The festival is a kick ass avant-garde fusion of western culture and electronic music.
Music festivals are a reflection of the music community. Music has grown massively in the past few decades and music festivals have well kept the pace. This rings true particularly for the electronic festivals. They all seem to follow the same pattern, massive stages, famous headliners and coked-up festival attendees. Almost every major festival you see is trying to sell you the ‘authentic festival experience’. Yes, we would love to explore and experience these festivals ourselves but unless you’re a celebrity who’s going to be paid to show up, you’re going to need oodles of money and a very understanding boss.
So where do you go? How do you know what festival is going to give you a chance to relish old favourites as well as discover loads of new talent? What festival’s going to give you the diverse experience that is so hard to find? Let us answer that for you. The Bass Coast Festival.
About the festival
As one of Canada’s leading music festivals, Bass Coast has enchanted music devotees with their original lineups and art-laden landscapes for six years. The festival holds its ground next to fellow forest friends Shambhala and Electric Forest but offers a much more intimate experience. The festival was one of the first ones to ban the North American headdresses and this move earned the festival international claim. Other festivals like Glastonbury soon followed suit and Bass Coast has since been known as an icon of ‘saying no’ to cultural appropriation.
The postcard-worthy Nicola Valley landscape will be bursting with all of the music, performance art and workshops you could ever ask for? Bass Coast is no stranger to progress. The festival has moved out from a smaller location to the much roomier woods of Merritt. Until very recently, attendance at the festival has been capped at about 3,000 people, though this year the festival might expand a little. The fact that only a small amount of people make their way to the festival every year makes it the kind of close-knit community setting that breeds pure magic. The festival still retains a secret underground vibe even though some pretty big international names have found their way to the Bass Coast stages.
Last year, the festival presented over 100 artists such as Dutch house duo Detroite Swindle, NYC rapper Zebra Katz, Berlin-based techno producer Kris Wadsworth, and UK bass music visionary Om Unit.
Imagine four days of some incredible music in a forest that seems to draw inspiration from a fairy tale, with some a crowd of people who are chill AF. For the organisers of Bass Coast, having such a rich spread of underground talent concentrated into a relatively small and intimate environment seems to be inextricably linked to their core ideals regarding the direction of the festival. The artists spend more time on the dance floor than on the stage here and most of them are seen roaming around casually before and after their sets. This year they have Brothel Cats, 22:22, Ardalan and Barison performing amongst loads of other talented artists. For Western Canadians who are into electronic music, Bass Coast has become something of a sacred pilgrimage over the last six years. Representing the West Coast’s long obsession with reggae, dub and all things bass, it’s a must for hippies and heads alike.
The festival also hosts a ton of amazing workshops such as 1+1=3 Guide To Threesomes, Electronic Music Production And Sound and All About Reggae Yoga. The festival also holds incredible exhibitions all over the site like Fresco 3D Installations and organic installations. They also have a lovely Harm Reduction policy that encourages patrons to keep their waste to a minimum and this has worked wonders.
Why we are excited about it
First of all, the festival is founded and run primarily by women. Founders Andrea Graham and Liz Thomson were inspired to start Bass Coast after their first trip to Burning Man, which blew them away with its dedication to art in all its forms.
They sought to create something similar, something that was about more than just music and dancing. They came about it almost accidentally. The festival has managed to retain its size, spirit and credibility almost completely since it was incepted 7 years ago. The festival gives back to the community it came from and a lot of the artists performing here are local artists. The performers are selected from a pool of regulars and international headliners. Bass Coast also accepts applications from would-be performers, meaning that even if you aren’t part of this intimate circle, you still have a chance to get in on it.