Tag Archives: Bass Coast Project

final poster


Only 6 weeks ’till Babe Coast and tickets are already half-gone! Attendance is capped at 3000 so if you want to throw down… don’t wait. This festival is owned and run by artists, and showcases both local and international talent.


Options to escape the heat in the daytime include the cool shade of the trees or the creek running through the festival grounds.

For those looking to experience an outdoor celebration of art & music with a mature & intimate crowd, you’ve come to the right place. Now in its 6th year, Bass Coast boasts world-class audio/visual, seamless logistics, and truly inspired installations & performances.

Last year's theme was Mutiny. Yes, that is a pirate ship coming out of the main stage...

Last year’s theme was “Mutiny”. Yes, that is a pirate ship coming out of the main stage…




Bass Coast 2014… Weirdos Welcome

basscoast music festival

Bass Coast Music Festival

On August 1st to the 4th, I was lucky enough to attend Bass Coast Music Festival in its sixth year running. The drive up had us pulling out of Vancouver and cruising down the Trans Canada Highway alongside towering mountain landscapes for about two and a half hours, with a quick stop in Hope for gas and a slice of pie at my favorite road house, Home. This being my first year of attendance, I had my expectations, but put simply… it was impossible for me to be prepared for the sights to come. Once we made it into Merritt, the drive was a short ten minutes through rolling hills of golden grass until we found ourselves pulling up before a carnivalesque gate; red and white striped banners stretched tight in a preview of the decor to come. Multiple lanes brought us to the front pretty quick where we were waved through to descend into the waiting oasis.

A warm river flows through Nicola Valley, providing some cool relief from the daytime scorch

A warm river flows through Nicola Valley, providing some cool relief from the daytime scorch

We were pleasantly surprised to find many shade structures already constructed throughout the camping grounds, which consisted of two vast fields flanked by a long, meandering river. Peering through the trees, I could see many attendees had already taken to the fresh water on everything from air mattresses to inflatable dolphins. Once settled, it was time for us to explore.

A bridge crossed this river at the entrance to the festival grounds, instantly bringing into view a shady and relaxed cafe. At $4 for a 16oz iced coffee, I was taken by how reasonably priced the vendor items were. Even the on-site ATM gave us a good deal – a mere $3 service charge, which I contrasted with the $6 charges which robbed me all too often in Vancouver’s nightclubs. A fountain had been set up for dispensing spring water and just before the main stage came into view I spotted Sanctuary, a well-lit tipi and beacon of harm reduction, with blankets, pillows and good energy abound.


The Main Stage, decked out with streamers and a massive pirate ship crashing through the walls

On Saturday night the Main Stage was absolutely the place to be. The Fungineers introduced us to a babe named Pizza Goddess. The Librarian was off the chain. A Tribe Called Red brought us to a whole new place with their subversive tracks, and had us talking about them for hours after. Commodo and Taal Mala explosively brought things at the Main Stage to a close, sending partiers to disperse into the other two stages.

Following the path past the main stage brought us to the magical forest village, wherein the food court came into view. Taco Justice served killer tacos while blasting some of the best tunes all weekend, with Blender Bender offering deals like $2 cold pressed juice just next door. At the Japanese Bistro you had your choice of rice bowls or tofu salad, and across from there you could find everything from ice cream cones to shrimp pad thai. Rounding the corner we encountered the first of two more incredible stages: Pirate Radio.

Pirate Radio... ON AIR

Pirate Radio… ON AIR

This stage, a nod to the pirate radio of old, was an uptempo playground surrounded by wooden structures to swing and dance on all through the night. A bouncy net was tied up in the trees for those looking to take a break from the hype. This stage was what one might imagine a jungle gym for adults would look like.

The final stage, nestled next to river between Hammock City, the Hookah Lounge and a row of endlessly talented vendors, was the unstoppable Slay Bay. Stepping underneath the canopy of taut fabric felt like stumbling into an alien nightclub. This tricked out space had otherworldly vibes like none other, as the first stage to start blasting music at around 1PM. Mat the Alien and Sweater Beats brought in huge crowds with their Saturday afternoon jams.

Slay Bay was like partying on another planet

Connecting each area of the village was an open wood which housed an endless amount of interactive art installations, most of which incorporated creative ways to play with light. During the night time these shone out from between the trees in grand spectacles of shifting color. It was easy to get trapped in the Magical Forest, which was something straight out of Alice in Wonderland with its toadstools, miniature castle, snug blankets and outstanding visuals.

I talked to a number of returning attendees, and the general consensus was that this year’s set up had blown all previous efforts out of the water. In 2013, Bass Coast organizers were tasked with the challenge of a creating a layout at a brand new location, but entering their second summer in Merritt it sounded as though most could agree that the festival had since grown into its new space. One thing I heard over and over again was that the project had vastly improved its general infrastructure, emerging as a world-class festival which, according to many,  managed to keep its vibe mature and intimate for all by capping the headcount at 4000 people.

One of the many shimmering art installations to be discovered in the woods. A touch-sensitive panel at the front allowed people to control the colours coursing through the structure.

Scores of shimmering art installations like this one dotted the woods. A touch-sensitive panel at the front allowed people to control the colours coursing through the structure.

If attendees ever made it out of the village and into the expansive campgrounds (which some didn’t, as I learned near the end), they discovered some of the most elaborate and luxurious personal campsites I’ve ever seen. Two geodesic domes provided highlights. One was dark and filled with hammocks for campers to escape into for afternoon naps. The other was bright and colorful, strung up with nets above Persian rugs and a lavishly decorated trampoline where I often made my way over to continue sleeping after waking up in my 100 degree tent. Known as Areola 51, this geodome had a bar complete with a tray on a pully to serve drinks to those relaxing in the hammocks ten feet above, accessible either by climbing up the triangular sides or taking the hanging wooden stairs.

Areola 51

Areola 51

At first I wondered how it could be worth putting so much effort into a campsite that would have to be taken down in 3 days time. What I realized soon after was that the ritual was akin to that of the radiant Eastern mandala,  painstakingly drawn into the sand with great detail only to be swept away after one last fleeting glance. There’s always a moment where festival goers think to themselves, “I wish this could last forever”. This is always followed by the realization that part of the beauty is in the transience of it all, the temporary nature which allows people to let go so effortlessly and embrace change the way life forces us to.

Mutiny against fear of judgement. Mutiny against waiting until you get to know someone before telling them that they’re beautiful. Mutiny against doing anything except that which you love to do. Bass Coast Project, thank you for an experience that was completely out of this world – I’ll see you again next year.

Bass Coast Project Official

  • All pictures belong to their respective watermarks.

Bass Coast Project / The Librarian Interview

tumblr_lyognjYpCh1r5zlz8 Originally posted on the School of Remix

Festival season is on it’s way and it’s a bout time you started getting your plans or holidays in order.

The Bass Coast Project is three years young at this point and only have room to grow. The Bass Coast Project is indigenous to British Columbia with contributions coming from all over the province, country and worldwide.

Since the beginning the events have nearly doubled in popularity and size. Now’s a good time to get in and participate (highly recommended). This summer even? Andrea Graham (The Librarian) juggled some time amidst her busy schedule to put in a few words about the festivals aspirations, history and a heads up for 2012.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/3105329″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

How long have you been with the Bass Coast Project?

Since the very beginning in Jan. of 2009.
How many years running will it have been for Bass Coast now in 2012?

Bass Coast is heading into it’s 4th year now. Looking back we’ve come a long way in 3 years, but it still feels like this is just the beginning!

Can you tell us a bit about the Bass Coast Project? Because it’s not just a summer festival is it? You also have Halloween and New Years events.

Bass Coast has produced three summer festivals, three Halloween events and two big New Years events as well as co-producing a room at the 2011 W2 Lights NYE in Vancouver. Outside of the major holiday events, Bass Coast has promoted a number of smaller shows, but our focus remains on larger scale productions in unique venues. We treat each of our events like a festival and incorporate many different art forms and experiences into each production.
I was in attendance of the 2011 Whistler B-Grade Horrorfest and there was a big Bass Coast Project logo on the sponsor reel. Can you tell us a bit about how Bass Coast’s affiliation with the festival? Two awesome sauce events mixing it up together.

Whistler’s B-Grade Horrorfest is an annual tradition in the Sea to Sky Corridor. It started back in 2002 and many of the local artist, musicians, film makers, dancers, and vampires have collaborated on short films over the years. It’s a weird and wonderful meeting of the local artistic community, many of whom are also involved in Bass Coast. We all support each other in our endeavours and Bass Coast has sponsored the event over the past 3 years.

How many stage’s are there during the summer festival?

Bass Coast Festival has three stages. The two main stages are focussed primarily on music & performance while the third stage hosts a combination of music, workshops, and movies under the stars. The styles of music on each stage change throughout the festival. We strive to program the stages to feature alternate styles so that there is always an option to find the style that fits your mood. The line up has a strong focus on West Coast talent but also features international touring artists. In the past we’ve had artists from Australia, Berlin, London, Brazil, NYC and all over NA.


Just to give people an idea of what kind of energy goes into one stage. How much time do you think, on average, is spent on one stage, conceptual to physical completion?

All our stages are also art installations that are very different from year to year.

Slay Bay stage features a different designer each year while the main stage concept is driven by Liz Thomson and Andor Tari.

The Radio Stage was new last year and will have an entirely different feel and presentation this year. There are many artists and builders that contribute to every stage. Each year, it seems the day the festival ends is when planning starts for the next. Ideas are fresh at this point and throughout the year they evolve into a new creation. We source 99% of the materials for these stages from used or recycled products which also adds to the amount of time spent on each stage.

Our Halloween event also has two large stages that are completely transformed from year to year. This past year we turned a 60 x 45 foot White Event tent into a full wooden cave. It felt like you were inside the hull of an upside wooden boat…. beautiful and organic with no evidence of the original structure in sight!

There were some pictures on the Basscoast facebook page of the stages in the Bregenz Opera Festval in Austria. Some amazing pieces there. Could it be said that Basscoast is aiming for something of that calibre?

