Category Archives: Festivals

Bass Coast 2016 approaches


Three weeks ’till Bass Coast 2016! My personal favourite of BC’s artist-run electronic music festivals, Bass Coast is unique for its complete lack of corporate sponsorship, eclectic offering of interactive art, seamless professional execution, and largely female team of organizers (including co-founder The Librarian. Shhh…)

Nestled between the mountains in sunny Merritt, the eighth annual celebration has already made history for being the first time that the show has completely sold out. This year around 3000 people will be making their way to the valley oasis to peruse an innovative outdoor gallery of light and sound-based installations and throw down to a world-renowned roster of emerging Canadian and international talent. Sound like paradise? You’re not far off.

~ VASHO PHOTOGRAPHY ~ , , , #vashophotography , #basscoast

(C) Vasho Photography

If you don’t already have a ticket I feel bad for you son, but hey, there’s always Craigslist. (Just be smart about it — scams suck and Bass Coast reserves the right to refuse any ticket bought from a third-party retailer.) Those that are on the fence may be interested in reading our review of last year’s event, which reads a bit like a tour of the grounds and gives you a pretty good sense of the experience & logistics. This year’s line-up is featured in the series below, pick a mix and kick back to gain some perspective on the type of music you can expect to hear at Bass Coast.

See you there!

Bass Coast Project
Soundcloud | Facebook | Official

I/O: An Electronic Music Documentary

Director / Film-maker Kevan McGovern has been out to find what really binds people to electronic music. A five year journey to with aim to accurately explain what is bringing so many people from every walk of life, spirituality, and culture together time and time again. During this journey he has conducted 216 interviews, attended 15 festivals, and 125 live events from coast to coast of North America. The project ‘I/O: An Electronic Music Documentary’ is nearly complete and available for consumption and knowledge gain. There is a kickstarter in place to help the project reach its goal of ultimately meeting you. As an added bonus of contributing to the project (for the amount of $10 or more), you will receive a pre-order of Kevans The Shambhala Experience documentary (note clip below). Offer and campaign until November 27th!

I/O explores the cultural anthropology of electronic music’s effects on human beings. Filmmaker Kevan McGovern unveils the truth behind why this music genre and its culture shift consciousness and lifestyle in ways that are completely distinct to other music genres. I/O invites its audience to strap into the real rave experience and feel the power electronic music has over its listeners. Performing artists making appearances include DJ Z-Trip, Dub Fx, Datsik, Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, Rusko, Stickybuds and more.

I/O – Facebook | Twitter | Youtube | Website

Mature & Intimate Vibes at Bass Coast 2015


Bass Coast Music Festival

For those who haven’t heard, Bass Coast is an arts & music festival that takes place annually in Merritt, BC. From downtown Vancouver it’s about a 2 1/2 hour drive down the Trans-Canada highway; a route well-worth it for the sight-seeing alone. At the heart of this festival is a love for electronic music, community-building, technological innovation and the creative craft, with a strong focus on showcasing emerging artists, both local and international alike.


The perfect place to chill out under the summer sun.

Nicola Valley provides a pristine setting hugged by jagged sandy mountains from all sides. A freshwater creek runs through the middle of the venue, separating the festival from the campgrounds and providing attendees a place to cool off in the daytime.

One of the best parts about Bass Coast is the camping culture. A generous amount of space is allotted to campers, many of which secure beachfront property on Friday morning. People go to great lengths to make their three-day pop-up homes cozy, unique and welcoming to all. Highlights included a colourful geodesic dome adorned with hammocks, an aerial hoop and surrounding art installations, and Camp Hugz, which offered an elaborate menu of free hugs to pass-byers.


Is this real life?

Over the bridge and into the festival was the Cafe, one of Bass Coast’s four stages and the first to turn its speakers on & off each day. The Cafe bumped upbeat bass music for the listening pleasure of hungry patrons munching from a menu of all-organic eats. Many of the options here were raw, gluten-free and/or vegan. The food was so good that I feel obliged to post a picture of the menu (you’re welcome!). I caught Barlee here on Friday night and DJ Abasi’s classic house set on Saturday afternoon, both of which had me groovin’ in the smoothie line-up and coming back for more.

