The Seattle Weekly officially announced this morning that Sean Horton, founder and operator of the international experimental music festival Decibel, has put the event on indefinite hold for 2016. Decibel has long been recognized as one of the top destination festivals in the US, with exemplary artist showcases and in-depth workshops taking place at numerous venues all over the city of Seattle during a five-day period. Within the last 12 months, Horton transplanted himself from his long time home in Seattle and took up residence within the urban sprawl of Los Angeles. Horton was quoted on these subjects as saying:
"Considering the new career path and distance from Seattle, it is with a heavy heart that I am announcing that after 11 straight annual editions, Decibel will be taking an extended break.”
Not long after The Seattle Weekly reported on the hiatus, Sean Horton posted the following message on his personal Facebook account encouraging followers to support another event called Chance of Rain festival taking place around the same time that Decibel would have been held:
"To all Decibel supporters,
I founded the Decibel Festival in 2003 with the hope of creating a unified experience celebrating electronic music performance, visual art, education, and technology the that brings them all together. Looking back over the past 12 years, it is abundantly clear that Decibel surpassed any and all goals while tapping into the zeitgeist of the Pacific Northwest. The festival hosted over 1,000 artists representing 40 countries, making it one of the most internationally focused and diverse festivals of its kind in North America. Last year’s program was one of our most successful to date, which is a testament to this vision and the state of electronic music in North America.
At the heart of Decibel has always been the Seattle electronic music community, which to this day remains the most vibrant and resilient I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. No place did this resiliency shine through more than with the Decibel Staff, who consistently met each challenge with poise and professionalism. You needn’t look any further than the plethora of regional and local PNW crews, weeklies, festivals and organizations Decibel has collaborated with over the years to see just how strong that community is (e.g. Uniting Souls, TUF, Substrata, Studio 4/4, Starborne Shows, Starborne Sound, Shameless, Action Potential, High & Tight, FWD, Flammable, Innerflight, secondnature, Cascadia NW Arts & Music Festival, CreativeLive, Bottom Forty, Believe You Me, Laptop Battle, Fourthcity, MOTOR, Capitol Hill Block Party, Bassdrop, Sub Pop, KEXP, EMP Museum, Bumbershoot, Seattle Theatre Group, Orac Records, Broken Disco, Bubbling’, The Henry Art Gallery, The Stranger, Time-Based Art Festival, TRUST, Grounded, The Seattle Art Museum, Substantial, New Forms Festival, SunTzu Sound, Dropping Gems, The Vera Project, The PNW Chapter of the Recording Academy, Rane, Stimulant, The End, The Seattle International Film Festival, PlayNetwork, What The Festival, Paradise, KBCS, C89.5, USC, Abstract Earth Project and many others).
Thank you once again for all of the support over the years. Change never comes easy, but know that Decibel as an organization will arise once again with new leadership to help guide it. For now, I hope we can all reflect on how Decibel touched each of our lives and helped to provide a platform for the flourishing Pacific Northwest electronic music community."
You can watch a short term documentary on last year's Decibel festival right here on XLR8R.