Your Complete Guide to Seattle Events in 2019

Your Complete Guide to Seattle Events in 2019

Seattle’s biggest music, comedy, and arts festival,

Bumbershoot

, will return for the 49th year over Labor Day Weekend.

dcongerphoto

2019 could bring any number of unexpected things, but we know for sure that it will bring excellent concerts, theater productions, author readings, food festivals, and other cultural events to Seattle. We’ve rounded up the 200 biggest events that are already scheduled for the new year, the majority of which already have tickets on sale, so whether you’re looking for a gift that doesn’t require a trip to the store, you’re planning a trip to Seattle and don’t want to miss the city’s biggest offerings, or you’re overwhelmed by all of the events on our

Things To Do calendar

and just want the highlights, you’ll find something of interest. Read on for options ranging from the

Seattle International Film Festival

and

Capitol Hill Block Party

to the

Seattle Wine and Food Experience

, and from

Moisture Festival

and

Emerald City Comic Con

to the

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

.


Jump to: Jan | Feb | March | April | May | June | July | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec


JANUARY

Special Holiday Calendars: New Year’s Day (Jan 1) | MLK Day (Jan 21)

THROUGH JAN 6

PERFORMANCE

1. Disney’s The Lion King

Julie Taymor’s jaw-dropping, puppet-filled production of The Lion King will visit Seattle in its Circle of Life. Elton John music, Tony-winning direction, treachery, youth, and revenge…the works.

JAN 9-10

MUSIC

2. Greta Van Fleet, IDA MAE

Frankenmuth, Michigan, if my childhood memories of it hold true, is a town whose primary attribute is evoking a kitsch, antique-y vibe of a Bavarian village. My suburban Detroit family used to go there during the holidays when my parents wanted to give us a “special” treat. Now, Frankenmuth is most famous for spawning the hugely popular and fabulously young Led Zeppelin superfans, Greta Van Fleet. Their special talent is making classic rock sound as kitsch as their hometown looks and feels to people from the Motor City. Greta Van Fleet’s 2018 debut album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army, got yoked with a 1.6 rating on Pitchfork, and while that must sting, Greta Van Fleet can dab their tears with Benjamins: They’ve freakin’ sold out their opening night at Paramount on their first national tour and had to add a second.

DAVE SEGAL

JAN 11-20

READINGS & TALKS

3. Tasveer South Asian Litfest

Earlier this year, the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods gave a $60,000 matching grant to Tasveer, a local org focused on celebrating and disseminating South Asian art around Seattle—and now we have all these great writers coming to town for a whole bunch of readings and workshops! Amitava Kumar, author of a terrific collection of essays called Lunch with a Bigot, but more recently a lovelorn and witty novel called Immigrant, Montana, will be visiting from New York. Harvard University Press editor Sharmila Sen will read from Not Quite Not White, about the relationship between race and American-ness that press materials describe as “part memoir, part manifesto.” Some local favorites will be featured as well. Sonora Jha, former prose writer-in-residence at the Hugo House, will read from her upcoming novel. And Shankar Narayan will have the room laughing and thinking hard about “proximity, intimacy, identity, violence, and diaspora.” RICH SMITH

SAT JAN 12

COMEDY

4. Lewis Black: The Joke’s on Us Tour

The old, white, alpha-male ranter is a familiar figure in comedy, stated Captain Obvious. But Lewis Black might be the paragon of this tradition, perhaps the last such über-curmudgeon we’ll ever need (although probably not, seeing as how the world’s going). Looking like a more brutish Al Franken, Black bellows in a baritone a litany of insults and outrages to his sensibilities. From the most minuscule mundanities to the horror show of politics to the most cosmic injustices, Black pinpoints their infuriating truths—laced with a powerful arsenal of profanity. Incredible catharsis ensues. DAVE SEGAL

JAN 12–26

PERFORMANCE

5. Il Trovatore

Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore is famous for one of the silliest plots in all of opera—no mean feat—but also for its rousing choruses, gorgeous coloratura arias, and heroic numbers. The production involves a love triangle, a long-simmering revenge arc, and an old witch who’s accidentally thrown her own baby on a pyre.

SUN JAN 13

MUSIC

6. NAO, Xavier Omär

Nao is in the 23rd century, in terms of what her vision for R&B looks and sounds like. The London singer’s music takes its cues from electro, funk, and soul, fusing them all together and pitting her distinctive falsetto over it to create sounds that she terms “wonky funk.” She’s worked with everyone from Mura Masa to the so-elusive-that-I’m-not-even-sure-they-are-real—but genre-vital—Paul Brothers, forging a new global R&B soundscape that’s sensual but also club danceable. Xaiver Omär’s joins her on tour with his quasi-sad boy, soulful crooner music serving as a good weight against Nao’s often frenetic and vanguard-advancing tunes. JASMYNE KEIMIG

TUES JAN 15

MUSIC

7. WINNER

“Male-idol group” WINNER, who cross the corners of music from earnest pop balladeering to deep trap, will hit Seattle for the very first time on their Everywhere tour in promotion of their 2018 full album, [EVERYD4Y].

PERFORMANCE

8. Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know hosts Josh Clark and Charles “Chuck” Bryant are taking their popular and informative podcast on the road. The live shows are much like the podcast: Josh and Chuck research the shit out of a subject (ayahuasca, the Satanic Panic, pizza) and tell you what you need to know, as well as what you didn’t really need to know but might find pretty interesting anyway. And it works: Everyone might have a podcast right now, but not everyone does it well. Josh and Chuck, who’ve been hosting this thing for more than 10 years, get the formula right. KATIE HERZOG

WED JAN 16

COMEDY

9. Andy Borowitz

The wildly popular New Yorker satirist and founder of the cheeky, National Press Club Award-winning Borowitz Report will help us make sense of “what the @#$ is going on.”

PERFORMANCE

10. Judge John Hodgman

If you only know John Hodgman for his “PC” man in the Apple ad campaigns or for his contributions to Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, you should discover his decade-long career of dispensing “knowledge” in books like The Areas of My Expertise and More Knowledge Than You Require. This evening will bring you a live version of his podcast Judge John Hodgman, wherein he rules on important matters like “Is it OK to rifle through the trash for prize coupons in a Canadian pizza parlor?”

THURS JAN 17

MUSIC

11. An Evening with Michael Nesmith

Most know Nesmith as the tall, laconic member of the Monkees, a band cobbled together to star on a TV show from 1966 to ’68. They also cut some of the greatest pop songs of all time (no sarcasm). Mike wrote some of those, including indelibly tuneful gems like “You Just May Be the One,” “Listen to the Band,” “Daily Nightly,” “Circle Sky,” and “Mary, Mary.” But he also went on to craft some very strong and deep country-rock records with First National Band and solo, and deviated with surprising flair into funk/disco territory with 1979’s Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma. Nesmith wrung some very clever variations on myriad styles in his songwriting. DAVE SEGAL

FRI JAN 18

MUSIC

12. REO Speedwagon

Enjoy an evening of classic rock straight from Champaign, Illinois, with smatterings of extended electric guitar solos and yelling about readiness to rock thanks to REO Speedwagon, who have been gigging since 1967.

13. YG

Though he boasts he’s “the only one that made it out the West without Dre” (a delightfully bold line from “Twist My Fingaz”), Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson, better known as Compton rapper YG, can be found soaking in the same musical hot tub as the breakthrough 1990s artists from his neck of California. Classically wonky G-funk production and heavily slurred slang directly from the front steps of the Blood side of town have come back around to the mainstream some 25 years later, like acid-wash jeans. And despite some of the misogynist viewpoints that apparently still come with the wah-wah bass lines, YG has proven to be an insightful street-level journalist, weaving racial politics and Donald Trump shots between club anthems on his sophomore LP, Still Brazy. TODD HAMM

PERFORMANCE

14. Welcome to Night Vale

Something is just not quite right in the town of Night Vale. For one, there’s the mysterious lights circling above every night, and of course there are the hooded figures at the dog park. If you’re part of the “cult” that religiously follows the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, you’ll know that’s just the tip of the iceberg in this seemingly “friendly desert community.” But even if you aren’t, go to the show, set up like an old-timey live radio play, and experience host Cecil Palmer’s voice, which will simultaneously soothe your nerves and give you the shivers. AMBER CORTES

JAN 18–FEB 10

PERFORMANCE

15. Last of the Boys

A Vietnam vet living in isolation in the California Central Valley finds his lonely existence interrupted by his army pal, the pal’s girlfriend, and the pal’s girlfriend’s mother. This is a play by Seattle’s own Steven Dietz (Fiction).

SAT JAN 19

READINGS & TALKS

16. An Evening with Dan Rather

At a time when an ill-tempered reality TV star occupies the White House, and the most followed “pundits” in media are teenaged YouTube stars and blonde sorority girls toting AR-15s for clicks, you could be forgiven for wanting to go back to an era when there were three networks on TV and Dan Rather brought us the news each night with solemn good will. Rather might be off the evening broadcast, but he’s hardly disappeared, and his sane, sensible voice has never been more needed than in the Trump era. He’ll be talking about the terrible president, and more, when he appears in Tacoma. KATIE HERZOG

JAN 19–21

COMMUNITY

17. Women’s March Seattle 2019

Unfortunately, Donald Trump is still our president, and the rights and safety of womxn, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, and anyone else who is not a wealthy white man, are at still at risk. On the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, protest the regime’s inhumane policies by marching from Capitol Hill to Downtown at the third annual Seattle Women’s March, participating in a day of action at venues around the city, and attending workshops, an opportunity fair, and a rally and march at the Seattle MLK, Jr. Day March and Celebration.

