Scheduling 100+ speakers on numerous stages throughout the park over 3 days is a difficult task that usually takes many drafts to complete.   We need your help to limit the number of drafts and get the schedule finalized as soon as possible.  You should plan on speaking at any time on any one of the three festival days, unless you tell us otherwise.  If you didn’t include it in your form/reply or your plans have changed since then, please send in any reasonable special requests you have regarding your schedule – for example: you can only do Sat or Sun, you prefer smaller crowds, it is difficult for you to walk so it will take you longer to get between stages, you leave early on Sun, etc.

The speaking slots are 5 minutes long on the large stages, and 45 minute panels at the Hemposium.  Most people will get at least 1 slot on 2 of the 3 large stages (Main, McWilliams, Seeley), some people will be placed on panels in the Hemposium, and we’ll also be filling a few slots on the smaller stages.  The stages are far apart (like, a mile), so we do our best to schedule people at different ends of the park on different days.  Click here for a map of Hempfest


VIP / Speakers Party

As always, there will be a big party on Friday night celebrating our speakers and your generosity in donating your time and resources to come educate the masses at the Seattle Hempfest.  Although the festival will still be going on, the party will start at 7pm for speakers, 8pm for everyone else, and go to midnight.

The party will be held at the Hemposium stage tent inside the festival grounds at Myrtle Edwards Park. Please check the map for the location.  Beer, wine and food will be provided, so 21 and over only – we wil have security checking IDs.

The party will include VIP Hempfest members, so it will be very large. Speakers can only bring 1 guest to the party.  If you bring more than 1 guest, you will have to pay $100 for each additional guest (that is also a half-price VIP membership that gives them full VIP membership privileges for the weekend, meaning they and their guests can use the VIP entrance to get into the festival for the rest of the weekend).  We requested that you tell us how many VIP party guests you were planning to bring when you filled out the acceptance form.  If you haven’t done so yet, please let us know if you are coming to the party, and who your guests will be, if any.  The speaker guest pass will not be valid for entry into the party.


Traveling Information

If you need some assistance with your travel plans, please refer to our handy guide on the website at   The page is especially helpful for actually getting to the festival by various modes of travel.  If you’re trying to find a hotel, it is suggested you try to stay as near to the park as possible because parking can be difficult and you will have to pay for it.  Unless you get to the festival really early, traffic is also a nightmare around the park.  We have a pretty decent bus system in Seattle, so wherever you stay, try checking the Metro trip planner for the best bus to get you there: You can try searching hotels near Myrtle Edwards Park using sites like  And for some cheap options, check out or


Speaker Check-in / Packets

Because of the massive line that forms to get into the park, there will be a special check-in booth for all volunteers, performers and speakers at the front entrance to the park.  When you arrive at the park for the first time, you need to go to that booth to get your speaker packet.  The speaker packets will contain your speaker pass, guest pass if requested, the FINAL schedule, VIP party tickets if requested and other information.  Once you have your pass, you do not need to check back in when you return to the park but just show security your pass in order to get in before the park opens or to bypass the line to get in.

Speakers are allowed 1 guest.  If you told us about your guest when you registered as a speaker, you will have their pass in your packet.  If you have not yet told us, please do so before the festival.


Hempfest App

Download the Hempfest App!  The app has the map, the schedule for each stage, how to find booths, and help with getting back to your car or hotel.  I highly recommend you download to make your life easier and enhance your experience.  Go to the app store on your phone and search with “hempfest” or you can find the QR code to download the app here:



Many of Hempfest’s speakers over the years have found it a rewarding experience to volunteer with their time off, and they come back year after year.  All of the people that come together to put on Hempfest are volunteers. Some national speakers even remain days after the festival with the rest of us to make sure every piece of trash is picked up. There are many volunteer opportunities here, from backstage hospitality, to constructing the stages (days before the event), to backstage security, to manning an information booth, and pretty much everything we need to do to put on and then put away an event the size of Seattle Hempfest. If you are traveling with friends, you can encourage them to sign up for a shift or two as well. To find out more information about how you and/or your friends can volunteer, go here:


Sponsorship / Vending Space

If you have a nonprofit or company that you want to promote while you are here, click on and you will find our Sponsorship Packages.  At this point, vending spaces are very limited.