Next to the cafe was the festival’s sanctuary, which had undergone a make-over. Replacing last year’s bright, towering tee-pee was a smaller tent with a pathway and bridge leading to an enclosed space by the creek. Pillows and blankets padded the corners, creating a safe haven for partiers to escape to. The added privacy, dim lighting and relaxing sound of trickling water was enough to make you forget where you were. Sanctuary volunteers were also sent to make rounds of the festival, educating people about available options for harm reduction and handing out condoms.

Past Sanctuary was the Brain, Bass Coast’s designated classroom. Discussions were run throughout the daytime and tailored to the Bass Coast crowd, covering a wide range of unusual topics. Workshops on music and art, such as the sound production and wood-working classes, stuck closer to Bass Coast’s raison d’etre. Others took the opportunity of an open-minded audience to explore ideas around non-monogamy, mind-altering substances and even Chinese metaphysics. As someone who’s interested in naturopathic medicine, I felt particularly sour about missing “Healing Alchemy of Spices & Ayurveda”.


The most tentacularrr stage of them all!

Down the path a little further was the momentous main stage, a theatre-like permanent structure outfitted with massive wooden tentacles for this year’s theme, Tentacularrr. Invented by organizers, the nonsensical word encouraged attendees to “reach out and explore the world through feeling”. It also made for very interesting costume pieces…

The main stage played host to some of Basscoast’s bigger acts as well as its more elaborate performances. San Francisco’s j.phlip stole the show on Friday night, while Saturday was dominated by illusory dance group Subscura and Bass Coast co-founder the Librarian. On Sunday night the Funk Hunters uplifted crowds with funkadelic beats to make you dance your socks off (if you weren’t already barefoot).

Rotating 3D sacred geometry and a wooden deer skull whose shifting lights responded to heartbeat.

Rotating 3D sacred geometry and a wooden deer skull whose flickering lights responded to your heartbeat.

Bass Coast’s arts district exploded into view just past the vendors, where a multi-coloured forest housed numerous interactive art installations. It was easy to get lost in this hallucinatory playground, as every single piece begged to be played with. Some were more passive, such as the sculptural third spaces that gave attendees a place to kick back and take a break from all the noise. Others required direct intervention, like the cash register-turned DJ controller or the photo booth.

A nod to the rogue DJs of days past.

Pirate Radio

Turning right took you to Pirate Radio, a nod to the rogue DJs of days past. Appearing as something between a castle and a pirate ship, this multi-dimensional stage was outfitted with crow’s nests and tied-up nets, giving partiers all kinds of vantage points from which to enjoy the music.  The dance floor here was a bass-heavy pit of dark and dirty beats. A stacked line-up on Friday night kicked off with Taal Mala followed by Portland’s Eprom and then Mat the Alien, who blew up the PK speakers with a gritty trap set that had my teeth vibrating. Detroit Swindle was one of Sunday’s highlights, though Sabo might’ve won the night as his sunrise set played on late into the a.m. for somewhere around 5 hours straight, making him the final act of Bass Coast 2015 (and a total champ).


Slay Bay

Closer to the river was Slay Bay, a beachfront paradise nestled beneath a whimsical canopy of shifting lights and patterns. The dangling threads were reminiscent of old man’s beard, or hanging lichen, giving it a playful, forest-grove appeal. The DJ booth was framed by two massive, feathery white wings in an otherworldly display of creative stage design. Slay Bay was always a great place to be, but you really missed out if you happened to miss Saturday’s 2 p.m. reggae jam. With a few clouds in the sky, festival-goers happily took a break from the river to throw down to some Caribbean soul music. DJ Dubconscious kicked off the night shift followed by Alberta-born Smalltown DJs and El Papachango, who killed it with a Latin-inspired set of bass music and hip-hop. JPOD the Beat Chef kept the party going with some bouncy beats on Sunday afternoon, and finished his set by initiating a giant group-hug on the dance floor. This was in response to the marriage proposal that took place on one of the speakers in front of the stage, a real indicator of the love that was in the air. Sunrise sets by Ekali and Michael Red made it impossible to stop dancing, even as the night surrendered to the light around us.

Speaking to the festival’s logistics, both Pirate Radio and Slay Bay had grass-laid dance floors to control the dust; a successful solution to an age-old problem. Free (cold, delicious, glacier) water was provided at designated fill stations, though these were reserved to the festival grounds and not the campgrounds, making it difficult to transport large volumes back to campsites without a wagon. Getting into the festival was as smooth and low-hassle as could be, and line-ups were never an issue – a perk of Bass Coast’s capped headcount. One suggestion for next year might be the addition of a second bridge across the river closer to Slay Bay, as this would eliminate the long walking distance for those camped on the far end.