WED JAN 23

MUSIC

18. Ace Frehley

Rock history hasn’t been all that kind to Ace Frehley. The original lead guitarist of KISS, he left the outfit in 1982, skirting the band’s awkward makeup-free years, but returned in the 1990s before splitting again in 2002. In the wake of these lineup changes (and Gene Simmons’s monthly media gaffes), it’s easy to forget just how good those first few KISS albums were, thanks in no small part to Frehley, whose entry in the band’s 1978 quartet of solo LPs was far and away the best. Frehley still tours, playing classic KISS songs like “Love Gun” and “Cold Gin,” albeit without the Spaceman makeup he made famous. JOSEPH SCHAFER

JAN 23–FEB 2

PERFORMANCE

19. Dear Evan Hansen

All I know about this show is that I very badly want to see it, it won a bunch of Tonys, and it’s about how social media can really screw up people’s lives. I’m so there. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

JAN 25-26

FESTIVALS

20. Timbrrr! Winter Music Festival

This event in Leavenworth—the infamous German-themed town/tourist attraction nestled in the Cascades—looks like the coziest mid-winter music festival, filled with beardo-magnet amenities like skiing and snowboarding, a hot-toddy garden, wine tastings, and festival-branded flannel shirts. The weekend’s musical offerings are generally varied, with numerous local and national acts ranging from indie rock to hiphop. This year’s roster is no exception, boasting sets by Shannon & the Clams, Kyle Craft, the True Loves, Parisalexa, Jenn Champion, Tres Leches, and many more. BRITTNIE FULLER

JAN 26–APRIL 28

ART

21. Cherdonna Shinatra: DITCH

Cherdonna Shinatra is a drag performer, dancer, choreographer, and generally fun lunatic. Her drag shtick is that she’s a woman playing a man playing a woman, which used to be a radical idea but has now become pretty run-of-the-mill. Which is great! That said, Cherdonna is more than a woman playing a man playing a woman, she’s a performance artist dedicated to interrogating how the female body is consumed by the male gaze/gays. Her new work at the Frye, DITCH, will create immersive DAILY performances that are COMMITTED to making the world happy in a time of Trump. If anyone can do that impossible task, Shinatra and company can. CHASE BURNS

SUN JAN 27

COMEDY

22. Middleditch & Schwartz

Improv unfolds on the big stage when Emmy-nominated Thomas Middleditch (Richard Hendricks on Silicon Valley) and Emmy-winning Ben Schwartz (most famous for playing Jean-Ralphio Saperstein on Parks and Recreation, but also in House of Lies and co-author of Things You Should Already Know about Dating, You Fucking Idiot) put on a two-person longform show.

JAN 28–MAY 14

READINGS & TALKS

23. Seattle Arts & Lectures: Literary Arts

Every year, Seattle Arts & Lectures arranges talks by some of the best novelists, essayists, historians, and journalists around. Their 2018/2019 lineup is entirely female, featuring reporter Katherine Boo (Mon Jan 28), critic/novelist/essayist Zadie Smith (Wed Feb 27), and novelists Valeria Luiselli (Wed April 17) and Tayari Jones (Tus May 14). All are prizewinners and/or bestsellers, and all have important things to say about the contemporary world.

TUES JAN 29

MUSIC

24. MØ, Mykki Blanco

Singer MØ, from Denmark, creates electro-pop well suited for the Coachella main stage or a smartphone commercial. Her solo output is more interesting than what she’s done as an EDM voice-for-hire, most notably on Major Lazer’s “Lean On.” That song was in a Google ad—go figure. ANDREW GOSPE

THURS JAN 31 & FRI JUNE 7

READINGS & TALKS

25. Seattle Arts & Lectures: Women You Need To Know

SAL’s three-part series celebrates women who stir things up—artists, writers, authors, and others. Their first reader was historian Jill Lepore in 2018; next up will be Soraya Chemaly in January, author of the feminist manifesto Rage Becomes Her, and Imbolo Mbue in June, Cameroonian author of the PEN/Faulkner Award-winning Behold the Dreamers.

JAN 31–FEB 2

WEED

26. Seattle CannaCon

CannaCon’s flagship expo takes place in Seattle, where people love weed very much. Hundreds of exhibitors and cannabis professionals gather for three days full of educational talks, shopping opportunities, and networking. There will be a lot of talk on what the future cannabis market has to offer for 2019 and beyond.

FEBRUARY

Special Holiday Calendars: Valentine’s Day (Feb 14) | Lunar New Year (Feb 5) | Black History Month

FRI FEB 1

MUSIC

27. Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, Tenille Townes, Hot Country Knights

For those times when careworn singing and steel guitar are all that’s required, Dierks Bentley is your guy. This modern traditionalist and Music Row darling will hit Tacoma with a full crew this winter, including Jon Pardi, Tenille Townes, and Hot Country Knights, on his Burning Man 2019 tour.

FEB 1-10

PERFORMANCE

28. The Sleeping Beauty

Ronald Hynd’s adaptation of Marius Petipa’s choreography gracefully brings the story of the dormant lovely to life, accompanied by the classic Tchaikovsky score. Join the Pacific Northwest Ballet for what promises to be another spellbinding performance.

FEB 1–24

PERFORMANCE

29. Rock of Ages

The hair metal musical punctuates a romantic story with noisy tunes by Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, and others.

SAT FEB 2

FOOD & DRINK

30. Belgian Fest

Belgian beers don’t have to be from Belgium—this brew fest highlights over 100 Washington breweries’ Belgian-style beers, including Tripels, Dubbels, Saisons, Wits, Abbeys, and Lambics.

MUSIC

31. Interpol

Here is one way of looking at indie rock in the ’00s: The lead singer of Vampire Weekend, Ezra Koenig, recalls Paul Simon (of the ’80s, that is), the lead singer of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Alec Ounsworth, recalls David Byrne, the lead singer of the Walkmen, Hamilton Leithauser, recalls Bono (particularly his early, good stuff), and, finally, the lead singer of Interpol, Paul Banks, recalls, of course, Ian Curtis (on a chair, legs crossed, cigarette burning between fingers). Interpol do have a masterpiece. It’s the track “Untitled” on their debut album, Turn on the Bright Lights. CHARLES MUDEDE

32. KISS

Despite Gene Simmons’ political fanaticism and the band’s many schisms over the years, iconic make-up metal group KISS is still gigging hard and will hit the Pacific Northwest this winter on their End of the Road World Tour, marking the chosen finale of their tenure as a band.

FEB 2-3

FESTIVALS

33. SR 99 – Step Forward

Celebrate the final days of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and check out the new SR 99 tunnel at this grand opening festival that will include a fun run and bike ride, live music, food trucks, and tours.

TUES FEB 5

MUSIC

34. 2Cellos

Croatian classical populists 2Cellos, otherwise known as Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, became famous in 2011 after their version of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” went viral and they were subsequently featured on Glee. They’ll return to the Seattle area on their national Let There Be Cello tour.

WED FEB 6

MUSIC

35. A$AP Rocky

Best known for his chopped-and-screwed NY/Dirty South homage work, melodic Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky will return to the Pacific Northwest on his Injured Generation tour.

FRI FEB 8

READINGS & TALKS

36. Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama

In the misery of rainy Seattle winter/the middle of the Trump presidency, there’s no better time to hear Michelle Obama, the justly admired former First Lady, speak about her life. She’ll be touring with her new memoir Becoming, an exploration of (per press materials) “her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother.”

SAT FEB 9

MUSIC

37. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

Though the seminal 1976 album Night Moves may have been his magnum opus, Bob Seger is also known for putting out excellently rowdy, blues-infused rock for many decades with a plethora of talented backing bands and spin-off projects.

SUN FEB 10

FOOD & DRINK

38. Pike Chocofest

Dive headfirst into chocoholic bacchanalia with 10, count ’em 10, drink tickets in tow at this annual pre-Valentine’s Day bash. Indulge in libations from dozens of breweries, cideries, wineries, and distilleries and sate your sweet tooth with confections from local chocolatiers. And know that all your hedonism supports a good cause—proceeds benefit the Washington Trails Association.

FEB 10-11

MUSIC

39. Justin Timberlake

Recently rustic pop star Justin Timberlake will drag his critically panned new album Man of the Woods around the country on his tour of the same name.

FEB 11–MAY 21

READINGS & TALKS

40. Seattle Arts & Lectures: Poetry

Brilliant poets read their work and give lectures in this series: National Book Award finalist Solmaz Sharif (Mon Feb 11), up-and-comer Ilya Kaminsky (Mon April 1) (whose Deaf Republic is due to come out from Graywolf Press in 2019), Francisco Aragón and Kimiko Hahn with their Copper Canyon Press volume HERE: Poems for the Planet (Tues April 25), and Jericho Brown (Tues May 21), who’s won more awards than we can list here (but they include a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship).

FEB 11–JUNE 10

READINGS & TALKS

41. Unique Lives Series

The Unique Lives series invites influential writers, politicians, actors, comedians, and business magnates to offer glimpses of their personal existences. This year’s lineup draws from the worlds of entertainment, the news, the military, tech, and literature: journalist Ronan Farrow (Mon Feb 11), Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (Mon March 25), author Elizabeth Gilbert (Sun April 14), retired US general Wesley Clark (Mon May 6), comedian Bob Newhart (Mon May 20), and actor/fictional space captain William Shatner (Mon June 10).

WED FEB 13

MUSIC

42. Johnny Mathis

Lush pop crafter and ’50s-’60s chart mainstay Johnny Mathis is celebrating his 62nd year in the music industry. He’ll share his sublime vocals with a Seattle audience at the end of this winter.

THURS FEB 14

MUSIC

43. Ella Mai

Smooth English singer-songwriter Ella Mai has been heard all over the world since her single “Boo’d Up” hit the airwaves this past summer. She’ll travel back to the West Coast on her “Debut” tour this winter.

FEB 15-21

FILM

44. Noir City 2019

If you love cinema, then you must love film noir. And if you love film noir, then you must love the Noir City festival, which will feature a number of known and less known movies in this genre that has lots of spiderlike women, lots of long knives, lots of rooms with dark curtains, lots of faces of the fallen, and lots of existential twists and turns. CHARLES MUDEDE

SUN FEB 17

COMEDY

45. Maz Jobrani: The Still Touring Tour

After George W. Bush declared North Korea, Iran, and Iraq to be the “Axis of Evil,” Tehran-born Maz Jobrani and other entertainers riposted with their Axis of Evil tour. And, as the title proclaims, Jobrani is still indeed around, drawing on the ever-streaming font of material that is Western prejudice against and misunderstanding of Middle Easterners. Now, Jobrani stars in Superior Donuts with Jermaine Fowler. He’s performed at the White House, on Showtime, and in many films, such as Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero and Friday After Next, and is a Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! panelist..

