Decibel Festival X

audio, production management, video

1399046_10151670704767374_398744943_oThe staff from the 10th Annual Decibel Festival at the Triple Door, Seattle. Tony Gavilanes center in green.

Founded in 2003, Decibel has become a unique platform for exposing attendees to leading-edge multimedia art from around the globe.

With a focus on live performance, interactive multimedia art, state-of-the-art sound and technology based education, Decibel has solidified itself as one of the premier electronic music festivals and promotional organizations in the world.

The 10th Annual Decibel Festival program included:

  • 5 full days and nights of activities
  • 130 confirmed artists from 20 countries 
  • 26 club showcases (across 11 premier venues)
  • 6 official after-hours
  • 4 OPTICAL events
  • The 10th Annual dB Conference (3 full days of educational and business oriented activities)
  • dB in the Park (free park event)
  • dB Films (film series showcasing documentaries and live film soundtracks)
  • dB Poster Gallery (we’ll be hosting a dB Poster Gallery)
  • dB DJ Lounge (dB attendees will be invited to dine, drink and dance at this free lounge)

“Production Lead” was an incredible position and I could not have done it without the support of my team. I worked with 64 volunteers reporting to me and we managed the load-ins and outs at all 13 venues in addition to responding to emergent situations throughout the festival. At the last minute we fell short a dB Venue Representative at Showbox SoDo, and so for three nights of the festival I was required at Showbox for artist sound checks, hospitality coordination, and venue communications. I don’t think I have ever worked so hard.

I love the stats: Each day I was on site at 9am ahead of my first shift of volunteers at 10am, we would set up all day, then I would have to go to Showbox Sodo and venue rep, then back to the hill for my 8pm volunteers coming on shift. When shows were going, I would take bathroom breaks, eat, and manage communications. Then show strikes at 1:30a with a new set of after-hours volunteers. I drove 420 miles in-city Monday to Monday! Over 7 days I slept two nights for 6 hrs., two nights for 3 hrs., one night for 1hr. and one all-nighter. I’ve never eaten more Lost Lake Cafe diner food in all my life. I attended a total of three Decibel performances and was at one party for 2 hrs.

To me, it was a professional challenge and a turned out to be a complete success. I worked alongside some of the world’s best technical artists and have a lot of pride in what we all accomplished this year. I look forward to furthering the relationships that were built this year at the festival.

By far my favorite moment was enjoying the entire Nicolas Jarr set with Tarik Barri on visuals and Vance Galloway mixing sound. In my book, that was the All-Star lineup. I was standing near Vance during the entire performance, and to be honest I have never seen an audio engineer make so many moves. He was more of a Producer/DJ than an engineer, and really sets the bar on what a “sound guy ” is capable of.

tarikbarriThen up on the 24′ backdrop screen Tarik Barri cements why he is one of my very favorite artists in the world. The programming landscape he uses to create his unbelievable visual art. Undoubtedly there is audio coming into his system which reacts the visual elements to the sound, but beyond that is an unprecedented aesthetic that showers you in rich HD content and characteristic moods. To plainly put it, imagine the most top of the line visual programming architecture that technology could support at this moment in time; Tarik has built it. His ability to transcend an audience along a visual storyline is something not to be missed, ever.

Watch the entire Decibel 2013 Conference via Panopto