Underground electronic music at Decibel Festival

2015 marks another amazing year for music in the city of Seattle. This year the annual underground electronic music festival, Decibel Festival, has expanded its offerings to include the Micro dB Fest, giving fans a spring festival in addition to their normal fall event.

The April edition of Decibel Festival features an all-star lineup of 25 underground electronic music producers, including Justin Martin, Richie Hawtin, Nosaj Thing, Shlohmo and Ardalan.
The festival is partnered with the Seattle Theater Group, and will be putting on shows until April 30 in four premier venues in Seattle. The participation of Nuemos, The Neptune, Q Nightclub and ReBar has allowed for top quality sound and production, but are small enough for the artists to put on more intimate, personal shows.

Decibel Festival truly is a breath of fresh air. Instead of long lines, $400 wristband tickets, and main stages holding up to 70,000 people at a time, Decibel Festival offers a chance to see both established and up and coming artists perform without the associated pressure to satisfy the expectations that bear so heavily on more traditional festivals.

Any artist that takes the stage at a mega-festival such as Coachella, Sasquatch or Ultra is burdened by the necessity to please everyone, including people that may have never even heard their music, people whose main motivation for attending is to fit in with their friends and take some good Instagram photos.

With the smaller crowds of more dedicated fans at Decibel Festival the artists are free to take more risks, play songs usually excluded from their sets and try new things. Ultimately this provides the opportunity to taste an artist’s creative flair in a way that simply isn’t found at larger venues.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Decibel Festival is that it is multidimensional in nature. As expected, the nights are filled with music performances by the featured artists; what many people didn’t realize is that there are an entire slew of daytime events that happen in conjunction with the evening festivities, including a changing cycle of visual art shows and conferences discussing everything about electronic music.

The simple fact that this spring’s Micro dB Fest is happening is cause for applause. This means that the past years of the fall Decibel Festival have been such a success that they can expand their operation. My hope is that Decibel Festival can continue to grow, and hopefully become a seasonal event in Seattle.

Offering an escape from the normal fare of festival life, and ticket prices around $20, Micro dB Fest 2015 is an event all its own. For those that crave the bass and enjoy walking the road less traveled Decibel Festival is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. Even more, the success of dB Fest demonstrates that even in 2015 there is room for the little guys to have a seat at the table.