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Bass Coast Festival

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

The Bass Coast Festival is an electronic music and arts festival in Canada. The holding date of the Bass Coast Festival in every year is not fixed. It is located at the Nicola Valley, outside the city of Merritt, British Columbia which is known for it's natural landscape.[1] Every year, this event attracts thousands of people around the world to come to Merritt. The Bass Coast Festival is an independent, non-corporate event run by women that intends to integrate with sound and performances with the surrounding natural environment.[2] [3] It is owned and launched by two women artists, and the festival provides a platform for both Canadian artists and international artists to show their talent and creativity. Bass Coast Festival is a 19+ event, which limits at the age of majority in British Columbia, Canada.[4]

Bass Coast Festival


The Bass Coast Festival began in 2009, by two female artists—Andrea Graham and Liz Thomson. Andrea and Liz often went to arts festivals together. After they went to Burning Man, they realized they were both drawn to bass music and everything surrounded it. They launched the Bass Coast Festival to try to bring the creative music and culture they found in Burning Man to their local community. The Bass Coast Festival began as a small gathering in the lush forests of the Squamish Valley, has since evolved into a four-day festival in Merritt, British Columbia.[5] And the number of audiences has also grown from a year one total of 450 to last year’s 4,500 people.[2] As the number of attendances became larger, the original site is not spacious enough to hold so many people. Then in 2013, the festival moved to an aboriginal land, which is still located in British Columbia.[6]


The Bass Coast Festival is located at Nicola Valley, outside the city of Merritt, British Columbia. The Merritt City is widely known as the Country Music Capital of Canada, and Merritt is proud of its heritage and country roots. The natural beauty of British Columbia is an important part in the Bass Coast Festival. The main gate for the audience is at 1000 Midday Valley Road, Merritt BC, and is primarily accessible via car. Audiences from Vancouver may drive highway BC-5 N and take Exit #286; audiences from Kelowna may drive highway BC-97C and take Exit toward Merritt; audiences from Kamloops may drive highway BC-5S and take Exit #286; audiences from Spences Bridge may drive Nicola highway 8 into Merritt.[4] In 2018, there were around 5500 participants in the Bass Coast Festival, and so far, it is the largest number of people gathering on the coast of Bass.[7]

The Bass Coast Festival also makes efforts to protect the environment of the grounds and make use of the natural environment. The staff decorate the trees on the ground with colorful lights and ornaments. They also utilise the river which runs through the festival so audiences can cool down.[7]


The Bass Coast Festival is aimed at introducing new things to people, and the founders are expecting people to come with an open mind.[5] Every year, the Bass Coast Festival is set with a theme, and artists in the festival usually creates their own performances based on the theme.[4] The main type of music in the festival is electronic, with artists’ original work and live performances. The founders of the festival are aiming to provide a platform for the local artists who are working to show their talent.[5]

Some of the staff are employed and paid by the festival, others are volunteers who work without pay. All these people spend a lot of time working together to prepare for this festival. These longtime working staff all have specific duties and responsibilities, from the sound part to the medical care part, and they treat their work as “personal art”.[5]

Be what you want to be is also one of the key concepts of the festival. The Bass Coast festival gives musicians and performers blank spaces and liberty to be what they what to be and show what they want to show, instead of serving to others according to the wishes of the audience. The music, arts and performances on the festival are the works that artists really love, and this is the main reason that artists have found a sense of belonging, freedom and selfhood in this place.[8]

At the Festival[edit]

During the whole festival, there are all kinds of performances by different artists on the stages, and each stage features Canada-based powerhouse PK Sound.[7]Due to a huge art donation, the organizers are able to set up numbers of electronic art installations on the Bass Coast Festival. Some of these installations are in giant glowing mushroom shapes, others are more abstract shapes.[7] The popular festival features live electronic music on five stages, performance art, large interactive art installations, local artisans, and workshops on topics ranging from event consent culture to music production. The festival will showcase top musical acts like Nadia Rose, MNDSGN and Funk Hunters. Festival participants can also enjoy roving performance art by Calypsa Agency, Made in Alchemy and Freestyle Focus Group. [9]

