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Seattle Center Announces RFP to Reimagine and Reinvigorate Bumbershoot Arts & Culture Festival

SEATTLE (September 2, 2021) – Seattle Center is pleased to announce a request for proposals (RFP) for a Bumbershoot Arts & Music Festival producing partner with the creativity, drive, capacity and collaborative inclination to build a sustainable structure for this beloved and much anticipated annual festival. The RFP will consider proposals from locally based, national and international proposers. Proposals will be accepted through Oct. 25.

Following an effort announced by Seattle Center and One Reel in April, a Bumbershoot Exploratory Committee met throughout the summer to consider options for future festival production. The RFP emerged from that process. In keeping with the original intent of Bumbershoot, the RFP calls for future festivals to highlight the region’s arts and culture in multi-disciplinary, inclusive, diverse and cutting-edge ways that incorporate free programming and accessible ticket pricing.

The RFP seeks proposals that maintain the festival’s essential character of artistic and cultural excellence in ways that celebrate regional, national and international arts and entertainment. It challenges proposers to present sustainable, expanded production models. Respondents are asked to outline opportunities for emerging arts and forms of expression. Programming does not need to be entirely based at Seattle Center.

The RFP is clear on the need for proposers to layout production that can meet the bottom line annually while maintaining cash reserves and revenue projections for future years. Proposers are expected to consider diverse revenue streams and relevant programming to achieve budget goals. Interested proposers should consult the RFP for additional specifications.

Bumbershoot Arts & Music Festival, considered the largest urban arts festival in North America, began in 1971 as the Mayor’s Arts Awards/Festival, a City-subsidized event and completely free to the public. Over the many years, Bumbershoot has grown in stature, scope, complexity, budget and audience, while the City continues to hold the “Bumbershoot” name and trademark. Since 1995, the City has partnered with One Reel to manage the event under terms approved by Seattle City Council. Next steps for the festival come at a time of challenge and excitement for Seattle Center with the prospect for a return of events on the grounds and the opening of Climate Pledge Arena. The time seems right to reinvigorate and reimagine how an urban arts festival can best serve the broad needs and desires of our community.

The City of Seattle, through the Seattle Center department, encourages proposers who meet the requirements of the Future of Bumbershoot 2022 and Beyond Request for Proposals for Producer to submit their ideas and plans through the RFP deadline of Oct. 25. To learn more about events and programming at Seattle Center, visit www.seattlecenter.com or call 206.682.7200.

    About Seattle Center
    Connect to the extraordinary at Seattle Center, an active civic, arts and family gathering place in the core of our region. More than 30 cultural, educational, sports and entertainment organizations that reside on the grounds, together with a broad range of public and community programs, create thousands of events on the 74-acre campus and attract over 12 million visitors each year. At Seattle Center, part of Uptown Arts & Cultural District, our purpose is to create exceptional events, experiences and environments that delight and inspire the human spirit to build stronger communities. Activities at the Center generate $1.864 billion in business activity and $631 million in labor income.


    Deborah Daoust, deborah.daoust@seattle.gov

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