On Guard With Onset


We speak with the Onset crew based out of Seattle and get some more insight on their 13 years hosting DNB events in the region.

Can you give us a brief history of the night?

Onset started sometime in 2002 as an outlet for the growing number of DNB djs to play out. It quickly became a community favorite due to its grassroot aesthetic and unique underground venue. A couple years later it was playing host to top domestic and international talent, competing with the most established electronic music nights in the city.

How long has the night been officially going?

We’ve been going strong now for 13 Years.

What do you contribute the nights longevity to?

A dedicated crew of talented individuals with strong ties to the Seattle DNB scene but also from diverse social circles outside of DNB. Onset has always been a representation of the community.

Who are your current resident djs?

Cease, Grym, Flat Black, KMPLX, Dunjin, Sky Rose, Enki, Nicfit, Smartbomb

Have you experienced any challenges in running a monthly?

The greatest challenge for any regular DNB night in the US is remaining economically viable. It becomes a delicate balancing act and a real science to keep a night going without losing money. Fees and promotional budget have to be scrutinized, probably more so than in other genres. We’ve been fortunate to be able to avoid some of the overhead by having talented graphic designers within the crew and being able to host some of the headliners at our homes over the years. DNB in America is still very much a grassroots movement and for the most part has managed to avoid the astronomical fees and ridiculous rider demands. A close knit community has been instrumental in achieving longevity.

What are your Top 5 Favorite memories or milestones so far?

So hard to pick just 5 over 13 years, but these are probably some of the best:

A collaboration with DnB Tuesdays to bring Calyx & Teebee in 2012 for the ‘All Or Nothing’ tour.

Having Noisia down in the Deep Down Lounge for their 1st Seattle Appearance.

Phace back in 2008 was a banger for sure. 

Dbridge for Decibel Festival in 2011 was also exceptional.

Evol Intent vs Spor, because Evol Intent vs Spor!

If you could pick any 3 djs past, present, or future for a dream line up who would they be?

Break, Dom & Roland, and dBridge

Any advice for new promoters?

Do some research and legwork in your city to see how a new DNB night would fit in. If there are already a bunch then maybe its not the best time. The last thing a local scene needs is over saturation. Go out to dnb shows and non dnb shows, get to know local promoters and get a feel for the landscape. Other than that, make sure you have some capital to start with and be sure you’re doing if for the love of the music first and foremost- not for recognition or profit.

For more information on Onset
Onset on Facebook
Onset Radio