TUES FEB 19

MUSIC

46. Kacey Musgraves, Soccer Mommy

Texas troubadour Kacey Musgraves’ third studio effort, Golden Hour, is among the year’s best. It’s the kind of lovingly crafted work that feels like the warm embrace of a good friend, as she sings about sisterly love and fading romance. KATHY FENNESSY

FEB 21-24

FOOD & DRINK

47. Seattle Wine and Food Experience

This annual extravaganza of all things edible and drinkable is an ode to gluttony in three parts. First up is Comfort, a festival of “feel-good foods and crafty brews,” complete with bars for French fries, Bloody Marys, hot toddies, and milk and cookies. Next, POP! Bubbles and Seafood capitalizes on the felicitous pairing of bubbles and bivalves with a celebrity shucking contest and more than 30 sparkling wines from around the world. Finally, the Grand Tasting will showcase local and regional wines, beer, cider, spirits, and tastes from big-name Seattle chefs, with plenty of opportunities to watch demonstrations and meet artisan food producers.

FRI FEB 22

MUSIC

48. Kris Kristofferson & The Strangers

Country Music Hall of Famer and brilliant facial hair-cultivator Kris Kristofferson showcases a career of mature Americana pop and lilting country hits to an audience of light-rock-less-talk enthusiasts.

FEB 22–MARCH 24

PERFORMANCE

49. The Woman in Black

A young lawyer named Arthur Kipps discovers a ghastly supernatural mystery around the missing children of Crythin Gifford in the stage version of Susan Hill’s gothic novel.

SAT FEB 23

MUSIC

50. Sharon Van Etten, Nilüfer Yanya

After many years, singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten will return to Seattle on her Remind Me Tomorrow Tour with up and coming pop artist Nilüfer Yanya in tow and the emotionally resonant folk-pop for which she’s famous.

FEB 23-MARCH 9

PERFORMANCE

51. The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Contemporary opera probably isn’t the most intuitive delivery system for the life story of the CEO of the world’s largest tech company, but in some ways it kinda makes sense. Jobs was a major mythical figure for geeks, a reportedly tyrannical boss who basically wore a costume all the time, and a literary enthusiast! Regardless, the opera, which was written by Mason Bates and librettist Mark Campbell, has been getting great reviews since its premiere in Santa Fe last year, thanks largely to its state-of-the-art, “visually stunning” projection sequences. RICH SMITH

WED FEB 27

MUSIC

52. Beirut, Helado Negro

Many Beirut albums sound like letters from Zach Condon telling you how much he’s enjoying his study abroad program. His soft-serve orkestar arrangements don’t inspire confidence in the depth of his study, and his lazy vibrato is a transparent attempt to make up for his low expressive range. FINE. But somebody has to keep the troubadourin’ Eurostar dream alive! And what Condon lacks in lyrical and musical depth he makes up for in breadth. Across several albums he’s incorporated brass from Mexican folk and the Balkans, as well as fuzzy, poppy synth. The recent album, No No No, lays maudlin vocals over bright horns, mixes memory and desire, and reminds me of cobblestoned streets I never walked. RICH SMITH

THURS FEB 28

MUSIC

53. Joe Jackson

Multi-talented Joe Jackson (of “Is She Really Going Out with Him?” fame) will return to Seattle with his backing band on their latest world tour playing 40 years’ worth of material, which will draw on five classic Jackson albums: Look Sharp (1979), Night And Day (1982), Laughter And Lust (1991), Rain (2008), and Fool (2019).

FEB 28-MARCH 2

MUSIC

54. Billy Bragg

To hear Billy Bragg extol the practical value of socialist principles—which is to say, collective provision as a necessary function of any democratic government worthy of the name—is invigorating. Songs may not change the world, but they can grease the gears. And unlike so many people making noise about this subject right now, Bragg (armed with an unimprovable East London accent) makes it sound not only like common sense, but like it’s right around the corner if we only pull together. There’s no greater asset in an age that invites cynicism. His certitude—powered by 30 years of experience—really helps ease the disorienting sense that you’re the only sane person left in the fucking world. Which is also what the best pop music has always done. Though you can’t really separate the message from the messenger, it’s also worth mentioning that Bragg is one of the most charismatic, entertaining, and hilarious performers on the circuit. It’s not like there’s ever been a bad time to see a Billy Bragg show. But at the moment, it feels like there’s never been a better one. SEAN NELSON

FEB 28–MAY 12

ART

55. Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer

In his first major museum exhibition, artist Jeffrey Gibson combines traditional elements of Native American art and materials with contemporary pop culture references and images. This leads to objects displaying an interesting juxtaposition of cultures—like a wooden panel traditionally beaded with “I WANNA BE ADORED”—a lyric from the classic 1991 Stone Roses song—blazed across it. Or a punching bag beautifully adorned with beaded geometric patterns. The exhibit will bring together 65 different pieces of Gibson’s work from the past eight years. JASMYNE KEIMIG

MARCH

Special Holiday Calendars: St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) | Mardi Gras (March 5)

FRI MARCH 1

MUSIC

56. Robyn

In 2007, the Swedish pop star Robyn enjoyed a huge, Kleerup-produced hit called “With Every Heartbeat.” The hit is about her in the position of a young woman who has decided to leave a bad but still loved man. Because the past and the present do not change, regarding this lover, she is moving on and will not look back at him or their relationship. Robyn puts her whole heart into this tune, which has a Euro-disco beat, a few flowery strings that surge near the end, and standard sonic effects. We really feel, as we dance to it in a living room or a club with the bright and swirling lights, the deep pain of someone who is departing what is known and heading into a possibly very unhappy future. “Still I’m dying with every step I take, but I do not look back” (almost makes you want to cry as you boogie). Robyn’s biggest hit, however, is “Dancing on My Own.” CHARLES MUDEDE

MARCH 1-31

PERFORMANCE

57. Romeo + Juliet

You know the story, you know the “Wherefore art thou” monologue, but this production will be something new. The organizers write that they’re “partnering with leaders in the Deaf community to create a production that honors the glorious language of this timeless play and makes it accessible for Deaf and hearing audiences alike.”

SAT MARCH 2

FOOD & DRINK

58. Washington Beer Open House

For this event, more than 130 Washington breweries will open their doors for a simultaneous open house, which gives beer lovers a unique opportunity to create their own adventure. Plot an itinerary for a personalized brewery crawl, travel to a few destination breweries you’ve always wanted to try, or simply drop into the nearest participating craft brewer in your neighborhood. Each featured brewer will have their own lineup of surprises in store, including samples, tours, souvenirs, rare barrel tastings, savory food pairings, and more.

SUN MARCH 3

SPORTS & RECREATION

59. Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k

Starting and finishing at Seattle Center, this annual race rewards runners with all manner of chocolate delights, including hot chocolate, marshmallows with a hot fudge dipping sauce, and more.

MARCH 3-10

FOOD & DRINK

60. Seattle Cocktail Week

This week-long event elevates the movers and (cocktail) shakers of the Seattle bar scene with special libations available at participating venues, plus master classes, seminars, pop-ups, bar takeovers, competitions, a tasting event, and more.

TUES MARCH 5 & TUES MAY 7

READINGS & TALKS

61. Seattle Arts & Lectures: Journalism

SAL will highlight some of the most important and incisive voices in journalism today. They already brought you Van Jones in 2018; still to come are a dialogue between Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet and Washington Post editor Marty Baron in March, then tech reporter/Recode website founder Kara Swisher in May.

THURS MARCH 7

MUSIC

62. Action Bronson, Roc Marciano, Meyhem Lauren

Action Bronson’s towering concoctions, whether they’re meals or songs, only seem over-the-top once he tells you so. The best part of his music isn’t necessarily what he says as much as how he says it. You can pick any Bronson song and find some of his favorite references: ’80s wrestlers, ’90s athletes, his hometown of Queens, New York, and yes, food, all expertly arranged and distorted. JACKSON HATHORN

FRI MARCH 8

COMEDY

63. Whose Live Anyway

The cast members of the Emmy-winning show Whose Line is it Anyway?—including Greg Proops, Joel Murray, Jeff B. Davis, and Bellingham-born Ryan Stiles—will play their hilarious improv games onstage.

MUSIC

64. Jungle, Houses

At the Showbox, the hook-laden British dance-pop group Jungle will bless their dedicated fan base with more exotic-hypnotic soul than this city is used to. The smooth and lean athleticism of their enjoyable 2014 eponymous debut combines Massive Attack’s warped perceptions, D’Angelo’s seduction, and Hot Chip’s dance-floor charm to keep your heart full and legs limber to jogger-friendly tempos. The common thread is a retro-UK-groove that keeps the songs moving to motivational, ecstatic heights, while inlayed textures and stylistic treatments keep them interesting and moving forward. Catch the fever. TRAVIS RITTER

SUN MARCH 10

MUSIC

65. James Blake

Talk about a show with bass. The last time I saw Londoner James Blake in concert, I felt like I should tip the masseuse. But Blake’s low-end technique hits more like a ton of feathers than a ton of hot stones. His production, which often builds off of his tender piano playing, swells with vocal layering and subtle dub rhythms, softening studio fuzz as he bends challenging loops into pieces of melody, before you even notice the tremendous bass throb forming below. Blake’s studio mastery and handsome voice (like a less cheesy Sam Smith) has invited collaborations with everyone from Beyoncé and RZA and Vince Staples to Frank Ocean and Bon Iver. The Blakester’s 2016 effort The Colour in Anything, finds him stretching from his usual melancholy moods toward the colorful world beyond. TODD HAMM

WED MARCH 13

PERFORMANCE

66. An Evening with Katya

Katya is a star and universally admired across drag scenes. (Yeah, straighties, there is more than one drag scene.) Her vibe is a mix of Archie McPhee, the movie Contact, and inappropriate things your stepmother told you over the holidays. Do those things not excite you? Then don’t go see Katya. It won’t be a safe space for you. CHASE BURNS

MARCH 14-17

GEEK

67. Emerald City Comic Con

Geeks across fandoms save their most inventive cosplay for the biggest local comic event of the year, Emerald City Comic Con. The four-day event is filled to the brim with panels, meetups, special events, fun parties, and tons and tons of guests hanging out in the artist alley. This year, don’t miss the chance to meet Black Panther World of Wakanda‘s Afua Richardson, Agents of Realm‘s Mildred Louis, and Star Wars‘ Katie Cook.