Finally, I would be committing a grave injustice if I failed to mention the amazing community vibe that sets this festival apart from others in its genre. Not once did I ever feel nervous or threatened – not once did I think twice about ditching my coat by the dance floor or dancing up to a stranger. To put it into perspective for you, within 10 minutes of dropping my wallet I was able to collect it from lost & found. Of the $200 inside, not a single bill was taken. 3000 attendees – 3000 friends.

Thank you Bass Coast Project!

8 Days… Till Babe Coast ☀

Photo (

Photo (c) Metamorphograph

The latest from BC’s chillest local underground electronic music fest … “Our festival site in the Nicola Valley has a distinct allure. Pitch your tent under a shady poplar tree and wade into the refreshing Coldwater River.

Our intimate setting ensures that you are close to the action: three stages with world class sound design by PK Sound, intriguing and illuminating workshops and over 50 original art installations.

Experience over 100 international and local artists, from NYC rapper Zebra Katz, to Berlin-based underground techno producer Kris Wadsworth, to the DJ/instrumental fusion of Vancouver’s own Funk Hunters.”

I love this festival, which is kept friendly and relaxed with a capped attendance at 3000 heads. Limited tickets are available online and at select retailers (Vancouverites, look for them at Beat Street Records). More information available at

Happy Bass Coast!

Shambhala Music Festival 2014

Twenty fourteen was to be the fourth year of my attendance to our provinces most renowned festival. Each year in attendance exceeded the last by performances, people and party. However only days before the gates opening pressing family matters took me away from the mountain nestled destination.

In effort to help paint a portrait of how the festival has been a cultural figurehead within our the regions music community I’ve collected a handful of interviews from players within and around the scene at different levels to elaborate. These interviews will be rolling out over the next few days one by one, starting tomorrow. Take a moment to think about how Shambhala is with you after your leaving the farm and throughout the remainder of the year.

Shambhala Digital – The 2014 Showtime Compilation

It’s official, Shambhala has flexed out it’s new label leg into the digital world. Now the farmily can spread itself throughout Western Canada’s booming music culture year round. Released officially just hours the left in the day preceding the opening of the gates for 2014. The compilation contains so much of what Shambhala has embodied for many years. Glitch, Dubstep, Bass, Funky House, Mid Tempo and just so much more. A track for everyone also captivating each stages own place within as a whole. Local standouts include Ryan Wells, Taal Mala, Pigeon Hole, Kline, The Funk Hunters, Neighbor & Spiltmilk together, Moontricks of Smokey Crow Records & the winners of the Aufect Recordings Sound The Alarm Remix Competition, Ethos & Sullust. Too much to listen for at the festival, not to mention what this means for for all the producers in the region.

The Shambhala Music Festival begins tomorrow (Aug. 8th) and ends Monday August 11th.

Shambhala Music Festival – Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter | Website

Shambhala Music Festival 2014, Aug 8 – 11

It’s official, we are indeed knee deep in festival season. There’s under one month until BC’s infamous forest nestled, BPM top five 2014 festivals to watch list, home away from home, independent festival returns. Located at the Salmo River Ranch just north of the American border in BC’s interior with all the natural beauty of the provinces Southern Interior and climate. Being as long lasting as Shambhala has there is a culture of it’s own surrounding it. Surrounding and extending it’s culture and influence through western Canada to DJ’s, producers and musicians of all walks alike year round has had profound impact on the culture of the coast. August 8-11th the festival returns to shape the community and provide a home away from home party escape for thousands of Electronic goers and connoisseurs.

Tickets are still available on their website and from many local retails BC & Alberta wide.

Shambhala – Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter | Website

Michael Red – Sunday Morning Shambhala 2012 Living Room mix


For my first post with FutureClassics, here is a mix as appropriate for pre-raving as a post-party wind down. This Shambhala 2012 mix from Vancouver veteran Michael Red is a mellow and relaxing favorite I find myself listening to again and again – for any lovers of the annual BC music fest, it’s sure to bring up fond memories of the beach stage and greeting the hazy morning sunrise, but it’s equally as good for a chilled-out evening at home by yourself. Includes such well-known faves as James Blake and Frank Ocean, as well as an Andy Dixon remix of the soulful vocals of Vancouver’s own Evy Jane. Queue it up and drift away into dreamland.

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Michael Red – Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter