The Decibel Festival, now in its ninth year, prides itself as being the SXSW of electronic dance music, but it still has a ways to go. While EDM continues to unravel on American soil, Decibel is also finding its legs, expanding in 2012 to some 25,000 attendees, and coming to terms with the fact that "underground" electronic music might be on the verge of extinction as it becomes more and more embraced by mainstream pop culture.
The 2012 edition spanned five days, Sept. 26-30, across 40 venues in lush Seattle. Headliners included laptop and Abelton- friendly acts like Orbital, The Cannabinoids feat. Erykah Badu, DJ Shadow, Kimbra and Ariel Pink to name a few. Proof that it's growing, EDM subgenres like the bass-heavy future trill (MiMOSA), psychchill (Phutureprimitive, Shpongle), trapstep and emotronica (Baths) were born, nursed or graduated to bigger audiences in a place usually associated with the woodsy grunge of Nirvana and Pearl Jam. As with most festivals, the location is as big of a star as its roster, and Decibel took to Seatown's choppy waters, expanding to nautical venues like The Islander -- home the fest's daily DJ-infested boat cruise on the city's adjacent Lake Washington.
Check out photos from the ninth annual Decibel Festival ahead. If you love to dance and haven't been to Seattle, book your ticket for next year already.
All photos by Galen Oakes courtesy of The Confluence