The 42 Best Social Distancing-Friendly Things To Do in Seattle This Memorial Day Weekend: May 22-25, 2020

The Northwest Folklife Festival, the Pine Box Beer Can Derby, and More Top Picks
May 22, 2020
This weekend's Northwest Folklife Festival, a Memorial Day tradition taking place virtually this year, will bring a wealth of music and dance performances and workshops celebrating cultures from all over the world. (Northwest Folklife)

The first three-day weekend of quarantine is here, courtesy of Memorial Day. Your backyard barbecue with all your closest friends and neighbors is canceled (it might rain, anyway) but there's still plenty of things to do at home, from the Northwest Folklife Festival (a Memorial Day tradition brought to the digital stage) to a National Memorial Day Concert, and from the Pine Box Beer Can Derby to a virtual Nectar concert with the Cumbieros and Terror/Cactus. Read on for all our top picks for the weekend, and, for even more options, check out our roundups of Memorial Day takeout & delivery specials, the best movies to stream this weekend, and our complete streaming events calendar.

Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday



Schrampflin Falls Improvised Zoom Town Meeting
The fictional residents of the fictional Washington town of Schrampflin Falls will get into how they're handling self-isolation. In addition to your suggestions, this virtual Unexpected Productions show will also take inspiration from real crime clippings from small-town newspapers during the quarantine. 


Graduation 2020: A Bollywood Dance Party
DJ Prashant will help high school students celebrate their graduation with a remote dance party of Bollywood hits and remixes.

The Groove Theory
Every Friday this summer on the Cloud Room's Instagram Live, boogie into the weekend with Deejay Hershee's mix of '90s R&B, hip-hop, disco, and soul.

High Dive Live Stream Concert Series Presents: Marshall Law Band
Seattle's Marshall Law Band will take over your living room dance party with their funky hip-hop, streamed live courtesy of High Dive.

Kremwerk x Research Livestream
Local electronic artists Nick Carroll and Eve Defy will spin virtually at this edition of Research, which Andrew Gospe has called "the city’s most reliable source for seeing high-quality DJs."

Nectar Virtual Concert Series presents: Raz Simone
Solomon Samuel "Raz" Simone is a Seattle rapper who in another life would've probably been a preacher or a bluesman—his penchant for gold jewelry would befit either. His recorded voice creaks like an unoiled barn door, his stark lyrics, dark subject matter, and musical arrangements lend him a gravitas both worldly and consecrated. Raz's raps are unfailingly dead-serious and personal, sharply ricocheting off race, gentrification, and gun violence (just to pick a few) on the way to the hook. His forthrightness on the issues this city is going through give his words an urgency that's lacking throughout the scene.  LARRY MIZELL JR.

Stereo Creeps: 'Had' World Premiere Video
Crunchy stoner-pop outfit Stereo Creeps will share the video for their new song "Had," plus a few other exclusive releases.


Autumn Knight: Our Water is Melted Snow
Black interdisciplinary artist Autumn Knight will lead this participatory performance dedicated to the uniqueness of Seattle. You're encouraged to get your favorite food and beverage ready to enjoy during the show. 

Contemporary Moves 2020
Join the Cornish Extension Programs for a selection of virtual solo dance performances choreographed by Preparatory Dance Program instructor Margaret Luxamon Hotchkiss. 

Spin the Bottle
The longrunning Spin the Bottle variety show will go digital. This edition honors Asian American Pacific Islander month with debuts from Josh Valdez and Wei Low, with additional performances from musician Theresa Ambat, storyteller Aaron Jin, painter Lily Zhou, singer Matt Dela Cruz, comic Stephanie Nam, and others.


Sister Helen Prejean
The famous activist Sister Helen, a rich Baton Rouge scion who embraced the monastic life and became a force for the anti-death-penalty movement following Vatican II, will talk about her childhood and spiritual awakening in this virtual Town Hall talk.



The annual California music festival Lightning in a Bottle will host three digital days of yoga classes, workshops, talks, and live music with acts like Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and the Funk Hunters.


Big Weekend 2020
BBC Radio One's first remote festival boasts a weekend of entertainment on four digital "stages," featuring sets from English performers like Anne Marie, Biffy Clyro, RitaOra, Sam Smith, Young T, and Bugsey.

Sirius XM's Virtual DisDance Festival
Round up your housemates, your cats, or cardboard cutouts of your friends for a weekend-long EDM danceathon brought to you by Sirius XM. Performers include Above & Beyond, Afrojack, Alesso, Armin van Buuren, Deadmau5, Gryffin, Kaskade, Krewella, Kygo, and many others. Once the live sets have passed, they'll post links online to revisit on Monday.



