Why Should I Care About Hempfest?

Photo credit Greg Shaw

Secret Insider’s Tip for Hempfest Seattle 2017, and three reasons to go even if you don’t know a doobie from an edible.

Hempfest™ Seattle is August 18-20 this year, which means that the Olympic Sculpture Park, Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Park will have a green-tinged fog that weekend, no matter what the weather!

Hempfest bills itself as the largest pro-pot rally in the world, and they live up to that reputation with this huge party every summer on the edge of downtown Seattle celebrating all things hemp. It is a Seattle institution, in its 26th year, and is a cultural and social experience, even if you and Mary Jane are not close friends. It is also completely non-profit! It costs about $700,000 a year to put this thing on, and it runs 100% on donations!

While the Seattle Police Department usually (and unofficially, so don’t push it) chooses to look the other way for those imbibing in public, (citing a 2003 law de-prioritizing pot related misdemeanors), there is plenty to do for those who choose not to partake in the reefer.
Stay tuned for that insider’s tip but for now, why on earth would you want to go check out Hempfest?

Marijuana Education:

If you have an open mind about health and medical properties of cannabis, in its various forms from plant to oil to edibles, or are curious about what those properties might be, this is the place for you.

If you have concerns about pot offenders and the justice system, those questions can be answered. Wondering about legal weed and driving under the influence? Want to understand Washington’s marijuana law? What states currently allow recreational weed? This is the place to get these questions answered.

Educators, vendors, and law enforcement will be available throughout the three days to answer questions and conduct forums about many pot-related issues. Check out the Hemposium stage for Q and A sessions and presentations.

Seattle Hempfest Live Music:

Live music all three days, ranging from Hip Hip Soul, to Coffeehouse Rock, to Modern Pop Rock, to blues and country (did you know country music mentions pot more often than even Hip Hop?). Music acts are top notch local, and sometimes national acts. The line up is so good consistently year to year, it always begs the question: Is Hempfest a pot themed music fest, or a music themed pot fest? There will be at least 75 musical acts spread across the three parks on three different stages.

Photo credit Mark Gladding

The answer, by the way is neither, it’s actually a Protestival.

Hempfest Food Trucks:

Hempfest attracts a top notch flight of food vendors year in, year out.  Year’s past have included sweets and savories, both on food trucks and in food booths.  Look for smoothies, jerky, doughnuts, and more.  Grab your favorite nosh, pull up a piece of grass, and enjoy the beautiful setting. 

No word if the SPD will be giving out Doritios again!

Bonus reason to go to Hempfest:

It is just a super good time. Everyone is in a good mood, the crowds are amazing and relaxed, the vibe is chill, the scenery gorgeous, the volunteers are rock stars, and the atmosphere like nothing else. Even if hashish is not your thing, you can’t help but go with the flow, loosen up and take it easy. So grab a great bite to eat, pull up a piece of grass, and enjoy the live music wafting over the scene!

And finally, that insider’s tip for Hempfest:

The line to get in at the south entrance (otherwise known as Olympic Sculpture Park) is long.

Like epically long, dude…

Feel-yourself-age long, if you get my meaning.

Skip that line by entering the festival at the Thomas Street Footbridge. (see the map for this year’s festival). Thomas Street Footbridge will have you coming into the event right near the Shore Parker Main Stage, and as an extra bonus, parking for this location has the potential to be MUCH easier, as it is near Key Arena and all the west side of Seattle Center’s parking lots and garages.

Best of all, for Seattle Oasis guests, this access point is less than a mile from most of our locations! So skip the south entrance, and walk or Lyft your way to the Thomas Street Footbridge entrance.

You can thank me later. 

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