As soon as the words “Death Cab for Cutie” flashed behind Mama Tits, it was clear AEG had been punked. A week before Monday night’s official Bumbershoot-lineup release party at The Showbox, a mysterious poster featuring a supposed leaked lineup for the beleaguered festival started floating around social media. The festival’s official publicist, Matthew Ashworth, went on record declaring the leaked lineup poster “fake” to The Stranger’s Dave Segal. Technically, Ashworth was correct, but only because the leak contained a few typos—otherwise, the damning .jpeg was the real deal. As drag-queen royalty Mama Tits pulled bingo numbers at the Showbox announcement party, names from the leaked poster slowly but surely began to appear behind her: Macklemore, Death Cab for Cutie, KYGO, Tame Impala … a 100 percent match, save for a few unannounced locals.
Although many speculated that AEG itself leaked the lineup to do “damage control” in the face of widespread criticism of their takeover of the festival last year, an off-the-record insider at the announcement event claimed that higher-ups at AEG were in fact distressed when the leak came out, sending out concerned e-mails and making phone calls to try to get to the bottom of it.
The bona fide leak culprit was a 23-year-old Redditor from Billings, Mont., with the handle “CoogiMonster.” Initially posted on the r/Sasquatch forum and cross-posted to Internet infamy on r/Seattle, CoogiMonster cryptically claimed a “group,” not an individual, gave him the lineup “in good faith.” Who this “group” is—the Illuminati, Freemasons, or an AEG splinter cell—remains unclear. Regardless, the leak might have done more good than harm—it certainly generated lots of early chatter for Bumbershoot and AEG, and the lineup sports plenty of big names—Bryson Tiller, Billy Idol, Pretty Lights, Father John Misty, Run the Jewels, and Tyler the Creator, as well as a healthy number of notable locals like So Pitted, Shaprece, Lisa Prank, Fly Moon Royalty, and DoNormaal.
The teenagers at the event certainly didn’t seem to care or notice—cramming free pizza and donuts into their mouths, they squealed with delight when each new artist name flashed on the screen, and making the kids happy is really what it’s all about.