Northwest Folklife

26 - 29 May 2017
Seattle Center

On Memorial Day Weekend, performers muster in the Seattle Centre to tell stories, dance and make music.

  • When? 26 - 29 May 2017
  • Where? Seattle Center, Seattle
  • Price: Free admission

We're talking sea shanties and fiddles, polkas and puppeteers, blues grass and rumba, klezmer and spoons. Its a question of what won't you see, not what you will.

Every year since 1972, Seattle has brought its extensive network of traditional art forms together to celebrate the diversity of the Northwest Pacific. This is a real patchwork of the arts, bolstered by the new blood that arrives year on year. 250,000 folk enthusiasts can choose from 25 stages that cram 6,000 performers in over two days. There are no headliners and there is no admission charge.

The event is run on the support of volunteers and the donations given by attendees so there's a real sense of community and togetherness. 

Apart from the stage acts you can get a taste of the world's culinary offerings after a traditional dance class or hunker down in a drum circle in the May sunshine. What's more, 2016 saw the arrival of an open-air dance stage to showcase dance troupes from around the world as well as the introduction of visual arts to the festival. Peruse the exhibitions which this year included 'In-dig-e-enize', a project that explored the region's native communities and celebrated the diversity of the Seattle region. 

Most recently, the Northwest Folklife organisation have introduced the 'Seattle Children's Festival' to work alongside the main festival. Heading into it's third year this October, the children's festival gives young people the opportunity to experience new cultures and traditions with hands on activities including music, dance and arts and crafts. Although held at a different time of year to the main event, the children's festival guarantees that, no matter what your age, you have the chance to get involved in celebrating the diversity of the Seattle neighbourhood. 

That's all there is to it folks.

  • Get there: Take the bus to 5th Ave N & Broad Street or the Monorail directly to the Seattle Center.
  • Stay: Book accommodation in Downtown Seattle to be nearby for the festival.

Visit the Northwest Folklife official website for more information.


*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!