MARCH 14-APRIL 7

PERFORMANCE

68. Moisture Festival

Moisture Festival is devoted to the variety of performers Seattle has fostered over the years, from circus acts to comedians, burlesque dancers to musicians, and jugglers to tap dancers. Variété is the main, recurring event, with a rotating lineup, and there are also matinée and rather racier late night versions. The bawdy Libertease Cabaret is for adults only and features burlesque dancers and scantily clothed aerial performers. There are also workshops, talks, and special opening and closing nights. If you love circus acrobatics, clowning, comedy, and/or sexy dance, you owe it to yourself to go.

MARCH 15-24

PERFORMANCE

69. Director’s Choice

After Pacific Northwest Ballet sweeps away the glitter from The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty, artistic director Peter Boal will give us what we’ve been waiting for all year: a compelling collection of contemporary ballets that push boundaries and make the form feel alive again. This year, he’s presenting world premieres from American choreographers Robyn Mineko Williams and Matthew Neenan, plus Justin Peck’s In the Countenance of Kings. My prediction is the new pieces will be romantic, abstract, and slightly nostalgic. Then Peck’s piece, enlivened with Sufjan Stevens’s swirling, sylvan score, will pull us out of the past and ready us for a newly dawning spring. RICH SMITH

MARCH 15-APRIL 28

PERFORMANCE

70. A Doll’s House, Part 2

Nora, in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House, is arguably *one of most famous female roles in 19th-century theatre*. Every leading ingénue has had her turn playing the “little lark”—even Seattle’s Cherdonna Shinatra recently took on the role. But the ending of the play is famously up for interpretation, and Tony Award-nominee Lucas Hnath’s cheekily-titled A Doll’s House, Part 2 takes on the challenge of picking up where Ibsen concludes. It’s funny, smart, and maybe *the best old play* to come out of the 2010s. CHASE BURNS

SAT MARCH 16

MUSIC

71. HYMN: Sarah Brightman in Concert

English stage and screen luminary Sarah Brightman’s long resumé includes work as a multi-lingual classical crossover soprano, actress, musician, songwriter, conductor, and dancer. Her world tour, “HYMN: Sarah Brightman In Concert,” will hit Seattle among its 125 shows across five continents.

72. Metric, Zoé, July Talk

Metric may not be the most popular act to emerge from Canada’s storied Broken Social Scene—that would probably be unlikely iPod darling Feist—but they’re certainly the most winningly poppy and polished. One of their past albums, Fantasies, is another fine collection of impeccably catchy, synth-tinged rock songs, kicked off by the truly killer single “Help I’m Alive,” in which frontwoman Emily Haines sings about her heart “beating like a hammer,” like some divine echo of the Breeders. Haines’s voice is as alluring as it is authoritative, and her veteran band’s arrangements are airtight. For big, glossy, whip-smart pop rock, you can’t do much better. Best of all, Haines onstage is like a bag of Pop Rocks washed down with soda pop: sweet but dangerously combustive. ERIC GRANDY

SUN MARCH 17

MUSIC

73. DDT

DDT will return to this continent on their History of Sound tour, which seeks to feature each subgenre phase of the band’s long history, including their forays into industrial, R&B, and hard rock.

SPORTS & RECREATION

74. St. Patrick’s Day Dash

For the 35th year, support community-run nonprofits by wearing green on green on green and running in the St. Patrick’s Day Dash.

MARCH 18–19

COMEDY

75. Aziz Ansari: Road to Nowhere

The Emmy-winning star and creator of Master of None and expert dork-rogue portrayer on Parks and Rec will swing by Seattle for his new tour.

WED MARCH 20

MUSIC

76. Dave Mason & Steve Cropper

Whoa. Tonight we’re getting treated to a double dose of rock ’n’ roll heavies playing together: Steve Cropper, the guitarist of the famous Stax Records house band Booker T. & the M.G.’s, and Dave Mason, the Traffic and Blind Faith guitarist who also released a string of killer early-’70s hits. This show oughta be a good sing-along time, as the set list looks like a mix of both fellers’ radio hits, including “Green Onions” and “Time Is Tight” by Cropper, and “Feelin’ Alright” and “Only You Know and I Know” by Mason. MIKE NIPPER

THURS MARCH 21

COMEDY

77. Tiffany Haddish: #SheReady Tour

Recently seen in Night School and The Oath, Tiffany Haddish might not always appear in movies as good as Girls Trip, but she’s still a contender for supreme funny person. See her live.

MARCH 22–APRIL 14

PERFORMANCE

78. Marie: A New Musical

The brand new Stephen Flaherty/Lynn Ahrens musical about a dancer in Degas’s Impressionist masterpiece delves into the backstory of ballerinas at the Paris Opera Ballet. Five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman will direct.

SAT MARCH 23

COMEDY

79. Maria Bamford

When Lindy West worked at The Stranger, she wrote: “No one delivers an ‘Uhhhhhhhhhh’ quite like Maria Bamford, and nobody has ever done impressions of phlegmy fathers and mall-walking bitchez in such a perfect and dark and exhilaratingly bizarre way. She is possibly a genius.” Still true!

SPORTS & RECREATION

80. Monster Energy Supercross

This competitive off-road motorcycle race is one of 17 major Supercross events in North America. Watch daredevil athletes skid around tight corners, zoom down straightaways, and perform triple jumps and fancy tricks. 

SUN MARCH 24

SPORTS & RECREATION

81. Big Climb Seattle

Do some squats in preparation for this annual climb, where thousands of participants hike up the Columbia Tower’s 69 flights of stairs (1,311 steps). Proceeds benefit blood cancer research.

MON MARCH 25

MUSIC

82. Vince Staples, JPEGMAFIA

In the past two years alone, Long Beach’s Vince Staples has released his second full-length record and collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, from Gorillaz to Kendrick Lamar. No matter what album you find Staples’s verses on, his perspectives and critiques of the United States, pop culture, and rap music itself are sharp, quick-witted, and ferocious.

MARCH 26-31

PERFORMANCE

83. Cats!

In case you were born yesterday: Cats is a musical pairing T.S. Eliot’s sprightly feline poetry with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beltable tunes. Trevor Nunn will direct this revival.

MARCH 28–31

FOOD & DRINK

84. Taste Washington

Immerse yourself in four days of pure oenophilia with this behemoth event billing itself as “the nation’s largest single-region wine and food” event, which unites over 225 Washington wineries, 65 top restaurants, and a number of acclaimed local and national chefs.

MARCH 29-30

PERFORMANCE

85. A.I.M by Kyle Abraham

Years ago, the theater critic of The Stranger at the time, Brendan Kiley, wrote, “Critics talk about hiphop theater and hiphop dance-theater, but artists like Abraham are making that critical frame obsolete, demonstrating that hiphop is an influence, not a cage.” Abraham and his dancers have returned with new choreography, all created in the last two years. They include a solo work by Abraham called INDY; Meditation: A Silent Prayer, with a voice-over by Carrie Mae Weems and art by Titus Kaphar; a “club beat”-filled piece called Drive; and a duet from Dearest Home.

SAT MARCH 30

COMEDY

86. Adam Conover: Mind Parasites Live!

Adam Conover has destroyed your innocence about sex, death, malls, the future, cowboys, pilgrims, loofahs, and a lot more in Adam Ruins Everything, which goes about debunking popular misconceptions. He’s also on Best Week Ever and Bojack Horseman. Before that, he wrote frequently for CollegeHumor. See him live.

87. Ronny Chieng

Ronny Chieng, a featured contributor to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and an internationally performing stand-up comic, has had a great year: He appeared in the hit romance Crazy Rich Asians, and his new series Ronny Chieng: International Student dropped on Comedy Central. With his air of cynicism leavened with sweetness, it’s no wonder he’s gotten popular, and he seems to sell out shows like the dickens.

APRIL

Special Holiday Calendars: Earth Day (April 22)

APRIL 1–30

FESTIVALS

88. Tulip Festival

This long-running festival lets nature—sprawling fields of brightly colored tulips, which bloom on their own schedule—draw the crowds. The festival is designed as a self-guided tour with no one spot to enter, so feel free to take in the glorious flowers in at your leisure. However, the best fields do rotate each year, so be sure to pick up a brochure to see a map of the best blooms. 

APRIL 2-7

PERFORMANCE

89. Shen Yun

Shen Yun, founded by Chinese Falun Dafa dancers in New York City, is an absolute celebration of an entire region’s magic, splendor, and creative possibility. The production aims to bring China’s ancient wonders to life on stage with dance and music.

WED APRIL 3

MUSIC

90. An Evening with Spiritualized

The first single from Spiritualized’s new album, And Nothing Hurt (out September 7), “I’m Your Man” is not a Leonard Cohen cover, but rather archetypal 21st-century Jason Pierce balladry. That means it foregrounds Pierce’s fragile croon amid whisper-to-a-scream dynamics, with blaring brass and sweeping strings and strenuous guitar soloing engaging in an epic struggle between dejection and elation. The whole thing’s bathed in a sanctified glow and brimming with the residual pathos that comes from a musician who’s had very serious health issues and a close brush with death in the last 13 years. DAVE SEGAL

91. James Bay

English singer-songwriter James Bay aims to seduce everyone in the Seattle metro area with his aw-shucks blue-eyed-soul vibes, tracks off his latest album, and new short haircut on his Electric Light Tour.

