Neil McElmon Photography

The Official DMNW 2016 Bass Coast Recap

Well, we made it back in one piece! It’s officially official. DMNW can cross Bass Coast off the bucket list, and while there’s so, so, SO much to talk about, we can start it off with four simple words:

The hype is real.

What else can be said about Bass Coast that hasn’t been said already? There’s the obvious: The laid-back BC attitude; the eye catching, mind bending, one of a kind art installations; the contagious smiles and laughter of the 3,500+ beautiful people in attendance; and of course that low-end sub-bass hybrid fusion dance music that makes good use of a pK system.

… We’ll get to all that. But before we go any further we want to break down what makes Bass Coast a place that stands alone, and whether it means to or not, separates itself from almost everything else the PNW has to offer.

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The Vibe

Since its founding at the hands of Andrea Graham, better known as The Librarian, Bass Coast has built an enormous reputation as a place where art, culture, and community are the focus. A place that thrives off a message of respect, positivity, and love, while staying true to the underground element that helped earn the festival a place on Mount Ravemore.

Right from the start, we noticed a higher level of maturity and respect from everyone in attendance. From the staff down to each individual ticket holder, we never saw anything that would be considered aggressive or negative.

Bass Coast, Bass Coast 2016

The sign doesn’t lie.

As far as our experience went, nobody collapsed. Security/First Aid never came rushing towards a problem, basically because there weren’t any. Nobody was pushing through crowds or being aggro. Honestly, the most negative thing we heard all weekend was a guy having a conversation with a vendor about his disdain for all types of melons.

“They’re just water and no taste. They suck! Fuck melons!”

As much as we disagree with that statement (unless we’re talking about cantaloupe), if that’s the angriest thing you hear in a weekend you’re in a good place.

Bass Coast, Bass Coast 2016

Bert & Ernie agree.

One of things we enjoyed most about Bass Coast was the room allotted for personal freedom and growth, in exchange for being a more responsible party-goer. Obviously security was present, but they hardly had to be. The attendees of Bass Coast were responsible enough for each other, and that made everyone’s weekend just that much smoother. Harm reduction actually tracked the amount of people that visited over the course of the festival, and at least 27% of ticket holders used their services. A number we can all be proud of as it’s a step in the right direction. Don’t take for granted how lucky we are to have a service like this available in Canada.

The slower pace of Bass Coast was a welcomed breath of fresh air during a hectic summer schedule. The crowds were never too rowdy, and the vibe was always just right. The smaller crowds worked hand in hand with providing a laid back atmosphere, where you never felt like you were part of a New York rush hour. Running into a friend didn’t require you to break off from your group, because you’d see them again in 20 minutes.

Art installations were scattered throughout the grounds, but were primarily located as you walked between stages. Although the walk was a short one, the way it was set up forced you to saunter past the works of some very talented people, with each installation offering something different from the creative mind.

Bass Coast, Bass Coast 2016

Yarrrrr Mateyyyy

The bridge into downtown was an interactive display on its own, providing two handrails loaded with LongWalkShortDock samples that you could manipulate individually or as part of a team. Mission spouting gumball machines, a life sized Lite-Brite, and a music making cash register known as the Registroid were just some of our favorites we spent hours with throughout the weekend.

The emphasis on art & culture is part of what makes Bass Coast such a special place. It reminded us of an artist’s retreat; like that café down the block with the tinted windows and really strong coffee. At any given moment you’re bound to be brushing shoulders with someone overflowing with creative juices. A perfect example was catching up with our friends from Tom Kha within 10 minutes of setting up camp. Or running into Stickybuds, who wasn’t even on the schedule, as we witnessed the Funk Hunters throw down like only they know how.

From the staff and artists who spend countless hours performing their duties, to the beautiful souls on the dance floor, Bass Coast is littered with people that help make this community what it is. It doesn’t matter who you are or why you’re there – everyone in attendance plays a part in creating that magic in the air.

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