gardens and 21+ venues for those who want some distance from teeny-boppers stanning Dominic Fike. And, of course, there’ll be a food court to satisfy your dietary needs. 

If you check out CHBP, I have two pieces of advice: wear sunscreen and stay hydrated. Thank me later!

🖊 JAS KEIMIG

Bite of Seattle 2024 @ Seattle Center

July 19 – 21

📸: Bite of Seattle

A large crowd sits on the Seattle Center's lawn during the annual Bite of Seattle food festival in Seattle, Washington.

📆 Friday, July 19th – Sunday, July 21st
⏰ Friday + Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm | Sunday: 10 am – 8 pm
🎟 Free to attend
📍 Seattle Center: 305 Harrison St, Seattle

Each year, Seattle-area foodies unite for a fest on the Seattle Center’s lawns. Now one of the oldest culinary events in Seattle, Bite of Seattle (also known as “The Bite”) dates back to 1982 when the owner of the local restaurant Barnaby’s came up with the idea. The event allows attendees to enjoy an assortment of cooking in one location. While munching, they can also visit the fest’s arts and crafts market to grab local handmade goods. Then, score a spot on the lawn for some live music. 

In the over 40 years since its start, Bite of Seattle reports that it’s grown from an estimated 75,000 visitors to a high point of around 425,000. The family-friendly event, this year under new management by FoodieLand, is free to enter—and with over 250+ vendors, you might want to do a lap to see all the options before you get in line. According to Seattle Center, which partners with FoodieLand to put on the event, this year the fest will reintroduce sample-sized portions, cooking demos, and more:

“Moving forward, attendees can expect an expanded selection of vendors and the return of in-person cash and card payments—no app to download or digital-only platform. Further reintroductions include sample-sized portions at an affordable price range and cherished pre-pandemic traditions and activities: cooking demos by professional chefs, cook-off competitions, and The Alley’s experience—a featured festival activity where attendees can purchase a fixed sampler plate of multiple bites from various vendors for one flat fee.”

You can find a complete listing of vendors online, but if you want to get your tastebuds wet, here are a few I’ve got my eyes on 👀 

🐔 Theary Cambodian Foods: Grab a Khmer beef screwer, chicken/beef meatballs, coconut chicken wings, or pretty much anything else they have.

🥧 Kaleenka Piroshky: These yummy stuffed pies are full of savory flavor.

🫕 Raclette Cheese House: Cheese + prosciutto + crossaint = enough said. 

🍉 Sugar Mama Sugarcane: Fresh squeezed sugar cane juice, watermelon, pineapple, even hibiscus. 

🌮 Birrieria Michi: Grab birria tacos, fries, quesadillas, and/or ramen. 

🖊 PATHERESA WELLS

Seattle Art Fair 2024 @ Lumen Field

July 25 – 28

📸: Seattle Art Fair

📆 Thursday, July 25th – Sunday, July 28th
📍 Lumen Field Event Center: 800 Occidental Ave S, Seattle
📍 More locations TBA

👀 More here

Since its inception in 2015, the Seattle Art Fair has become a summer staple for the art-hungry.

For four days every year, several dozen galleries from around the world bring the best work for curious and discerning Seattleites to take in and admire. The 2024 edition of Seattle Art Fair returns to the Lumen Field Event Center from Thursday, July 25th to Sunday, July 28th, with Nato Thompson serving again as the art fair’s artistic director. While the official list of participants has yet to be released, typically you can expect to sip wine while getting lost in the maze of gallery booths featuring local, national, and international galleries

Last year, I crossed a whole ocean in minutes. After I stumbled on (and took a million photos of) Ross Bonfanti’s cute and bizarre concrete teddy bears at London’s Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery booth, I took in Emily Count’s serene porcelain moth sculptures at Seattle’s studio e booth. Those are the kind of fun, unexpected discoveries and connections you can make at the fair, even if you have no intention of buying anything. Every Seattle Art Fair includes special programming—everything from featured artist talks to site-specific installations. In 2023, art fairgoers could watch Tariqa Waters do a live presentation of her “Thank You, MS PAM” talk show, gawk at Marita Dingus’ large-scale doll sculptures, and touch grass with Eunsun Choi’s tactile LED installation. 