92. Queensrÿche, Fates Warning

Back in 2012, Queensrÿche publicly feuded over the use of their name with former vocalist Geoff Tate. After securing the copyright to the well-established name, the remaining members made a risky move, hiring former Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre. Many feared this change, as Tate’s voice was synonymous with Queensrÿche’s prog-rock sound. What fans received was a love letter to the vintage Queensrÿche years, shying away from their softer, more ballad-driven material and embracing their original soaring, power-metal-esque anthems with 2013’s self-titled album and 2015’s Condition Hüman. There’s no end in sight for this old-school Northwest rock institution. KEVIN DIERS

APRIL 5-7

FESTIVALS

93. Orcas Island Lit Fest

This festival is a boon to anyone who loves both literature and gorgeous island landscapes. Last year, you could attend a lit crawl with major authors, generate some masterpieces of your own at workshops, and chime in on panel discussions, as well as meeting regional authors, poets, and publishers.

SAT APRIL 6

MUSIC

94. An Evening with Michael Bublé

Stadium seducer Michael Bublé will bring his lounge act on a 27-city U.S. tour this spring on a wave of success following five sold-out world tours, winning four additional Grammy Awards, and selling over 60 million records.

APRIL 6–MAY 26

PERFORMANCE

95. Urinetown: The Musical

The themes of scarcity, greed, populism, and capitalism running amok make the triple Tony-winning post-apocalyptic musical Urinetown, with music by Mark Hollmann, lyrics by Hollmann and Greg Kotis, and book by Kotis, a perfect satire for our times. This is a coproduction with the 5th Avenue Theater.

SUN APRIL 7

READINGS & TALKS

96. Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott’s friendly, nonjudgmental, and vague brand of Christianity (as encountered in her latest book Hallelujah Anyway; Rediscovering Mercy) irritates many critics even as they praise her linguistic facility and approachability. But she wrote Bird by Bird, an indisputably great book, and she is funny as hell on stage. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

APRIL 7–18

FOOD & DRINK

97. Seattle Restaurant Week

Frugal gourmands everywhere rejoice over this twice-yearly event, which lets diners tuck into prix-fixe menus at more than 165 different restaurants hoping to lure new customers with singularly slashed prices: Three courses cost a mere $33, and many restaurants also offer two-course lunches for $18. It’s an excellent opportunity to feast like a high roller at an accessible price point and cross some otherwise spendy establishments off your food bucket list. JULIANNE BELL

WED APRIL 10

MUSIC

98. Perfume

Considered one of the most influential girl groups in Japan, futuristic electro-pop trio Perfume (consisting of A-Chan, Kashiyuka, and Nocchi) will bring their “4th Future Pop” world tour to Seattle for an evening of internationally renowned pop and electronica.

THURS APRIL 11

MUSIC

99. Chayanne

On part two of his Desde El Alma tour, Puerto Rican singer Chayanne will bring his winning smile and golden vocal cords to Seattle for a night of chart-topping hits.

APRIL 11-12

MUSIC

100. Dan & Shay, Chris Lane

Singer-songwriter duo Dan & Shay have been hard at work prepping their latest self-titled album, and will play hits from their last three releases while on tour.

APRIL 12-21

PERFORMANCE

101. A Midsummer Night’s Dream

George Balanchine’s beautiful choreography of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream will get a Northwest forest setting in this Pacific Northwest Ballet production.

SAT APRIL 13

MUSIC

102. Kansas

Many years have passed since the ’70s Kansas classic Point of Know Return, so, natch, they’re back to revamp the glory of its release as well as all their other rock hits.

THURS APRIL 18

MUSIC

103. Why Don’t We

Gen-Z boy band Why Don’t We, comprised of Daniel Seavey, Zach Herron, Corbyn Besson, Jonah Marais, and Jack Avery, combine their singer-songwriter talents and social media prowess to form a pop culture monolith.

APRIL 19-20

FILM

104. SPLIFF Film Fest

From the folks who brought you HUMP! Film Festival, here’s SPLIFF! The SPLIFF Film Festival is where filmmakers, artists, animators, and stoners share original film shorts exploring stoner themes. From serious takes on pot culture to stoner comedy to mind-blowing weirdness—they all have a home at SPLIFF. Creative types of all stripes will entertain, challenge, and amaze SPLIFF audiences with short films that examine and/or celebrate recreational marijuana use and its liberating effects on our imaginations, appetites, libidos, and creative energies.

APRIL 19–21

GEEK

105. Sakura-Con

For one weekend, see life through an anime lens as cosplayers gather again for the Northwest’s “oldest and most well-attended” convention devoted to the art, presented by the Asia Northwest Cultural Education Association. It’s a member-only festival, but once you’re a member, everything else is free—contests, panels, “cosplay chess,” gaming, and the Kawaii vs. Kowai Dance Party. Meet artists and browse their works, watch models strut outlandish looks on the runway at two fashion shows, and hear musical guests.

SAT APRIL 20

FOOD & DRINK

106. Seattle Cheese and Meat Festival

The world is your cheese plate at this celebration of all things cured meat and fromage. At the door, you’ll be greeted with a tasting glass and charcuterie board, and then left to your own devices to wander around curating the platter of your dreams with samples from more than 50 vendors. Then pair your picks with wine, cider, beer, spirits, and kombucha.

APRIL 23–28

PERFORMANCE

107. The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical

This musical is an adaptation of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series’ first entry, in which a 12-year-old Greek demigod discovers his divine heritage—much to his annoyance.

THURS APRIL 25

MUSIC

108. The 1975, Pale Waves, No Rome

Manchester alt-rock revivalists and teen-favorites the 1975 will return to Seattle on their North American 2019 spring tour with Pale Waves and No Rome.

APRIL 26-28

FESTIVALS

109. Seattle Erotic Art Festival

For the past 17 years, the Foundation for Sex-Positive Culture has gathered enthusiasts of erotic art in all its forms. See the galleries of visual and interactive art, draw sensually posed models, hear sexy readings, compete in some contests, gasp at the contortions of pole dancers and other acrobats, and more.

APRIL 26–JUNE 2

PERFORMANCE

110. Nina Simone: Four Women

Journey back to 1963 as Nina Simone, horrified by the killings of four black girls in the bombing of an Alabaman church, writes the agony of the civil rights struggle into her music. Valerie Curtis-Newton, a 2014 Stranger Genius Award laureate, will direct this play by Christina Ham.

APRIL 27–SEPT 15

ART

111. Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen

Chilean-born artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña has had exhibitions at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Santiago, throughout Europe, and at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the MoMA in New York, but this will be her first major solo show. The works span many different forms, from video to found object sculpture (a medium Vicuña often favors), in a meditation of climate change and “public memory and responsibility.”

TUES APRIL 30

MUSIC

112. Arlo Guthrie

Arlo Guthrie will stop by Seattle to play a concert on tour for the 52nd anniversary of Alice’s Restaurant, and in honor of the countless classics he penned throughout his prolific career as America’s country-crossing bard.

READINGS & TALKS

113. Anthony Ray Hinton

Anthony Ray Hinton knows firsthand what racial bias and corruption in the justice system can inflict: Though innocent, he spent 30 years on death row before being released in 2015. Now a speaker for the Equal Justice Initiative, which helped him obtain liberty, he’ll stop in Seattle to educate the community on his ordeal, and the suffering of others in similar situations.

MAY

Special Holiday Calendars: Mother’s Day (May 12)

FRI MAY 3

READINGS & TALKS

114. An Evening with the Clintons

Former President Bill Clinton and would-have-been-President-if-we-had-a-popular-vote Hillary Clinton will stop by for a talk on life, politics, careers, and our fraught present.

MAY 3–4

COMEDY

115. Tom Segura: Take It Down Tour

Watch Los Angeles-based comedian Tom Segura (known for his Stitcher Award-nominated podcast Your Mom’s House, and whose specials Disgraceful, Mostly Stories, and Completely Normal you can find on Netflix) tell abrasive jokes.

COMMUNITY

116. Crosscut Festival

Leaders in politics, business, the environment, and social justice will be interviewed live on stage by local journalists at the Crosscut Festival. Nearly 2,000 attendees are expected to hear the 75+ speakers over 50 or so sessions.

FILM

117. HUMP! Film Festival 2019

Missed Dan Savage’s boisterous festival of amateur porn, HUMP!, back in November? No worries! The films will be re-screened in all their raunchy glory. This year’s festival was wilder than ever, full of kink, queerdom, and…human goats? so don’t miss out.

MAY 3-5

GEEK

118. Crypticon 2019

Crypticon will fill the DoubleTree with hundreds of gorehounds, bloodsluts, zombbros, and creepazoids. Dress up and enter the cosplay contest, compete in the writing and horror makeup competitions, browse haunted Cthulhu/zombie/vampire/etc. goods, and party on the 13th floor.

SAT MAY 4

FESTIVALS

119. Seattle Yacht Club Opening Day

On the first Saturday of May for almost a century, hundreds of recreational boats have paraded from Portage Bay through the Montlake Cut for Seattle Yacht Club’s Opening Day to celebrate the official opening of Seattle’s boating season. Watch from the shore as adorned vessels boast live bands and giant floats. It’s also a tradition for people on board to throw water balloons at shore-dwellers, so practice your reflexes.

FOOD & DRINK

120. Seattle Bacon and Beer Classic 2019

At this festival, munch on unlimited salty, crunchy pork from more than 30 local chefs and sip crisp brews and ciders from more than 100 regional breweries. Plus, participate in a blind beer taste test, a bacon-eating contest, and activities like giant Jenga and pretzel necklace making.

OPENING MAY 4

ART

121. Seattle Style: Fashion/Function

Seattle fashion, whether utilitarian or glamorous, will be the focus of this exhibition drawing on MOHAI’s clothing collection. The organizers say it’ll be the “most significant” display ever of the PNW’s regional fashion.

MAY 4-19

PERFORMANCE

122. Carmen

In the popular imagination, opera is everything that Carmen is not: ungainly, grandiose, psychologically cartoonish, full of eardrum-bashing orchestration rather than sinuous, sexy tunes. But Georges Bizet’s Carmen is dark, intimate, catchy, and closer in plot to a film noir than an epic. Expect Seattle Opera to bring a thoughtful and nuanced perspective, carefully handling the dated theme of the exotic femme fatale. JOULE ZELMAN

See also: Seattle Arts & Lectures: Journalism series on May 7 (started in March)

THURS MAY 9

READINGS & TALKS

123. Seattle Arts & Lectures Presents: An Evening with Melinda Gates

The businesswoman and global women’s rights activist will talk about the “link between women’s empowerment and the health of societies” as she presents her book The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World.

