Bumbershoot Essentials: What To Bring with You to Seattle

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Article Summary

  • A list of things you don’t necessarily need to bring to Bumbershoot to have a good time, but you'll be glad you did
  • Because it’s hot I highly recommend a Camelbak, as well as sunglasses, sunscreen, and chapstick
  • Your phone will die, bring a portable charger or battery case to Bumbershoot 
  • Comfortable shoes are a must for Bumbershoot
  • Always bring some cash with you to Bumbershoot 

Anyone who has gone to Bumbershoot knows there are some key things you need to bring with you. You can survive without these, but most of them are simple, cheap investments you can make that will really enhance your time at the festival. The point of this article is to go over all the things you should buy, or at least seriously consider buying, before you head off to Bumbershoot.

Bumbershoot Essential #1 – Camelbak

Event Track Recommends: WACOOL Hydration Pack or CamelBak Hydration Pack
This is a lifesaver at Bumbershoot. The lines are bad enough, so if you have a Camelbak at least you can get in line early as you won’t need to make as many water runs. Second, they have free water refill stations throughout the Bumbershoot grounds, so refilling your Camelbak won’t even cost you anything. The lines for the water refills can get annoyingly long during the warmer parts of the day. I cannot implore you enough to invest in a Camelbak. They’re great at Bumbershoot, but they’re also great for other music festivals or really, any other outdoor activities. Bumbershoot, as well as most other music festivals, allow hydration packs so I assure you that Bumbershoot will not be the last time you use it.

Bumbershoot Essential #2 – Cheap Sunglasses

Event Track Recommends: Edge I-Wear Neon Party Sunglasses
Some people bring their nice shades to Bumbershoot, and a lot of those people drunkenly lose or break them. No need to impress, just bring some cheap sunglasses and be worry free if you lose them. I highly recommend bringing a pack of cheap sunglasses, in case you or someone in your group at Bumbershoot loses their shades. The set I recommended are cheap and get the job done for music festivals.

Bumbershoot Essential #3 – Sunscreen

Event Track Recommends: Neutrogena Sunscreen, SPF 30
I know everyone always thinks it's cloudy in Seattle, so I don’t need sunscreen. Maybe, but sun rays still come through the clouds, whether or not you feel them and ignoring sunscreen may mean you come back from Bumbershoot a lobster. I suggest putting on some sunscreen and playing it safe. The majority of your time at Bumbershoot will be spent outside, which means a lot of exposure to the sun and a lot of time for a sunburn to sneak up on you.

Bumbershoot Essential #4 – Chapstick

Event Track Recommends: Burt's Bees Lip Balm
If you are the type of person who never gets chapped lips than I envy you good sir. Of course, you can wait and buy it at the festival if you like purchasing things for 3x the normal price.

Bumbershoot Essential #5 – Earplugs

Event Track Recommends: Mack's Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs, 50 Pair
Full disclosure, I think these are more important if you spend a lot of your time really close to the stage, getting blasted by giant speakers all day. Most of my friends swear by using earplugs, without them you'll still be hearing the jams (or some ringing in your ears maybe) when you are trying to fall asleep at night.

Bumbershoot Essential #6 – Portable Phone Charger

Event Track Recommends: Anker Astro Ultra Compact Portable Charger
If you have ever been anywhere with a huge crowd, like Bumbershoot, you will know your cell phone service is going to struggle. As your iPhone struggles to find that one precious bar at Bumbershoot, the battery is getting drained quickly. Bring a portable phone charger to Bumbershoot so you have a way to re-charge at night when your phone is dying. Having an operating phone is critical, especially if you need to call an Uber to get home or meet back up with friends at the end of the night. Save yourself from a precarious situation by investing in a reasonably priced phone charger.

Bumbershoot Essential #7 – Battery Case

Event Track Recommends: iPhone 7 - iPhone 7 Battery Case, iPhone 6 Battery Case
Same logic as the portable phone charger, just a different approach to the same Bumbershoot problem. The nice part with the case is you can easily use it without having to carry something extra with you.

Bumbershoot Essential #8 – Hand Sanitizer

Event Track Recommends: PURELL Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer
Have you ever been to an Bumbershoot bathroom in the evening hours? If you haven’t, just know that what has been seen cannot be unseen. Even as a male who is not easily grossed out, I can unequivocally tell you they can be filthy. Furthermore, there is about an 87% chance the soap dispenser ran out of soap 3 hours ago so you'll have no way to properly clean your hands. Do you really want to eat those late night munchies with gross bathroom germs on your hands? Bring some small bottles of hand sanitizer with you to Bumbershoot. They won’t solve your Bumbershoot bathroom woes completely, but at least your hands wont be disgusting when you use them to eat!

Bumbershoot Essential #9 – Tissue/Paper Products

Event Track Recommends: Kleenex Facial Tissues, 10 ct, 3 Pack
Speaking of bathrooms, this is primarily a female essential from what my fiance tells me. As she tells it, the bathrooms will run out of toilet paper and if you're a female you'll will want to bring some form of backup with you. These small packs of Kleenex are easy to grab and will fit into most any size bag. 

Bumbershoot Essential #10 – Comfy Shoes

I don’t have a specific recommendation as thiI don’t have a specific recommendation as this is far too personal, but I cannot stress the importance of having comfortable shoes for Bumbershoot enough. Bumbershoot days are tough, even for someone who unequivocally loves Bumbershoot. It’s hot, you’re on your feet all day, you walk 11.7 miles running between stages, you'll want to do all of this in comfortable shoes. Do not go to Bumbershoot in a new pair of shoes unless you are a fan of blisters. If that is the case, by all means wear your new shoes. I would also note there is a solid chance your shoes come back in rough shape after Bumbershoot, so be ok with whatever you wear being ruined.

Bumbershoot Essential #11 – A Fanny Pack

Event Track Recommends: Everest Signature Waist Pack
Bumbershoot does not allow backpacks in, but they do allow bags smaller than 17” x 12” x 10” in size, which basically makes a fanny pack your best option. You can put sunglasses in there at night, carry sunscreen, chapstick, whatever essentials you decided to bring. The recommended option is cheap in case this is the only time you plan to ever use it and it comes in a variety of colors. 

Bumbershoot Essential #12 - Blanket/Towel

Event Track Recommends: Cosy Meadow Outdoor Festival Blanket
When you want a good spot for a specific show or you're seeing back-to-back artists for the same set, you'll have downtime while you wait where you are just standing/sitting around. For these times, the ground is always a free and accessible option, but if you want a more comfortable and/or cleaner option, we recommend bringing a blanket with you. Our recommendation is a lower priced option, that will provide a place to sit, can withstand the rain and gives you a simple alternate to sitting on the ground.

Bumbershoot Essential #13 – Cash

Pretty much everything takes card at this point at Bumbershoot, but it’s still nice to have cash sometimes. It’s quicker, and a lot of times you will be rushing to get back to the stage. It’s also just nice to have a few bucks to buy the $2 water quickly versus having to wait for the card to go through. I always recommend bringing at least around $40 to Bumbershoot for small purchases here and there.


There you have it, all the things you need to bring with you to Bumbershoot to enhance your experience. I know it’s a lot of stuff, but most of it is really cheap and does make Bumbershoot a better experience overall. You can get by without it, but you will have a better time at Bumbershoot if you keep all of these things in mind! Have you discovered other essentials in your Bumbershoot travels? I’d legitimately love to hear them! Let me know by contacting me at Shawn@EventTrk.com. 

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