The Great Big Jewish Food Fest
Stroum Jewish Cultural Center will host 10 days of Shabbat dinners, happy hours, conversations, and more online events where you can show off your grandmother's brisket and celebrate Jewish food traditions via Zoom, Instagram, and Facebook.  


Pacific Northwest Ballet Streaming Series
Pacific Northwest Ballet had to cancel several anticipated performances this season due to COVID-19. Now, the company is releasing dress rehearsals of the shows (followed by Q&As) on their Facebook and YouTube channels in a series that will last through the end of June. Starting this weekend and lasting through next Wednesday, enjoy the final 2018 dress rehearsal of the classic Swan Lake.

Pat Graney's Faith Triptych
These three performances from renowned choreographer Pat Graney (titled "Faith," "Sleep," and "Tattoo," respectively), originally commissioned by On the Boards, span the course of a decade, from 1991-2001. Stream all three parts featuring 12 of the original cast members (including KT Niehoff, Peggy Piacenza, and Amii Legendre).

A Streetcar Named Desire
One of the unexpected benefits to being sheltered-in-place is that access to great theater has become just a little bit easier. National Theatre Live is a big part of that, taking recorded performances they'd usually earmark for theatrical exhibition and putting them on YouTube for free. And this week's installment is a goddamn monster: The Young Vic's 2014 staging of Tennessee Williams' landmark play A Streetcar Named Desire, with Gillian Anderson (!) as Blanche DuBois, Vanessa Kirby as Stella, and Ben Foster as Stanley Kowalski. Jesus Christ that's one stacked cast, and you've got one week to set aside the three-and-a-half-hours needed to experience it. We'd suggest just dropping everything right now and hitting play as soon as you can. BOBBY ROBERTS



Coast to Coast Roast: The Finals
Helium's new livestream stand-up series is also an outlet for any tension, frustration, and acid that might have built up over the course of your self-quarantine, as comics from all over the country get in front of their webcams, get the green-light from the showrunners, and proceed to roast everyone in front of them alive. Nobody got to have a March Madness this year, so instead, why not enjoy the Coast to Coast Roast, and see which comic is the ultimate conqueror in a nationwide roast battle. In fact: tonight is THE FINALS. Meaning only the most poisonous tongue and evil mind will reign supreme, but chances are good some fallen foes on this road to ruin will rise back up to spit venom and flame from beyond the grave. That got portentious super-fast, didn't it? Anyway, it's hosted by Joe List and Mark Normand. Tune in! BOBBY ROBERTS

The Matchelor in Quarantine
Directors Kayla Teel and Michael Draper and a cast of improvisers will re-create the seedy/addictive TV show The Bachelor with contestants eliminated one by one from a competition for true love—quarantine edition. Teel and Draper are both magnetic local wits themselves, so we're anticipating a rose-worthy run of this spontaneous play.


Dinner & a DJ
Pretend you're out and about in Chophouse Row by ordering tasty, Dave Segal-approved vegan food from Plum Bistro and tuning into the Cloud Room's Instagram Live for a funky DJ set.

Pine Box Beer Can Derby
Pine Box's old-fashioned Cub Scout-style derby race will prevail, even in the absence of Seattle Beer Week. Pick up your wheel kit from the bar and head back home to build it, then drop it back at the bar in time for the livestreamed race. (If you're just now learning about this year's virtual event, it's too late to compete. But you can still tune into the livestream to watch others' creations in action!)


Firefly Trivia
If the futuristic sci-fi drama series Firefly is one you've been binging during quarantine, you're primed to succeed in this MAP Theatre trivia night.


(Re)Live: Bottleneck Headliner Weekend
Watch past performances by Imagine Dragons, Muse, the Head and the Heart, and Tash Sultana. It's the first event of Napa music festival Bottleneck's weekly series raising money for Crew Nation and the Napa Valley Food Bank.

Core Samples: Views from a Hollow Earth
Join local bands somesurprises, Power Strip, Arrington de Dionyso, Head Hurt, QOQO, Alex Reagan, Archie, and Aloysius for a Hollow Earth Radio fundraiser (presented in partnership with local all-ages venue Vera Project)

Earshot Jazz Live at the Forum: Kareem Kandi Quartet
Kareem Kandi is an excellent jazz saxophonist who is based in Tacoma and received his advanced education in music at Cornish College of the Arts. He performs regularly around town, and engages with free jazz, trad jazz, modern jazz, funk, and blues. To get a good idea of his talent (he has a smart, swift, agile sound), download the album See What I'm Saying or Guess Again. CHARLES MUDEDE

General Mojo's ft. Oliver Franklin
If you like your psych-pop equipped with fuzzy guitar, drippy (and trippy) synths, and vocal harmonies, local five-piece General Mojo's won't disappoint. Catch them live from their home with support from singer-songwriter Oliver Franklin. 