MAY 9–19

FOOD & DRINK

124. Seattle Beer Week 2019

Seattle’s craft beer scene is always alive and bubbling with activity, but during Beer Week, that geeky enthusiasm gets kicked into high gear, with a stacked lineup of beer dinners, festivals, socials, pub crawls, and releases galore. Past festivities have included beer and doughnut pairings, a beer-can derby, whole pig roasts, and way more.

FRI MAY 10

COMEDY

125. Paula Poundstone

Paula Poundstone is a divisive comedian. She placed 88 on Comedy Central’s 2004 list of top 100 stand-ups while clocking in at No. 6 in Maxim magazine’s 2007 list of “Worst Comedians of All-Time.” Well-known for her stints on NPR’s news quiz show Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, she specializes in relatable, everyday anecdotes that come loaded with humorous twists, often glazed with self-deprecation and mild absurdity. There’s something Seinfeldian about her act, but she’s a bit goofier overall than Jerry. Poundstone’s a seasoned pro, albeit not with the spiciest ingredients. DAVE SEGAL

SAT MAY 11

PERFORMANCE

126. Savage Love Live

You can catch up with a world of sexual misadventures and The Stranger‘s own Dan Savage’s perspicacious, compassionate, and sometimes catty responses in the Savage Lovecast podcast every week. But! For an extra-special raunchy gab session, join Savage for a live talk about strangers’ lurid boudoir doings (as the kids call it). Musical guest Rachel Lark will break things up with some tunes.

SUN MAY 12

SPORTS & RECREATION

127. Mother’s Day Half Marathon & 5K

Choose between a half-marathon and a 5K run/walk to celebrate your mom and other people’s moms. At the finish line, enjoy all the wine and mimosas you deserve.

MAY 14-19

PERFORMANCE

128. School of Rock

Dewey Finn is a substitute teacher who turns his class into one huge rock band. Andrew Lloyd Webber has composed 14 new songs for this new musical, based on the Richard Linklater-Jack Black film.

WED MAY 15

MUSIC

129. Snow Patrol

Irish indie rockers Snow Patrol have been at it for 14 years, and will return to Seattle to perform tracks from their new album, Wildness.

MAY 16–JUNE 9

FILM

130. Seattle International Film Festival 2019

The 45th annual Seattle International Film Festival is the largest film festival in the United States, with more than 400 films (spread over 25 days) watched by around 150,000 people. It’s impressively grand and one of the most exciting and widely attended arts events Seattle has to offer.

MAY 17–JUNE 23

PERFORMANCE

131. Tiny Beautiful Things

Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) has adapted Cheryl Strayed’s story of writing an advice column under the pseudonym Sugar, yielding a play about empathy, healing, tough love, and kindness.

SAT MAY 18

MUSIC

132. Thomas Rhett, Dustin Lynch

Frequent Top40 denizen and CMT darling Thomas Rhett, who wins audiences with his pop and rock-influenced country tracks, will hit the road this year on his Very Hot Summer tour with support from Dustin Lynch.

MAY 18–19

FESTIVALS

133. University District Streetfair

The University District’s iconic street fair will return for the 50th year, filling the Ave with food, shopping, crafts, and music.

GEEK

134. Minefaire

Minecraft players can get their kicks by meeting YouTube gaming celebs, competing in tournaments and costume contests, witnessing live stage shows, and more at this geeky extravaganza dedicated to the extremely popular sandbox video game.

SUN MAY 19

MUSIC

135. Art Garfunkel

American songbook legend and general beloved weirdo Art Garfunkel will bring his decades of folk-pop experience, myriad of chart-topping hits, and literal thousands of miles walked and the memories therein to Seattle.

SPORTS & RECREATION

136. Beat the Bridge

Help fund diabetes research through JDRF by running in Nordstrom’s annual Beat the Bridge 5 or 8K. Your goal is to cross the University Bridge before it’s raised at the two-mile mark, but if you don’t make it in time, you won’t have to turn around—there will be live music and more festivities as the bridge makes its way back down. 

TUES MAY 21

MUSIC

137. Jenny Lewis

Alt-folk songstress and queen of the empty dance floor Jenny Lewis returns to Seattle for the first time in years to promote her latest album, On the Line.

WED MAY 22

MUSIC

138. The Rolling Stones

Venerable British rock legends the Rolling Stones will most likely stick to their 1965-1978 sweet spot of beloved peak jams at this Tacoma stop on their 2019 No Filter tour.

READINGS & TALKS

139. SAL Presents: The Moth Mainstage

Listeners of The Moth know the deal: each storyslammer has a short period of time to tell a compelling story, whether poignant, funny, tragic, or edifying.

FRI MAY 24

MUSIC

140. Carrie Underwood, Maddie & Tae, Runaway June

Country music golden girl Carrie Underwood has a sharpened pop sensibility with the curated style of a flag-waving backcountry woman. She’ll be showcasing tracks from Cry Pretty, her sixth studio album, with supporting acts Maddie & Tae and Runaway June.

MAY 24–27

FESTIVALS

141. Northwest Folklife Festival

The Northwest Folklife Festival, “one of the largest, multicultural, access-for-all” festivals, will present over 5,000 performers representing many different cultural communities for the 47th year. A highlight in 2019 is “Echoes of Aztlán and Beyond: Mexican American and Chicana/o Roots in the Northwest,” which celebrates Mexican American and Chicana/o communities from around the Pacific Northwest through stories, art, film, music, food, dance, and language.

MAY 31-JUNE 9

PERFORMANCE

142. Themes and Variations

See masterpieces by George Balanchine (Theme and Variation and Tarantella), Jose Limon (The Moor’s Pavane), and Price Suddarth (Signature) at this Pacific Northwest Ballet production.

MAY 31–JUNE 23

PERFORMANCE

143. Pass Over

Antoinette Nwandu’s play, written partially in response to the slaying of Trayvon Martin and borrowing the format of Waiting for Godot with a dose of the biblical Exodus story, enjoyed a run at a Lincoln Center Theater in New York this past summer. Before that, in Chicago, it was the catalyst for some fierce controversy for its depiction of a racist white police officer, which one prominent critic of the Sun-Times decried as ignoring “black-on-black” violence. The Chicago theater scene responded angrily, and Nwandu herself penned an insightful defense: “Reconciliation is impossible without an honest conversation about who is angry at whom, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to present a reality that most black audience members identify with and find cathartic in a historically white institutional space.” You’ll have a chance to see Nwandu’s acclaimed work, a testament to the forces driving Black Lives Matter and the search for the promised land. Nataki Garrett will direct.

144. West Side Story

“In truth, they rarely ever made musicals like West Side Story, a show conceived a half-century ago by acclaimed choreographer/director Jerome Robbins along with fellow Broadway legends Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents. You’ve seen the movie, you’ve heard the songs, you’re well-familiar with the Romeo and Juliet-inspired 1950s New York street-gang setting. A musical that tells its story as much through dance as it does through song or dialogue, this is Robbins’s masterpiece. Arguably Bernstein’s too. The material deserves every plaudit it has ever received. Let’s just leave it at that.” – Excerpted from a 2012 review by Goldy

JUNE

Special Holiday Calendars: Father’s Day (June 16)

SAT JUNE 1

MUSIC

145. Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris, Neko Case

Ask the average music fan anywhere in the world to name the biggest and best musical artists coming out of Seattle in 2018, and the answer is still likely to be Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, or some other boom-years band, active or not. This has now been true for more than 25 years, much to the frustration of many worthy Northwest artists. Consider Brandi Carlile, the folk/country/ pop artist from Ravensdale, Washington, who recently released her seventh album in 13 years, the stately and assured By the Way, I Forgive You. Carlile’s career has been a steady progression of professional accolades, noteworthy collaborations, and artistic advancement—all of it off the traditional path of what one expects from Seattle artists. She has worked with legendary producers T-Bone Burnett and Rick Rubin, had songs in major commercials and Hollywood films, and heard them sung by contestants on American Idol and The Voice. Barack Obama declared his fandom for Carlile in 2015 when he added her song “Wherever Is Your Heart” to the first of his presidential Spotify playlists. All of which is a long way around saying that regardless of what measurement you apply— art, commerce, conscience, or craft—any list of Seattle music’s biggest and brightest talents that doesn’t include Brandi Carlile’s name belongs to the past. SEAN NELSON

146. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead

My friends can’t stop talking about Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, aka JRAD, which was supposed to be a one-off show featuring interpretations of Grateful Dead songs but turned into a full-time touring powerhouse selling out shows nationwide. Joe Russo was originally the drums-and-percussion half of Benevento Russo Duo with Marco Benevento—also a member of JRAD—and his post-Duo efforts include work with Gene Ween, Cass McCombs, and Furthur, a Dead spin-off featuring Bob Weir and Phil Lesh. JRAD was conceived in 2013 after Russo’s stint with Furthur ended, and in addition to Benevento on keys, its current incarnation features Ween bassist Dave Dreiwitz, and Scott Metzger and Tom Hamilton on vocals and guitars. By all accounts, they put on an epic, must-see show—recognizable as Grateful Dead music, but with its own heavier bend and heady persuasions. LEILANI POLK

147. New Kids On The Block, Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Naughty By Nature

It was the late 1980s when New Kids on the Block began their rise to short-lived superstardom. I was nine, all my elementary-school friends thought they were the bee’s knees, and even though I wasn’t really into the cute crooners because they sounded like kids (I preferred adults) and thought their pop was boring, I feigned undying devotion to avoid the risk of judgment. In hindsight, I recognize the schmaltzy appeal, even if I’m still not a fan, and acknowledge the allure of this nostalgia tour. LEILANI POLK

JUNE 1–SEPT 1

ART

148. Jane Wong: After Preparing the Altar, the Ghosts Feast Feverishly

Stranger critic Rich Smith invited readers to approach Jane Wong’s poems thus: “If you haven’t read much poetry at all, you can enjoy the pleasure of letting Wong’s precise and gritty-gorgeous images pass over you one by one like the most intense screen saver you’ve ever seen.” The visual metaphor is a happy one, since Wong’s solo exhibition (her first) uses artistic elements like altars, “sculptural poems,” and belongings alongside texts to evoke her childhood in New Jersey, where her parents ran a Chinese American restaurant, and her family’s experience as poor people in rural China. According to press materials, “Wong’s mother was born at the end of the Great Leap Forward (1958–1962), a Maoist campaign that sought agricultural and industrial reform in the Chinese countryside. Also known as the Great Famine, the campaign resulted in an estimated 36 million deaths due to starvation.” With this background, Wong explores themes of hunger and waste and their meaning for immigrant families.