Hempfest® Business Networking Mixer

This year, join us for a night of Business networking on the Skyline level of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle.  On Saturday August 15, 2015, we’ll  be hosting our first Hempfest® Business Mixer and presenting the first ever Hempfest Business of the Year Award!  It will be a night of fine dining, drinks, & networking not to be missed!   Starting at 8:00 PM, just after Seattle Hempfest ends its second day, the celebration will run until midnight. 

Tickets are $160 each and can be purchased HERE.  (We apologize, but this is not a free event for speakers.  Different than the Friday night party which is free for speakers with one guest.)



As you know, Seattle Hempfest is a volunteer run, free event.  Our revenue sources are advertising, sponsorship, vendor fees, food and merchandise sales, and donations from attendees. Our budget is tight every year and this year is no exception. If any of you are interested in donating to the festival, please contact us or find a bucket at the festival. We already greatly appreciate you coming to speak at your own expense, but if any of you are able to donate, we will use those resources to make Hempfest even better.


Festival Weekend Contact

We hope this page has helped you with all the information you need, but please feel free to contact [email protected] with any questions.  If it is the week before the festival or the weekend of, you can contact the Speakers Committee co-chair and festival point person for speakers, Rachel, at [email protected] or via cell at (check your email newsletter or email Rachel).


Press Briefing

We are holding a press briefing at 11:30 am Friday morning at the Ric Smith Hemposium stage, featuring several of our speakers. All speakers are invited to attend for a chance to mingle with other speakers and the press as they arrive. Coffee will be provided beginning at 11am. 


Speaker Interaction Booth

We want the attendees at Hempfest to get more access to the knowledge that you have, beyond the speaking and paneling gigs that we have scheduled for you. When you aren’t speaking, you are welcome to spend some time interacting with Hempfest goers and each other at the Speaker Interaction Booth located at the southwest end of the Hemposium tent.


Sit behind the tables to answer any questions that members of the public have regarding cannabis and the work you do. The Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy will be hosting the booth to ensure that Hempfest speakers have a great experience. If you are on a panel, we encourage you to take to the Speaker Interaction Booth after your panel for more in depth discussions with interested audience members.


If you have books to sell and sign, feel free to sit and chat with folks at the Speaker Interaction Booth – you can bring along some of your books or other items to sell and sign for people, but please be courteous and give up your spot if other speakers come along so everyone gets a chance.

Things to Do in Seattle

If you plan an extra day or two into your trip, or if you just want to take a break from the festival, we hope you’ll take the time to enjoy our great city!  In the next newsletter, we’ll let you know about some specific events happening over the weekend after hours.  Below is a list of some of Seattle’s attractions, and you can visit the city’s website for more visitor information.

 Historical Pioneer Square/Underground Tour – my favorite tour in Seattle.

 Seattle Art Museum – you’ve seen the SAM sculpture park, check out all the great art in the building.

 Pike Place Market – watch some flying fish!  Within walking distance of Myrtle Edwards Park.

 Cruise Tours on the Puget Sound and Seattle’s Lake Union and Lake Washington.


Space Needle/Seattle Center/EMP/Sci-Fi Museum

The Seattle Center and the Space Needle were built during the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.  It is now a large park that hosts art, music, and the children’s museum.  This is also within walking distance of Myrtle Edwards Park.

– Located in Seattle Center, Seattle’s ubiquitous landmark, the Space Needle, is a great place to view Seattle and the surrounding landscape from a high vantage point.  

Experience Music Project Science Fiction Museum – EMP|SFM is the place where music meets science fiction. Learn about two popular passions through state-of-the-art exhibitions and hands-on interactives—all under one architecturally amazing roof!


Ballard Locks – The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks are a complex of locks that sit in the middle of Salmon Bay, part of Seattle’s Lake Washington Ship Canal.  A fish ladder with viewing window is integrated into the locks for migration of anadromous fish, notably salmon.


If you’re a football fan, the Seattle Seahawks are playing a preseason game vs. the Denver Broncos at 7:00 PM on Friday, August 14th