Nectar Virtual Concert Series presents the Cumbieros & Terror/cactus
The Cumbieros—a Seattle-based band made of musicians from Chile, Brazil, and North America that combines traditional Columbian cumbia with ska and rock—will play a virtual set with hypnotic, psychedelic electro-cumbia (a pan-Latin American folkloric genre that originated in Colombia, and which Greg Scruggs has described as "the slower cousin of salsa") band Terror/Cactus.

Stayin' Alive-stream!
Bring it down to boogie town (sorry) with DJ Koister at this virtual '70s dance party.

Sublime w/ Rome: Memorial Day Weekend BBQ
While some states are speedily re-opening (and those states are seeing increases in COVID cases... probably not an accident!) nobody's probably ready to entertain the sort of un-safely distanced cookout gathering Memorial Day is known for. And loath as some folks might be to admit it: There are a ton of fond summer memories, featuring barbecues gone by, scored with the sloppy, stoned, good-timey vibes embodied by Sublime. And this Memorial Day weekend, Sublime with Rome is looking to literally embody those vibes while you commandeer the grill with a livestreamed concert, with proceeds benefitting MusiCares. BOBBY ROBERTS

Wildcat Rose Online Record Release Show!
Local country twangers Wildcat Rose will satisfy your hankering for honky-tonk with songs off their new album.


Join Imperial Prince 46, Debit, and his host Shade’ Devareaux – St. Laurent for a livestreamed quarantine haircut. Donate your dollars and see the locks fall.



Home to Home: Northwest Folklife Festival
The gigantic Memorial Day weekend hippie fest full of lovely people dancing, performing world music, yodeling to beatboxing, and everything in between won't take place at Seattle Center as planned, but you can tune in to a wealth of cultural events from home. The schedule is sorted into three categories: Folklife Premieres, the Roadhouse, and On-Demand, with appearances by everyone from the Dunava Balkan Women's Choir (Sunday, 6:10 pm) to the award-winning Beninese dancer Etienne Cakpo (Saturday, 4:35 pm) to Celtic fiddler Kierah Raymond (Saturday, 6:40 pm).


Movement at Home Live Stream
Detroit's iconic Movement Music Festival, will be broadcast remotely on Beatport and Paxahau's Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube channels. Tune in for thumping beats from Carl Craig, Delano Smith, Ellen Allien, and other big names in EDM, and donate what you can knowing that contributions will benefit MusiCares' COVID-19 relief fund.



LoveleeDAE Livestream & Fundraiser
Raise money for families in need through Mary's Place at this livestreamed concert with Pappa T, J-Justice, Joey Webb, and Jeromy Nail. 

National Memorial Day Concert
Actors Joe Mantegna (Fat Tony on The Simpsons, Joey Zasa in The Godfather Part III) and Gary Sinise (the kidnapper in Ransom, one of the guards on The Green Mile) host this traditional celebration held on the eve of Memorial Day, featuring musical performances, dramatic readings, and documentary footage paying tribute to those who have served in the US Military. BOBBY ROBERTS

Pickathon Concert a Day: Broken Social Scene
It’s always astonishing that Canadian indie-rock collective Broken Social Scene manages to get back together every few years, but what’s more astonishing is how their myriad talents and voices come together to produce such consistently great music, with soaring sonic effects, comet-like melodies, and actual, real-life hope tucked into every bar.  NED LANNAMANN

The Sun Still Sets
The Governor's Ball Music Festival presents an evening of live sets from Rüfüs Du Sol, Bob Moses, DJ Snoopadelic, and Sofi Tukker to carry you into Memorial Day.

A Sunday with Clinton Fearon
Jamaica-born, Seattle-based reggae legend Clinton Fearon (of the Boogie Brown Band) will perform songs live on Facebook. 



The Magic Hat Presented by Emmett Montgomery and Friends
Five "brilliant humans(?)," ranging from seasoned stand-up comics to sketch performers to audience members, are selected (presumably out of the Magic Hat) throughout the show to perform weekly at this comedy variety show, otherwise described as a "friendship machine that will make the world a better place." Watch the livestream via BlueJeans.


Memorial Day - Parade of Heroes
Family genealogy service Ancestry will help memorialize the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II with a special livestreamed event hosted by Emmy-winning actress Kathie Lee Gifford. 


Fifty Rogue's Tales Translated Fifty Ways: Michael Cooperson with Shin Yu Pai
Correspondent Shin Yu Pai will talk with Arabic language and literature scholar Michael Cooperson about his translation of Iraqi author al-Harīrī's epic collection of 50 tales.