Seattle’s Decibel Festival, a Preview


Seven years ago music enthusiast Sean Horton founded the Decibel Festival in Seattle, bringing to life an exhibition of his passion. The identity of the festival was the electronic music scene and the effect of it, in a city that predominantly revolves around hip-hop and rock, was outstanding.

Over the course of its early years the Decibel festival gradually moved from a novelty on the landscape to a sincerely acclaimed feature. This year over 140 artists will be performing from September 22-26, providing an overwhelming array of sounds and sights. Tickets to the shows can be purchased individually; however an all access pass is available for $155.

The five day festival takes place at a multitude of music clubs in Capitol Hill and Seattle’s downtown. Amongst some of the venues are Neumos, Chop Suey, the Baltic Room and Motor all of which are hot spots for any Seattle adventurer. A total of twelve clubs will be featured in this year’s Decibel music festival, covering the liveliest sections of Seattle in partying music lovers and electronic enthusiasts.

Famed musicians Flying Lotus, Klute, Beats Antique, Pantha du Prince and Cassy will be headlining the late night shows, ending at 1:30am. For those of you who feel sleep is for other people; after hour shows will be held on Friday and Saturday, ending eventually at 6am.

Everyday the festival begins at noon, and hosts a varying amount of shows (or ‘showcases’ as it’s referred to) ranging from three on Wednesday, to eight on Saturday. Each showcase has an identity quite different from the others, from the specific styles involved to the sponsorship (if one exists). I mentioned that the amount of performances seems overwhelming at first; however it would be more feasible and practical to view the festival as a collection of individual shows rather than a 140 person bill. In many ways, that is what the Decibel festival is.

Apart from electronic music, the festival also offers visual art displays, workshops and panel discussions. Essentially the manifestation of it is to exemplify the role of technology in art – and to not only present that role, but to also cultivate and explore it.

Local publication The Stranger included a music section for the first time this year in their annual Genius Awards. The Decibel festival, and Sean Horton by extension, placed in the top four nominees; portraying the very real impact this festival has granted the local music community. The Stranger attributed the festival as one of the world’s highest profiles of electronic music world and stated; “It’s hard to overstate the role that the annual gathering has played in putting the town on the map. Not only has Decibel raised the ranking of Seattle’s scene abroad, it’s also fostered connections within that scene by bringing diverse artists, crews, and event production companies together under one banner”.

To order tickets to the festival check here. To browse through the performing artists look here and to inspect the calendar click here.