The Big Naso


February’s Print of the Month (or Thereabouts) is from 1995’s Bumbershoot festival.

The notion for Bumbershoot was pretty much hatched by Anne Focke — an arts administrator for the City of Seattle — during the “Last Person Out of Seattle Please Turn Out the Lights” days of the late 60s as the City Arts Festival. By 1971 it had evolved into Bumbershoot, a goofy, community event with free admission that featured mostly local music in a wide variety of styles, an extensive visual arts exhibition, and a steady stream of impromtu performances. Each day of the festival there was at least one ad hoc parade of some kind, often accompanied by a lusty if inept brass band.

“The Big Naso” was leading one such parade.

And so Bumbershoot remained for perhaps thirty years.

It has now morphed into a pricey, high-intensity, headliner-driven, music festival that seriously restricts pop-up performances, buskers, and prohibits cameras with interchangable lenses because the headliners don’t permit photography during their performances. Two years ago I was denied admission even with a paid daily pass because of my vintage Canon SLR. (Hmmm, how do the modern pancake 20 megapixel digital cameras with 20:1 zoom lenses fit into this picture?)

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