FRI JUNE 7

See also: Seattle Arts & Lectures: Women You Need To Know series (started in January)

MUSIC

149. Train, Goo Goo Dolls, Allen Stone

Nondescript radio rockers Train share their posi alt vibes with a gorge full of ’90s revivalists, as well as their tour partners, the Goo Goo Dolls and Allen Stone.

JUNE 7-8

MUSIC

150. Dead & Company

For whatever reason, John Mayer catalyzed a folksy rebirth of American music in order to relive all of jam band extraordinaire the Grateful Dead’s best moments. The whole crew will be present for two long nights in Central Washington.

JUNE 8-9

SPORTS & RECREATION

151. St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Whether you choose to run a 5K, half marathon, or full marathon, you’ll get to enjoy live bands, DJs, drum lines, and other musical entertainment to keep you going along the way. Plus, you’ll be supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

JUNE 12–JULY 7

PERFORMANCE

152. Wicked

Anticipate another return of the megapopular musical that presents another perspective on The Wizard of Oz.

JUNE 12–JULY 14

FOOD & DRINK

153. Kirkland Uncorked

This summer wine festival, which benefits no-kill shelter Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center, encompasses a 21+ wine tasting garden, a “burger brawl,” and music, as well as a street fair with a boat show, a food truck feast, and other activities.

JUNE 13–SEPT 8

ART

154. Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts and Crafts Movement

You may have seen Pre-Raphaelite paintings, those opulently romantic depictions of medieval lords and ladies that evoke a dreamy Middle Ages without grime and shit. This exhibition, featuring 145 paintings, crafts, sculptures, and more, focuses on the small group of artists who rebelled against the aesthetics of industrialization and drew on the past: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Edward Burne-Jones, and William Morris.

JUNE 14-16

FOOD & DRINK

155. 14th Annual Washington Brewers Festival

Maximizers who thrive when presented with a dizzying array of choices should enjoy this festival from the Washington Beer Commission, which will offer 500 beers from more than 100 Washington brewers. Besides beer, there’s also a specialty root-beer garden for designated drivers and the 21-and-younger crowd to enjoy, plus food vendors, a kids’ playground, and music and entertainment all weekend.

JUNE 14–AUG 20

FESTIVALS

156. Seafair

Every year, this iconic summer festival (started in 1950) puts on dozens of events throughout Seattle throughout the summer, including community parades and cultural celebrations across the city. The biggest highlight is the Seafair Weekend Festival (Aug 2-4), which features Blue Angels air shows, Hydroplane racing, and tons more signature outdoor activities. Other major happenings include the Seafair Summer Fourth (July 4), Ballard SeafoodFest (July 12-14), Lucerne Seafair Milk Carton Derby (Sat July 13), and Alaska Airlines Torchlight Parade and Capitol One Torchlight Run (Sat July 27).

FRI JUNE 21

MUSIC

157. Judas Priest, Uriah Heep

Picture this: rural Northern California in the mid-1990s. A passel of children tangled together in the back seat of a minivan, slowly cruising up a wooded interstate. They’re on their way to a church youth camp; it’s been an overly hot and dusty summer, and restlessness reigns. Each child is screaming at the top of their tiny lungs. Are they, perhaps, possessed by the majesty of the Holy Spirit? Nope—they’re gang-shrieking the lyrics to Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law.” The reach and influence of the British band, widely claimed to have originated heavy metal itself (alongside Black Sabbath, of course), is such that it hits even the hearts of doe-eyed youngsters, and it hits hard. Almost 50 years into their career, Judas Priest can still wrangle a fiendish, otherworldly energy from even the most unexpected of listeners, like 10-year-old me and my young covenant group. KIM SELLING

JUNE 22–23

FESTIVALS

158. Fremont Fair

Fremont loves its weird celebrations, and this two-day outdoor urban festival is arguably its biggest event of the year. From its gigantic parade comprised of glittery naked cyclists to its craft market and live music events, the tradition has something for hippies, families, foodies, and artists alike.

FRI JUNE 28

MUSIC

159. Jeff Lynne’s ELO

Nimble pop producer and songwriter Jeff Lynne is the genius behind expansive ’70s and ’80s pop/rock outfit Electric Light Orchestra. The current iteration of ELO will be led by Lynne on their 20-date summer 2019 tour.

JUNE 28-29

MUSIC

160. Eric Church

With no support act on his tour (aptly titled the Double Down Tour), 2016 CMA Album of the Year winner Eric Church (and the Eric Church Band) will play two full and unique sets, with an intermission in between if you need a break from all that country-rockin’.

SUN JUNE 30

MUSIC

161. Dido

Electronic pop chanteuse and gentle soul Dido has returned with her first new album in five years, Still On My Mind. She’ll play tracks from this new collection, which is reportedly full of emotional dance music, on this tour stop.

QUEER

162. Seattle Pride Parade

The month of June plays host to many great PrideFest events throughout the city, all of which culminate in the gigantic procession that is the Seattle Pride Parade, which trails from Fourth Avenue to Seattle Center, where a fun party ensues. Years past have seen scantily clad Batmen, drag queens, people in assless chaps, leather daddies, and families in matching hats.

JULY

Special Holiday Calendars: Fourth of July

JULY 6–7

FOOD & DRINK

163. Seattle St. Food Festival 2019

This curbside festival from Mobile Food Rodeo gathers food trucks, trailers, street food vendors, and handmade shops on the streets of South Lake Union for a night of gluttony. Past events have featured over 150 vendors.

FRI JULY 12

MUSIC

164. Queen with Adam Lambert

This bill is utterly wrong, of course. Sure, Adam Lambert has a great voice, a great face, and a great body. The former American Idol contestant is out and has taken his lumps for it. What Lambert does not have is what RuPaul called the TP, the Total Package. The TP in this case concerns the late Queen vocalist Farrokh Bulsara, who turned himself into Freddie Mercury, dazzled the world, dosed the faithful and anyone else within earshot with excess, and buried his non-Caucasianness deeper than his queerness (on the latter, he’d drop hints with a wink or the aesthetic equivalent—but no one could ask him about family). Mercury hid in plain sight, signified in plain sight, and died from AIDS in shame. Go to this concert if you want spectacle. You’ll get it, but you won’t get history. ANDREW HAMLIN

JULY 12-14

FOOD & DRINK

165. Seattle International Beerfest

This three-day specialty beer fest boasts “200 world-class beers…from everywhere,” promising everything from classic beers like pilsners and pales to “exotic new-world hybrids” like barrel-aged hoppy farmhouse sours. There’s plenty of lawn seating, so bring a picnic blanket.

SAT JULY 13

MUSIC

166. Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth

Amidst health scares and rumors of retirement, Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne will bless the Pacific Northwest with his passionate heavy metal and will show thousands of people why he has always been the Prince of Darkness. He’ll be backed by faithful collaborators Zakk Wylde, Blasko, Tommy Clufetos, and Adam Wakeman, with iconic Los Angeles metal group Megadeth supporting for the entire North American run of this finale tour.

TUES JULY 16

MUSIC

167. Jon Bellion

Citing long-lasting musical influences like Andre 3000 and Kanye West, pop and hiphop blender Jon Bellion will return to Seattle on his Glory Sound Prep tour, playing music from his latest effort of the same name.

JULY 19–21

FESTIVALS

168. Capitol Hill Block Party 2019

Capitol Hill Block Party is a large-scale weekend music festival that originally started as a charming neighborhood get-together and has since morphed into a massive spectacle of Top-40 headliners and Seattle heavy hitters converging during the dog days of summer in the Pike/Pine corridor.

169. Sequim Lavender Festival

After a long winter hibernation, the lavender fields of Sequim come abloom to soothe the souls and nasal passages of passersby. Take in the sights, shop for lavender goods, and more.

FOOD & DRINK

170. Bite of Seattle

Year-round, Seattle is filled with festivals devoted to niche food and drink offerings, but if there’s one event that everyone knows about, it’s the Bite of Seattle, a free event at Seattle Center that’s been going strong since 1982 and claims to attract more than 400,000 guests annually. Seattle’s “original & largest food and beverage showcase” rounds up food from more than 60 restaurants and pop-up vendors. There’s also craft beer and cider tastings, a restaurant showcase benefiting Food Lifeline, live cooking demonstrations, and cook-off battles on the “Bite Cooks” stage. And when you can’t eat anymore, head to the free outdoor movie night on Friday or one of three music stages for live performances from bands.

JULY 19–AUG 11

PERFORMANCE

171. The Year of Magical Thinking

One of the deepest and most affecting memoirs of grief of this century so far, Joan Didion’s 2005 book The Year of Magical Thinking recounts the torments and irrationalities of her existence after the death of her husband and her daughter’s illness and decline. Sheila Daniels will direct this one-woman solo adaptation.

MON JULY 29

MUSIC

172. Backstreet Boys

The well-coiffed, nostalgia-pop-belting blood brothers of the Backstreet Boys will end their Vegas residency next spring and hop on a plane to hit cities across the globe on their DNA World Tour.

JULY 31–AUG 11

PERFORMANCE

173. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Follow Charlie Bucket through the delicious but treacherous Chocolate Factory in this musical adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel, featuring songs from the 1971 movie with Gene Wilder.

