A Debacle Decade--letter from THE director

When I approached Debacle Records head, Sam Melancon, about returning as Director of his annual Fest, my main notion was, “This needs to be a party deserving of acknowledging a whole Debacle decade.” Reaching a milestone such as ten continuous years is already quite impressive for anyone, but especially more so for a purely DIY, shoestring event established under the impetus of sharing one’s passion. To have the courage as large as putting your heart, finances, and--what at times seems most daring--music tastes out on the table in the hope there are others who will vibe along to the same rhythm, as Sam possesses, is something that has continued to draw me into working alongside him to make the Fest a reality for roughly half its run. I knew this year not only needed to continue on the legacy, but bring it to the forefront. It’s the 10th anniversary, let’s fucking celebrate.

L.A. Lungs by Andrew Lench

L.A. Lungs by Andrew Lench

I established this year’s line-up first and foremost on a gathering together of friends who are our ride-or-dies; these are artists we’ll likely champion until they can no longer pick up their instruments. Many have supported us since the earliest days of the label (which is on its 12th year)--hell, before I even came along. As well, I invited folks we’ve had crushes on for awhile but haven’t yet been able to showcase on the Fest stage. And rounding out the bill, as always, are newcomers who’ve caught our ears in the past couple years and whom we’d love to share our platform with. If there’s one approach the Fest has always had, it’s “The more the merrier” and 2017 is no exception. I feel folks will be pleasantly pleased at this year’s diversity. While the majority of the line-up stays true to our Northwest roots, there are a handful of artists joining us from California and the East Coast.

Harkening back to the wondrously ecstatic year we had in 2014, we’re once again taking the Classic Festival approach; or as we like to call it, the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure™ approach. Rather than spreading across two or three nights of a dozen or so artists each, we’re bringing everyone into one night and three stages. We’re deeply honored to once again be working with the beautifully historic Columbia City Theater, returning after successful 2015 and 2016 iterations, as well as being joined by incredibly accommodating The Royal Room right across the street. We’ve been honored to have a solid cast of characters as our crew these past handful of years, especially last year’s Director Hallie Sloan, and Meagan Angus, who’ll be returning this year as Front of House Manager alongside a trio of hard-working local promoters who’ll serve as our Stage Managers.

Sam and Rachel shitting their pants at the end of 2014’s Debacle Fest

Sam and Rachel shitting their pants at the end of 2014’s Debacle Fest

Looks like we’ve made it...a whole decade of curating what moves us in the experimental music realm, sharing ecstatic moments with friends new and old alike. I’m confident that bringing everyone together in one fantastic day creates peak party-vibes. It’s the 10th anniversary, let’s fucking celebrate.

Lots of love and ringing ears,

Rachel LeBlanc
Debacle Fest Director