2018 marked the 10th birthday of Bass Coast and also Rags Music's first in-person experience with the legendary BC festival. After years of whispers of the wonders inside and pleas to attend from musical and non-musical-friends alike, Bass Coast had reached near-mythic status and much to my delight, did not disappoint. In fact, even with my expectations at an all-time high, Bass Coast blew away my ideas of what a festival of its kind can be, do and inspire. After three full days of music, art and colour on a river just outside of Merritt, BC, it is evident that Bass Coast is the result of an incredible group of people – artists, organizers, light/sound people, builders, etc – at the top of their fields, working together to create an experience unlike anything else in the adjacent space around it. There's something immeasurably beautiful about so many talented people working in conjunction to expand, tantalize and delight the senses of not just their friends, but of complete strangers.
Interactive art installations abound throughout the festival grounds, encouraging attendees to interact with not just the art but with their fellow festival goers. Most entertaining among these were the telephone booths. The sparkly phones on opposite sides of the “downtown” area of the festival were hooked up to each other, ringing when the other was picking up and throwing both caller and answerer into the fires of impromptu conversation. Rags Music contributor Shawn McNicoll spent an inordinate amount of time taking pizza orders and pushing car insurance on people, to his own delight and, presumably, the confused delight of the folks on the other end.
The majority of festivals I've been to feature hoards of unwashed/disheveled masses zombie-ing about until the sun starts it descent back under the sky line. But not at Bass Coast. The lovely people of Bass Coast, if not stripped down and cooling in the river, were dressed in their finest and most colourful ridiculously early in the day. From around lunchtime on, wherever you looked, Bass Coast was all-out fashion show and I was more than impressed. Some peoples' dedication to their costumes, to the weirdness, was flat-out awe-inspiring as the heat generally led me to basketball shorts and a t-shirt. If you were one of the people who managed to stay costumed-up in the sweltering heat and swirling winds, I commend you! SALUT!
While incredible lights and art installations, beautiful humanity wherever the eyes laid and breathtaking landscape views all abounded, it was the music that truly brought me there and the music that really made this one of the best full weekends of dancing I've personally had in a long time. The women behind the organization of Bass Coast, particularly the booking of music, have done a fucking incredible job of putting together a diverse lineup that thankfully all shares the same important thread... QUALITY. I admittedly didn't know a large portion of the lineup and I was either pleasantly surprised or straight-up astonished as I made my between stages taking in act after act I'd never heard of. Bass Coast might genuinely be the most musically well-curated festival I've ever attended. These are some serious music nerds putting together this line up and everywhere a brother turned, there was world-class groove to be had.Read More