The fun continues beyond the art fair itself. Galleries around town host satellite events during the days and evenings. Places like Forest for the Trees at Railspur and Nii Modo Gallery often put on big group shows for those still on an art-seeing high. 

Keep your eyes peeled—there’s a lot to see! We’ll keep updating this post as organizers reveal more information.

🖊 JAS KEIMIG

Lowrider Block Party 2024 @ Nepantla Cultural Art Gallery

August

📸: Nepantla stickers

A collection of stickers available at Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery

Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery was started in 2018 to provide a space focused on Chicana/o Latinx artwork. As the only art gallery in the Seattle area devoted to this artistic legacy, it’s become a staple since its opening in White Center, a diverse neighborhood sandwiched between the Duwamish River and Puget Sound. Also known as Rat City, this unincorporated part of King County lacks some of Seattle’s regulations and rules. It’s also become a Seattle hot spot for nightlife, food, and art.

In 2021, Nepantla owners Jake Prendez and Judy Avitia-Gonzalez brought the community the Lowrider Block Party, a now-annual event that celebrates lowrider art, music, and culture. For its 4th year, Nepantla will transform the streets with hydraulics, heritage, and harmony. It’s usually in August, although Nepantla has yet to announce the festival’s date for 2024 as of this post’s publishing. 

Expect to grab coffee sweetened with piloncillo, listen to Mexican rap music, and eat yummy Peruvian Street food. Each year, the block party opens an accompanying art exhibit of the same name. Though speaking of exhibits, you can stop by Nepantla all year long and see art, like the Lucha Libre Art Show (March 2nd–April 21st), where you can score a sweet luchador mask in the gift shop.

🖊 PATHERESA WELLS

PAX West 2024

August 30 – September 2

📸: PAX West

A group of people play a table top game at PAX West in Seattle, WA

📆 Labor Day Weekend 2024: Friday, August 30th – Monday, September 2nd
📍 Seattle Convention Center: 900 Pine St
+ 705 Pike St, Seattle
👀 Sign up for PAX’s newsletter for breaking event news

The countdown to PAX West 2024 is on. 🎮 

The annual gaming festival returns to Seattle for the Labor Day weekend, from August 30th to September 2nd, 2024. Expect this one to be massive—the con is turning 20! Born from the humble origins of the Penny Arcade Expo, PAX came to life in 2004 as a gaming industry-specific show. It’s a beast that’s grown as large as any video game boss. Catering to all sorts of gamers, from consoles to tabletop to VR, the festival includes numerous components such as free play, tournaments, a “Bring Your Own Computer” (BYOC) party, panels, an exhibit hall with merch—and, famously, the Omegathon, a mega tournament featuring games of all platforms and genres.

Last year, PAX brought Nintendo Live to Seattle, the first time the Nintendo-focused convention was held outside of Japan. For this double-decade birthday party, expect surprises and celebrations. And speaking of celebrations, PAX has had more than its share during its history, including many wedding proposals—like the Halo one or this somehow cute and cringe Pokemon proposal. This year, expect an anniversary as epic as any RPG game. 2024 PAX badges started being on sale this May. Badges will get you access to almost all content. Unlike many other nerdy cons, there are no added fees for panels, autograph sessions, demos, and workshops.

New this year: For the first time, PAX West will offer single-day badge bundles, allowing you to get multiple single-day badges at a discounted price. Make sure to get them before June 20th or they’re sold out.

Sign up for PAX’s newsletter for updates. 

How much are PAX West 2024 badges?

🎫 4-Day Badge: $250
🎫 Friday Badge: $66
🎫 Saturday Badge: $66

🎫 Sunday Badge: $66
🎫 Monday Badge: $66

Purchase badges here

🖊 PATHERESA WELLS

Washington State Fair 2024

August 30 – September 22

📸: Foreigner | Coming to the Washington State Fair 2024

A lead performer for the band Foreigner raises a fist in the air in this promotional image for the Washington State Fair 2024

📆 Friday, August 30th – Sunday, September 22nd

Doing the Puyallup” is an annual tradition for many Washingtonians. Whether you go for the scones, elephant ears, or rides like the Xtreme Scream, the fair is full of PNW flavor. Not only does it let us ride a culinary roller coaster with all of its good food, but there are also all the attractions, from the fair’s well-known concert series to a new “udderly amazing” birthing exhibit. For 2024, the Washington State Fair returns from August 30th to September 22nd at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. 