AUGUST

AUG 1–4

ART

174. Seattle Art Fair

The five-year-old international art fair has quickly become one of the most indispensable cultural events in the Northwest, gathering gallerists from across the US and Canada as well as cities in Asia and Europe. Throughout the fair, there will be performance art happenings, talks, demos, and more. There is guaranteed to be more fantastic, wild, diverse work than you can take in over one day, so plan on spending some time.

AUG 2–4

FESTIVALS

175. Watershed 2019

Watershed Country Music Festival will return to the Gorge for a wild weekend of twangin’ goodness. Put on your “Shedder gear” (trucker hats?) and get ready for three whole days of down-home studs. Past Watershed musicians have included Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Cassadee Pope, Big & Rich, and more.

AUG 3–18

GEEK

176. Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire

Indulge in your love of Renaissance-era chivalry, heroes and villains, faeries and goblins, and swashbuckling pirates at this three-weekend fair.

SUN AUG 4

MUSIC

177. John Prine

Herman Melville once wrote “there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast.” You cannot savor warmth without knowing the cold. And you can’t really fathom happiness unless you’ve known the full depth of sadness. Folk legend John Prine appears to understand this principle. His charmingly sweet songs like “In Spite of Ourselves” set you up for heart-rending ballads like “Sam Stone” and “Hello in There.” It can be such a roller coaster that even the lyrically light “Long Monday” seems like a heavy-duty painkiller. You can keep your young sad-sucker minstrels with their endless string of minor chords. I’ll take the old guy whose upbeat demeanor belies a lifetime of genuine heartache.

BRIAN COOK

AUG 7-12

FESTIVALS

178. Doe Bay Fest 12

Doe Bay Fest’s grassroots festival weekend of camping, local music, food, and dancing in a little Orcas Island cove will return for its 12th year.

WED AUG 14

MUSIC

179. The Piano Guys

Four dads armed with pianos and camera phones have brought their eight hands of talent to the Internet, and now to Seattle, with an evening of melded classical and pop hits.

FRI AUG 16

FOOD & DRINK

180. Sunset Supper

One hundred of the region’s favorite restaurants, wineries, breweries, and distilleries come together for this signature Pike Place Market Foundation summer evening event.

AUG 16-17

MUSIC

181. “Weird Al” Yankovic

Since the day I first heard “Another One Rides the Bus,” I have had a deep love and respect for “Weird Al” Yankovic. And as time and pop music moves, um, forward, his parodies and the aural puns-ishment he produces have become a nice throwback to when AM radio and Top 40 charts welcomed novelty songs. I’d guess even into the 1980s, novelty, parody, and answer songs were still radio-friendly genres, but that was wiped away in the ’90s by contemporary pop radio’s homogenization and evident need to be taken seriously. Except maybe for Tenacious D, “Weird Al” is the last, and only, parody/novelty performer allowed on the radio. Anyway, I bet Al’s blistering accordion solos tonight will be most choice and the gargled solo in “Smells Like Nirvana” will be divine. MIKE NIPPER

AUG 16–18

WEED

182. Seattle Hempfest 2019

The “premier flagship event of the global cannabis culture,” Seattle’s massive Hempfest, will return once again for three days of talks, pot-loving celebrity guests and congresspeople, and hundreds of vendors.

AUG 17–19

FESTIVALS

183. Seattle Tattoo Expo

Hidden Hand Tattoo hosts this three-day expo of permanently decorated flesh, where you can see displays, attend seminars, and even get yourself inked up from by the right artist for you. Last year’s featured artists included Jeff Cornell (of Hidden Hand), Shawn Barber (of LA’s Memoir Tattoo), VyVyn Lazonga (of Seattle’s Madame Lazonga’s Tattoo), and many others.

AUG 19–25

FESTIVALS

184. Washington State International Kite Festival

Deemed “the greatest, grandest kite festival on the North American continent” by KiteLife.com, this annual weeklong celebration and competition in Long Beach invites you to show off your fancy air choreography or just watch other peoples’ skills.

AUG 30–SEPT 1

FESTIVALS

185. Bumbershoot 2019

Bumbershoot, Seattle’s biggest music, comedy, and arts festival, will take over Seattle Center for Labor Day Weekend 2019 for the 49th year. Expect major touring artists mixed with local talents across the music, art, and comedy spectrums, with a special food selection known as B-Eats.

AUG 30–SEPT 22

FESTIVALS

186. Washington State Fair

The hottest days of the summer coincide with the annual Washington State Fair in Puyallup, which brings family-friendly activities like rides and games, carnival food, free music and performances, baby animals, cultural events, produce contests, a rodeo, live concerts, and much more.

AUG 31–SEPT 3

GEEK

187.. PAX West

The first thing to know about PAX West—Seattle’s annual Labor Day weekend convention devoted exclusively to gaming—is that it always sells out very quickly, so don’t hesitate to buy tickets in advance. The convention features dozens of panels with special guests, an exhibit hall, new game demonstrations, and video game-inspired musical performances. If you can’t make it to the main event, there are always lots of fun affiliated parties going on around town.

SEPTEMBER

THURS SEPT 5

MUSIC

188. Iron Maiden

Rather than try to convince you to go see Iron Maiden at the Tacoma Dome, I’m just going to list some facts and let you decide for yourself. They recorded their last album, The Book of Souls, while lead singer Bruce Dickinson had throat cancer. That album is now their fifth number-one album in the United Kingdom. Dickinson has since beat said cancer in time to tour. He also piloted Maiden’s private Boeing jet, Ed Force One (named after their zombified mascot), on their 2016 world tour, on which they played for nearly two hours per night. Look, Iron Maiden are the kings of hard rock, and it’s time to kiss the ring. JOSEPH SCHAFER

SEPT 6-7

FOOD & DRINK

189. Cider Summit Seattle

At the 10th edition of this annual festival, guests can try more than 150 fermented-fruit beverages, including both regional and international varieties.

SEPT 6-26

PERFORMANCE

190. People of the Book

Yussef El Guindi, a Stranger Genius Award winner in literature, will have a new world premiere this fall: A play about three old friends, including an Iraq War veteran turned bestselling author named Jason, and Amir and Lynn, who start to question his heroic, patriotic autobiographical narrative. El Guindi’s skill at mining the uncomfortable truths about America while still being funny will surely shine forth here.

SEPT 17-18

MUSIC

191. Elton John

Did you know that Elton John’s real name is Reginald Kenneth Dwight? Did you know that he has sold more than 300 million records in his career? Did you know that Sean Lennon is one of his 10 godchildren? Did you know that he hates Madonna? Sorry, I fell into a Wikipedia hole. Anyway, I’m so-so on John’s discography—for every legit hit and moment of Disney genius, you’ve also got your “Bennie and the Jets” (aka the worst song ever) (BENNIIIEEE) and your “Crocodile Rock” (second-worst song ever). True, he’s a seriously talented piano player, but I’m more in it for the personality—the gay rights and AIDS activism, the glasses, the gap tooth, the glitter, the crotchety celebrity bitch-slapping. Oh, and he once described Jesus as a “compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems.” EMILY NOKES

SEPT 20-22

FOOD & DRINK

192. Fremont Oktoberfest

Hoist your heftiest steins in celebration of “Seattle’s largest beer festival,” where you can taste over 100 German and domestic craft beers (excuse us, “biers”) and feast on Bavarian-style food like Bratwurst and soft pretzels.

SEPT 21-22

SPORTS & RECREATION

193. Tough Mudder Classic

If you’ve participated in past Tough Mudder races, prepare yourself for a revamped obstacle course complete with eight to ten miles packed with 25 hurdles, including steep-sided gravel pits, deep-wood runs, a century-old coal heap, and lots of sludgy black coal mud.

OCTOBER

Special Holiday Calendars: Halloween (Oct 31)

OCT 4-9

FOOD & DRINK

194. Oktoberfest Northwest

Enter the indoor Munich and Bavarian Festhalles for an Oktoberfest celebration filled with German-style food, bier, and live entertainment. Families can also enjoy wiener dog races, a Stein Dash 5K or kids’ Root Beer Run, and more.

OCT 4–19

FOOD & DRINK

195. Leavenworth Oktoberfest

Since Leavenworth is Washington’s Bavarian-style village all year round, we believe them when they say that their Oktoberfest celebration is “the next best thing to Munich.” Kicking off with an opening ceremony complete with a keg tapping and an oompah-style marching band dressed in dirndls and lederhosen leading a procession, the festival promises German-style fare like bratwurst and coleslaw, family activities, and enough beer to keep your stein full at all times.

OCT 18–NOV 17

PERFORMANCE

196. Dracula

It’s a new take on the bloody and darkly sexy tale by Seattle’s own Steven Dietz! He promises a new spin on the endlessly filmed, adapted, and re-adapted 1897 novel by Bram Stoker, which sounds like a perfect Halloween treat.

NOVEMBER

Special Holiday Calendars: Thanksgiving (Nov 28)

TUES NOV 5

MUSIC

197. Peter Hook & the Light

Noted curmudgeon and even more notable musician Peter Hook has the distinction of being an architect of not one but two of rock music’s most important bands. The bassist’s high-on-the-neck style and songwriting prowess were secret weapons in goth pioneers Joy Division. After that, he similarly took part in the electronic-rock crossover outfit New Order. Hooky isn’t in New Order any longer, but he still plays that band’s hits and rarities. JOSEPH SCHAFER

SAT NOV 9

FESTIVALS

198. Short Run Comix & Arts Festival

In 2018, Stranger lit critic Rich Smith wrote: “Short Run is eight years old this year and, once again, it’s bigger than ever. You’re going. You’re bringing at LEAST $50 cash. You’re picking up new art books, zines, buttons, and little strips of beautiful screen-printed ephemera from more than 270 internationally/nationally/locally-renowned comics creators.” All this applies for the ninth edition of Short Run, only it’ll probably be even bigger, and you’ll probably want to bring even more money.

NOV 16-17

GEEK

199. GeekGirlCon

For the ninth year, geek girls (and all gender identities) can revel in another great lineup of panel discussions, games, science experiments, and vendors.

DECEMBER

SUN DEC 1

SPORTS & RECREATION

200. Seattle Marathon

Seattle’s biggest annual marathon/half marathon will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, with upwards of 15,000 runners expected to participate.