We find inspiration from all over the world in small pieces of art, the natural surroundings, and large installations. The stages at Bregenz Opera Festival are unbelievable. They have done an incredible job of turning imagination into reality and yes we love what they do.


Does Bass Coast have a volunteer program?

Yes there will be info on our new website which will be launched Feb 1st. Volunteer applications will be available on the site later in the month.
What roles can potential volunteers choose from?

All the roles will be detailed on the site with many options including Green Team, First Aid, Front Gate, Parking, General Store, Camping Ambassadors, and technical support staff.

What is the attendee capacity of the event?

We have applied to extend capacity to 3000 people this year from 2000 last year.

Alcoholic beverages served or no?

There is no bar and no alcohol is permitted on site. All vehicles will be searched upon entry.
Amenities. What should people prepare for/ What’s already set up as far as water, vendors, washrooms, first aid etc.

Everything you need is available on site. If you don’t feel like cooking in your campsite, the Market Place offers a wide selection of food vendors that cover all types of dietary preferences. We also offer free potable water and suggest that people bring their own water bottle to refill. We are aiming to reduce the amount of plastic water bottles generated by selling water, however there is some bottled water for first aid and emergencies. Ice is available to purchase from the Bass Coast store and washrooms are located throughout the site but there are no shower facilities at this point. We have an excellent First Aid Station open 24 hours/day.

Anything you suggest attendees bring on their own to maximize good times? I’ve found a package of new socks is one of the most satisfying things any camping morning.

….socks and sunscreen! The weather is generally really hot during the day and can be quite cool at night so be prepared for any temp as well as rain or sun.
You’ll need the usual camping supplies: tent, mattress, sleeping bag, camping chair, cooler (if you bring food), water bottle, garbage bags, TP, and a flashlight. The more luxurious camps set up hammocks, shade tents, and solar panel lights to welcome them home at night. I’d also recommend a bicycle if you have room. The site is large and fun to check out on 2 wheels.

FYI – Bass Coast does not allow any campfires – it’s really dry in the summer!


Entertainment. I’m just looking through last years projects page and there’s a tonne of good stuff there, Radio, Yoga, Mud Wrestling, Capoiera, Mud Wrestling, Fashion Shows, Installations. All stand out stuff, but “Basscoast School” caught my eye. Whats the curriculum like at the Basscoast School?

Bass School was a new addition last year and every class was packed! Topics ranged from Making Mixtapes in Ableton to Permaculture to Laughing Yoga to Unified Field Theory. This year we are expanding the class schedule and the content will be focussed on science, music, art, & healthy lifestyles. The classroom is in the vending village so you can lounge in the shade while sipping on fresh coffee and listening to a class. It’s the perfect way to rejuvenate those weary legs after a night of dancing.

Im curious to hear your take on the fact that electronic music festivals are popping up all over the world and an amazing rate and even selling out annually now. Why do you think more and more people seem to be drawn to this kind of event and even music more now than years before?

These days our pace of life is very fast and society is pushing to get more accomplished in less time. It feels like we’re always thinking about the next step which makes it really difficult to be aware of the here and now and who. I think music festivals give people the opportunity to step out of their busy lives and to come together as a community. Festivals allow people to unleash their imagination whether it’s by dressing up in costumes, letting loose on the dance floor, great conversations with a stranger, or by relaxing on the sidelines and taking it all in.

You also DJ and Produce as the Librarian. Was it a natural progression for you to move into event management from DJing and producing?

Yes it was a natural progression to move into events from DJing and producing. I’ve always played music in some shape or form and I’ve always been interested in business. I studied business and ended up opening a coffee shop with my mom which we ran for 3 years. During that time I started to DJ and to organize events. The late nights and early mornings did not go well together! haha Music festivals have always inspired and motivated me so it was natural to move in that direction after the coffee shop.

How long where you DJing and producing before Bass Coast began?

I started fooling around with making electronic music in 04, began DJing in 07, and launched Bass Coast in 09. It’s around that time that I also started to focus more on production and I continually feel like I have so much more to learn!

There’s a great interview with you on Future Proofing where you were asked about where you are based. Just wondering if since then, or at all, that managing an event of this size has gravitated you to any particular region to call a base?

Squamish is my home base. I love it here and can’t see that changing anytime soon.

Other than that Future Proofing got some good words from you and I’m going to refer people to that post for your take on the local scene. However! It would be great to get a heads up or two on what you have in store for 2012, release’s, dates, events, etc.

Sure! 2012 is shaping up to be a really busy year with a few releases in the works and some exciting festival bookings this summer. I’m currently working on an EP with Living-Stone (Mtl) that should be out this spring. Every Tuesday I play up in Whistler with Mat the Alien at his Really Good Tuesdays and over the next few months I’ve got bookings in Calgary, Grande Praire, Victoria, Kelowna, and Vancouver.

Thanks for your time Andrea. Anything you’d like to add?



Photo credit: Fleet Jewelry, Metamorphograph and Kevin Su Photography.
Video by: DJ Vespers
Visit The Bass Coast Project & The Libriarian.