Though the fair is still far away, its Umpqua Bank Concert Series just announced two live performances. First, catch Foreigner for the band’s farewell tour, then hear country singer-songwriter Thomas Rhett. Tickets for those concerts are on sale now. In addition to the paid concert series, the fair has numerous stages featuring free entertainment—everything from comedy to juggling, plus local bands. And don’t forget the fair’s hobby hall, fair farm, and rodeo. As always, there’s a fireworks show each night at 10 pm. 

Tickets are cheaper if you buy in advance online. Each year, select days are free to enter (usually with a donation of nonperishable food for the food bank or school supplies). There are also Military Mondays and a Free Kids Weekend. For those who love rides, grab the Xfinity Dizzy Pass for unlimited rides

🖊 PATHERESA WELLS

Bumbershoot 2024 @ Seattle Center

August 31 – September 1

📸: Bumbershoot

📅 Saturday, August 31st – Sunday, September 1st
📍 Seattle Center: 305 Harrison St, Seattle
🎟 $70–$350
👀 Tickets available here

🫠🤌🏻💗 NEW! Bumbershoot releases its 2024 music lineup

The Full 2024 Bumbershoot Music Lineup

Acid Tongue, All Them Witches, Aly & AJ, Angélica Garcia, Automatic, BADBADNOTGOOD, Balthvs, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Carl Cox, Corridor, Courtney Barnett, Cunningham / Bird, Cypress Hill, Dean Johnson, Disq, Emi Pop, Flesh Produce, Freddie Gibbs, George Clanton, Gold Chisme, Grynch, Helado Negro, Hurray for the Riff Raff, I Dont Know How But They Found Me, James Blake, k.flay, Kassa Overall, Kim Gordon, King Buffalo, Kultur Shock, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Ladytron, Lauren Mayberry, Lee Fields, Lemon Boy, Linda from Work, Lol Tolhurst x Budgie, Marc Rebillet, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Mercury Rev, Moor Mother, NAVVI, Neal Francis, Oh, Rose, Parisalexa, Pavement, Pink Siifu, Pom Pom Squad, Psymon Spine, Pure Bathing Culture, R E P O S A D O, Rocket, Spoon Benders, Squirrel Flower, St Paul and the Broken Bones, Stephanie Anne Johnson, Sux, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, TEKE::TEKE, The Divorce, The Groovy Nobody, The Polyphonic Spree, Thee Sacred Souls, TK & The Holy Know-Nothings, Tres Leches, Warren Dunes.

Seattle summer feels like Seattle summer again now that Bumbershoot is back in action. After a three-year hiatus, the Bumbershoot Arts & Music Festival took over Seattle Center with force for its 50th anniversary last year, attracting an estimated 40,000 people to the grounds to revel in music, art, fashion, and wrestling.  

Over Labor Day weekend this year, Bumbershoot will again sprawl across the many lawns of Seattle Center from Saturday, August 31st, to Sunday, September 1st. Organizers New Rising Sun and Third Stone have dropped the festival’s music and arts lineups—and they’re pretty stacked

The 2024 Bumbershoot arts experience, which happens throughout the Seattle Center during Bumbershoot weekend, is split up into many “districts.” A few of them:

  • Fashion District with catwalks and marketplaces
  • Wrestling and skateboard competitions located in a Recess District
  • A large-scale contemporary Pacific Northwest-focused art show courtesy of Out of Sight at the Fisher Pavilion
  • A DIY music photography show called If You Know You Know at ANT Gallery
  • A popular Cat Circus (IYKYK)
  • A new Comedy Dome curated by Dan Hurwitz

New this year is an Animation District held at Cornish Playhouse, where Bumbershoot will host an international competition to see who can make the best Bigfoot deepfake. (Full details here.)

Pacific Science Center will house a Century 21 District, replete with a large-scale sculpture show in the main courtyard and an exhibition—done in partnership with NASA—of James Webb Space Telescope images in the IMAX theater, shown alongside live vocalists singing gospel, opera, and Gregorian chants. Mosey over to SIFF to check out Exceptionally Underrated, a Bumbershoot TV competition where local musicians will screen their original music videos for a $5000 prize. And keep your eyes peeled for “free-range” artists doing contemporary performance art or Lion Dances around the festival grounds. 

Tickets are available now. Prices will increase on June 21st. 

🎟 Saturday GA (Tier 2): $70
🎟 Sunday GA (Tier 2): $70
🎟 2-Day General Admission: $125
🎟 Deluxe GA Weekend Pass (21+): $350

🖊 JAS KEIMIG

Freakout Festival 2024

November 7 – 10

📸: Freakout

A colored background with reds and blues that acts as a promotional image for Freakout Festival

📆 Thursday, November 7th — Sunday, November 10th

Every November, a suspicious amount of people with cool wolf haircuts and fat silver rings congregate in dark bars around Ballard to listen to acts from around the world as they shred guitars and scream into mics while gloopy blobs of color project onto them. It’s psychedelic. It’s fun. It’s so Seattle.

I’m talking about Freakout Festival, an annual music fest that celebrates all things punk, rock, and psychedelia. Started in 2013 by musician Guy Keltner, Freakout has nurtured a community of freaks who like to get down to all manners of music while Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show projects sick visuals onstage. There’s always local talent on display, with bands like Monsterwatch and Biblioteka regularly playing, but the festival also brings in national and international acts like No AgeAllah-Las, and Os Mutantes. There’s a strong connection with the Latin American punk underground, with bands like Margaritas PodridasCarrion Kids, and Sgt. Papers gracing Freakout stages. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of many bands on the lineup—half the fun is discovering groups you might not have gotten the chance to see otherwise. 

At every festival, dozens of bands usually spread across venues like Sunset TavernTractor TavernThe Salmon Bay Eagles, and Caffe Umbria in Ballard over three days. This year, Freakout Fest runs from November 7th to 10th, and while it will still focus on Ballard, they have plans to expand the debauchery into Fremont at Nectar Lounge and High Dive. The official lineup is still on the way, but expect their specific brand of local, Latin American, European, and national acts to play the fest. 

🖊 JAS KEIMIG

@theticketsea

🧪 Mad Alchemy from the Mad Alchemist 💧 If you were at Freakout Festival over the past weekend you couldn’t have missed the liquid light show at the Salmon Bay Hi stage. The guy behind it is Lance Gordon, who started mixing glass plates, ink, oil dye, and light when he was 17. We asked the Mad Alchemist about his techniques and how his analog show has evolved over the years.  Having worked with many of Freakout’s bands before, Lance said Friday night’s show was something of a “new-psych reunion” and “a great rock and roll night” as he lit up the Allah-Las, Death Valley Girls, The Shivas, and Night Beats, among others. He’s worked with Freakout for around eight years and done both Ballard’s Freakout Festival and Freakout Weekender at the Crocodile. “Seattle’s very lucky to have them,” he said of Freakout’s organizers, giving a special shout-out to Acid Tongue frontman Guy Keltner for his role in curating the festival’s lineup, saying, “He did a great job.” Then adding: “His band sounded great too.” 🎶: Allah-Las and @Acid Tongue #madalchemyliquidlightshow #freakoutfestival #seattlemusic

♬ original sound – TheTicketSeattle

Miracle on 2nd @ Rob Roy Seattle

November – December

📸: Miracle on 2nd

Christmas drinks featured at the Seattle bar Rob Roy

Right on the corner of Battery Street and 2nd Avenue is a miracle—the Miracle on 2nd

At least… for the last month or so of the year. 

Every year, usually starting in November, the vaunted and swanky Rob Roy ceases to be a James Beard-nominated cocktail bar and turns into Miracle on 2nd, Christmas cocktail bar. Replete with kitschy decor and red velvet out the wazoo, it’s the perfect setting for adults who want some Christmas cheer and a strong drink. The bartenders all don holiday-appropriate attire, and they’ve even been known to host ugly sweater parties and seminars on how to make tasty holiday drinks that don’t suck.

Initially started as a part of an NYC-based cocktail pop-up franchise nearly ten years before the pandemic, Belltown’s Miracle on 2nd is now a beloved Christmas tradition here in Seattle. While the exact menu changes from year to year, past Miracle on 2nd selections included:

🎅 The Christmaspolitan (vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, lime, rosemary, and absinthe mist)

🔔 The Jingle Balls Nog (cognac, sherry, almond milk, cream, egg, vanilla, and nutmeg)

🎁 The Christmas Cricket (blanco tequila, vanilla liqueur, minty amaro, coco pandan, cream, mole bitters, and dark chocolate)

Knock back a couple Christmaspolitans and you’ll be ho, ho, ho-ing on your merry way home!

🖊️ JAS KEIMIG

🎟️ Too late! You missed it!

All of the events below have already passed, but it’s never too early to start planning for next year.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 2024 @ Skagit County

April 1 – 30

📸: Zeiss4Me

These migrant workers were hard at work harvesting the flowers in the beautiful tulip fields. It was an overcast and somewhat gloomy day but the brilliant flowers made up for the weather.

📅 Monday, April 1st – Tuesday, April 30th
📍 Locations around Skagit County and Mount Vernon, Washington | Find a brochure here
🎟 Tickets start at $13 | Find tickets and farms here

There’s an unwritten list of attractions that define being an Emerald City local. It starts with the typical tourist haunts: the Space NeedlePike Place MarketKerry Park, and the Fremont Troll. Then, it expands outside the city. Doing the PuyallupBavarian-ing it up in Leavenworthmaking a trip to Mt. Rainier, and, of course, finding all the ways to soak up every second of spring and summer. To help with that last mission, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival has given locals 41 years of flower fascination. 

When do the tulips bloom at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in April 2024? 🌷 

That’s up to Mother Nature. Check the official “Bloom Status” tracker to find out when she will paint the landscape with a pallet of petals.
 
Thursday, April 11th: 
Welcome to the festival! We’re seeing “full bloom” out there!

Held for the entirety of April, the event is the right spot for a planned or impromptu photo op. It incorporates more than buds with breweries, restaurants, and farms—like this alpaca farm or the art in the pickle barn exhibit at Schuh Farms. The festival is free, but you’ll need a ticket to enter the gardens. Each of the four tulip fields offers distinct experiences, ranging from different tulip varieties, acreage, and even one that offers U-Pick. 

Numerous events are available all month, including the tulip parade (April 6th), the annual photo contest, English tea at Willowbrook Manor, the Kiwanis salmon barbecue, and the downtown Mount Vernon street fair. Visitors can find a full schedule of events online

🖊 PATHERESA WELLS

Seattle International Film Festival 2024

May 9 – 19

📸: Adam Kubota

The exterior of SIFF Cinema Downtown, formerly known as Cinerama.

📆 In theaters: Thursday, May 9th – Sunday, May 19th
🖥️ Online: Monday, May 20th – Monday, May 27th

2024 is a big year for the Seattle International Film Festival. It’s turning the big 5-0

For the past half-century, the film festival has brought Seattle audiences boundary-pushing feature-length movies, shorts, and secret screenings from around the world. (Full disclosure: I served on their Ibero-American jury last year.) SIFF’s history is mythical—they premiered Ridley Scott’s Alien back in 1979, served as Dutch director Paul Verhoeven’s American launching pad, and supported films from Seattle directors like Lynn Shelton and Megan Griffith. (For more history, read this feature from Gemma Wilson at the Seattle Times.)

Although SIFF had to shrink its length and screening schedule, last year’s festival saw a bump in in-person attendance, suggesting people are hungry for IRL movie experiences. Last year, I saw Ira Sach’s chaotically European bisexual drama Passages at SIFF Egyptian. I immediately hopped on a Lime bike to check out the fest’s Pacific Northwest shorts screening at SIFF Uptown. Both were just too good to miss! 

Running in-person from May 9th to 19th this year, SIFF is going all out with their 50th birthday celebrations. The party kicks off on Thursday, May 9th, at the Paramount Theatre, where they’ll be screening Thelma, hosting a tribute for the film’s star June Squibb, and hosting a night of food, drinks, and dancing. Throughout the ten days of IRL SIFF, you can catch director Harmony Korine’s freaky, retina-burning AGGRO DR1FT at SIFF Cinema Downtown or check out experimental horror film I Saw the TV Glow and chat with director Jane Schoenbrun after. The fest’s festivities end with a screening of Greg Kwedar’s luminous drama about a group of imprisoned actors putting on a play, Sing Sing, before a closing night fête at MOHAI. 

Get your planner and look carefully over SIFF’s schedule. There’s lots to see. We recommend:

🥂 Thelma + Opening Night
🌎 Janet Planet
📺 I Saw the TV Glow
🌳 Good One
♦️ Red Rooms
🦉 Porcelain War
🐅 Tiger Stripes
😣 Stress Positions
🖥️ So Unreal
📦 The Box Man
🔫 AGGRO DR1FT
🏆 A Conversation + Screening with Jean Smart
🛹 Dìdi (弟弟)
🎭 Sing Sing

🖊 JAS KEIMIG

Northwest Folklife Festival 2024

May 24 – 27

📸: Raven Juarez and Eli Lara

The poster for the Folklife Festival created by Raven Juarez and Eli Lara, depicting illustrated people dancing around the Seattle Center.

📆 Friday, May 24th – Monday, May 27th

Northwest Folklife is a Seattle tradition that spans more than five decades. The 53rd iteration of the yearly event takes place May 24th to 27th at the Seattle Center. (And streaming online!) For those new around here, the festival celebrates the arts, cultures, and traditions of a global Pacific Northwest. It’s community-powered and free to attend—though donations keep this Seattle staple going.

Each year, the fest sets a specific cultural focus. In 2022, coming out of the pandemic, the theme was Metamorphosis. This year, it’s Meraki, a Greek word that means passion, joy, and the actualization of desire. Very fitting, considering the lockdown inspired many of us to seek out self-realization.

Daily Schedules

Click the links below to find comprehensive daily schedules for Northwest Folklife 2024.

📆 Friday, May 24th
📆 Saturday, May 25th*
📆 Sunday, May 26th*
📆 Monday, May 27th*

*On the schedule page, change the “Day” button from Friday to the day you’re interested in.

Expect a big festival, with performers on 20+ stages and hundreds of food and craft vendors showcasing local ingenuity. This year, enjoy “Threads of the People,” a new take on a fashion show, “Kuleana Corridor,” which highlights those working in food justice, and “The Maker’s Space,” where numerous hands-on demonstrations will happen. And see the 15-inch quilt blocks, which will make up the “Community Quilt” to honor the art of quilting. 

🖊 PATHERESA WELLS

HONK! Fest West 2024

May 31 – June 2

📸: HONK! Fest West

A group of performers at HONK! Fest West play instruments in front of colorful sets.

📆 Friday, May 31st – Sunday, June 2nd

HONK! Festival West is all about bringing music to the streets during an annual multi-day fest in public spaces. This year, it’ll happen from May 31st to June 2nd, 2024. 

Imagine the energy of a second-line procession from New Orleans brought to a neighborhood near you in the Seattle area. In 2024, HONK! goes down in Georgetown on May 31st, Columbia City on June 1st, and another TBD location on June 2nd. A worldwide festival, it started near Boston in 2006 when a group of renegade street bands got their groove on. Two years later, the event spread to Seattle. Now, it happens all over, including in our neighboring cities of Tacoma and Portland. 

In addition to brass bands, find percussion groups, punk rock marching bands, and even Seattle-based cultural performances all jamming away. Previous banks that have played include Neon Brass Party, 8-Bit Brass Band, and Filthy FemCorps—Seattle’s all-women, nonbinary, and trans street band! Expect color and costumes from the performers and an all-ages crowd psyched for summer. Plus, the harmony of the horn section.

🖊 PATHERESA WELLS

Author

Patheresa Wells

Patheresa Wells is a Black/Persian, Pansexual, Polyamorous Poet (so many Ps) and writer living in Seatac. An aspiring comic, you can catch her cracking jokes at open mics around the area. In her free time, she likes to imagine what she’d do with free time and feed her backyard crows cuz they’re silly. Follow her on Twitter @PatheresaWells.

An author pic of Jas Keimig. They have blue braids.

Jas Keimig

Jas Keimig is an arts and culture writer in Seattle. Their work has previously appeared in The Stranger, i-D, Netflix, and Feast Portland. They won a game show once and have a thing for stickers.

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