BASS COAST IS A CULTIVATION OF ARTS & CULTURE
Building community and conscious thinking Bass Coast Festival continues to be felt worldwide.
From the surface, Bass Coast Festival might appear to be simply another festival with an amazing location or great lineup, but over the last nine years it has become a pillar in cultivating underground culture for a younger generation of artist, builders, dancers, and music makers. Since our first visit six years ago, the amount of growth the festival has experienced and expanded to immeasurable heights. Incorporating talent from around the world Bass Coast once again displayed masterful execution in building their community by promoting underground lifestyles both locally and worldwide.
Increasing in size this year, additional 1000 tickets would boost attendance to around 4500 people however even with the new influx of people the charming intimate feel was ever present. Early-entry arriving on site Thursday, the party would kick off the weekend’s festivities in a more intimae setting at the Cantina. This year the dance floor would fit roughly 300 people; complimented by PK sound the vibrations seemed to capture everyone at one point or another. With the party winding down early B.C. natives and Co-Founder The Librarian rolled through no Bpm specific genre only bass heavy frequencies. Commanding the crowd consisting of mostly "homies" they inadvertently set the tone of the weekend, dictating the level of skill and excellence it takes to play at Bass Coast.
With building on site for weeks prior to the event, the Slay Bay was accompanied by a new elaborate design and geometric shade structure. Lured to the stage Friday evening by a worldly, tribal, and eclectic set from Lion-S; a Nelson B.C. native, she now finds her self a Bass Coast regular bringing her collection of knowledge and signature style for a new generation of listeners. Curating a wide rage of introspective sounds sets from HomeSick, Self Evident, GREEZUS, Kasra, and Moresounds push left of center in a more technical and deep direction. Kasra making his first appearance to the festival appeared comfortable steeping into the atmosphere and sinking right into the needs of the crowd. With a 90 minute set playing through mostly Drum & Bass and 170 tempos he managed to keep the festival in full engagement with his signature Critical sound that has become a staple in Drum & Bass culture.
This year there was a stronger focus to promote awareness and community it was a nice addition to see new workshops offering a wide rage of activities to engage all walks of life.. Classes such as Yoga, Wood Whispering 101, Booty Love Dance Workshop, Cannabis & Psychedelics, A Panel on Mental Health, and Street Styles Dance were just some of the many included this year. We managed to catch up with the Soul Trigger crew an all styles street dance crew to get some insight on their crew as well as to see what they hoped to contribute to Bass Coast with their workshop. Read the full interview here. Bass Coast felt noticeably hotter than previous years and with the water much warmer and calmer than the previous Squamish location the river was a little more user friendly it made the river the place to be all weekend.
With an electric buzz building throughout the day the festival embraced for another round of intelligent music. Reverberating bass lines would form across all stages; Mandai & Tank Gyal, Loefah, Branko, Joe Nice, Enei, Thelem, Sam Binga, and Sinistarr played an array of cutting edge tunes making it very clear why they are innovators of their respective genres. Taking the night however with the most energetic and powerful set we have seen in years at Bass Coast, was Joe Nice. Remaining true to dub plate culture he brought a deep crate full of 12” vinyl, which was masterfully selected as he pushed the crowd to the edge of their physical capabilities. As a pioneer for North American Dubstep we sat down with Joe for his perspective on Bass Coast and Music culture. Check the full Interview Here.
The final day of any festival carries a slight dread of going back to work and life outside festival land but the vibe everywhere seemed resilient. The Shah DJ's from Vancouver have been essential in cultivating the Dnb and Bass Music scene for many years and now find themselves veterans to Bass Coast. This year they contributed a crew showcase consisting of 6 (Willist, Vasho, Decible Bass, Myles Away, Erski, & JF Killah) out of the 7 members; a three-hour session gave each Dj a 30 minute sets to bend the sound to their specific flavor. Newest addition to the crew Myles Away selected a diverse set that could only be defined as a fluid blend of Bass-line, Dubstep, Half-time DNB sounds, and some original productions as well. His style was refreshing to see as he brought another level of diversity to the talented Shah Dj’s arsenal. From start to finish the loyal Shah following rocked the cantina in pure Drum & Bass bliss.
In search for the remaining bass lines, the final night would explore the most experimental styles of the weekend. Selecting within 140- 175 BPM and bridging the gaps through all other tempos were Anna Morgan, NAASKO, Abstrakt Sonace, Doctor Jeep, Alix Perez, The Librarian, Shades, and Daega Sound. After a weekend breaking down egos, cultural barriers, and physical exhaustion the crowd came to life once more for the Bass Coast queen selectress The Librarian as she warmed up night for the duo Shades at main stage.
The highly anticipated project between Alix Perez & Eprom known as Shades took center stage under the soft light of the full moon. They wasted no time in diving head first into an complex electronic performnace combinding djing, drum machines, and modual style mixing. From the start it was clear to see a non-conformist approach that would encompass slanted beats and informal structure to the finish. With any genre of electronic music there is always some degree of repetitiveness, Shades completely broken every rule I have come to understand about music. Building the vibe and dictating tempos from 0-185 Bpm, redirecting and shifting the beats at moments notice with fluidity there was no right or wrong to be had; only a frequency that provoked either thought or movement. Beat by beat and move after move a musical symphony poured through out the crowd rebuilding and educating each person in its on unique way.
In a world surrounded by false imagery and generic music, Bass Coast have built their community from the ground up. Even from an outside perspective It is easy to identify the countless hours of hard work that goes into producing the immersive environment designed to inspire the essence of ones creative sprit. Building a platform for art, music, and dance Bass Coast exemplifies the true definition of a transformational festival. They have developed a very simple recipe for cultivating underground music and culture: real people connecting in a real environment expressing and sharing traditions with the only intention being growth. We look forward to the future inspired by what they have become, built, and where they will go next.