There are four main audio-visual sections in the Bass Coast Festival: Main Stage, Slay Bay, Radio Stage and Cantina Stage. Despite the music, there are also 3 workshops provided for audiences, which are “the Brain, “Yoga and Meditation” and “Movement” workshops. There are all kinds of classes provided in “the brain” workshop such as Astronomy exploring courses and cooking classes of different countries. The “Yoga and Meditation” section helps audiences refresh their body and mind within the workshop. And in the “Movement” workshop, audiences could learn how to dance and make new friends with ballroom dancing, this workshop encourages people to release their hands and twist their waists freely along with the music. Moreover, people can also climb here within available camping area. [10]There are also some rest places provided for audiences, people can choose to crawl into the net lounges, slumber at Arcane Axis, couch under the light of rainbow canopies or relax at a rural stoop right by the performance pavilion.[7]

Behind the Festival[edit]


The Bass Coast Festival is an art gathering party with considerable earnings. It is expected to attract 5,500 people and generate more than $450,000 in economic benefits for the community. The B.C. government has noticed the big gains from the festival and has provided $45,000 for the festival to support its development through the Tourism Events Program. This program is set up to facilitate the development of tourism in British Columbia. It mainly supports those events which attract tourists from all over the world or provide better tourist experience. The Bass Coast Festival is a typical example of these events which promotes tourism and economic development.[9]

Underground Music Labels[edit]

The Bass Coast Festival also contributes to support the existence of some local and international music labels. In 2017, the Bass Coast Festival provided ample opportunities for these groups to perform and show their talent and potential, that enabled them to be noticed by more people. These underground music labels include Heart to Heart, Chapel Sound, Critical Music, SHAHdjs, Lighta Sound, and Pacific Rhythm. The Bass Coast Festival is probably one of the biggest showcases they would ever get, and it provides a great place for these underground musical labels to perform in the public sphere. In the festival, these music collectives get their unique labels and are able to show their own characteristics on the stages. The experience in the Bass Coast Festival is especially precious for the electronic musical newer. It is a great learning experience for the newer because there are performances and artists from all over the world and in different styles.[8]

Work Selection[edit]

As the Bass Coast Festival has been launched for several years, there have been more than 700 musical collections applied for show from artists all over the world. And the organizers of the festival have their own selection standard. They have set up a team to do the work selection work and at the same time to preserve the integrity of these musical works. They firstlpick out the top 100 works from all the musical collections, and then reselect the final 20-30 pieces from the selected 100 works. In order to deal with the 100 works and pick out the final 20-30 works, the selection team do a blind listen, and the team mean to find music in compliance with the guide they set up before for every stage to make sure there is a flow run over the festival. And the organizers of the festival have a preference for new faces of music with creativity and original thoughts. The creativity is also the ethos of establishing the Bass Coast Festival. The founders expect audiences to bring what they see, what they feel and what they experience on the Bass Coast Festival to their lives.[5]



According to Canadian law, the Bass Coast Festival is supposed to be drug-free to avoid bad influences, and not make this an event gathering people taking drugs. And there is no drug overdose tragedy happens on the festival. However, it seems that the drug-free regulation doesn’t work well, there are still some people taking drugs on the Bass Coast Festival. Therefore, in order to improve this situation, the Bass Coast Festival published the Harm Reduction plan.[11]

Harm Reduction[edit]

The promulgation of Harm Reduction plan is meant to protect the peers’ health and safety. It will provide information about drug damage and also some tools regarding harm reduction from the beginning of the Bass Coast Festival to the end.  The education of Harm Reduction is expected to keep this festival a healthy and upward party. [11]

And there are also medical emergency installations on the festival. A medical team comprised of 40 trained voluntary people serves to protect audiences’ safety and handle with the emergency. Every member in this team works for nine hours a day and has a running shift with each other throughout the holding period of the Bass Coast Festival. Usually there are twelve volunteers on duty during every work shift, who go the arounds to check on audiences or nurse in the safety protection tent. There are professional nurses and doctors with medical certificates in this team, who will handle with drug and alcohol emergency incidents. In addition to preparing these emergency measures, the Bass Coast also try a lot to prevent the dangers occurring. They set up emergency buttons on the official mobile application, and place high chairs behind every stage to make the guard easily notice what happens in the crowds. This festival doesn’t allow audiences to bring their own alcoholic drink but allow them to buy drinks from the 3 bars on the festival, which consequently avoid the bad situation like excessive drinking.[7] [11]

Cultural Appropriation[edit]

From 2013, the Bass Coast Festival started to ban people on wearing headdresses. Wearing feathered war bonnets is popular in musical festivals, but many people found it offensive as a crass cultural appropriation and might be a disrespectful practice to disrespectful to the original-inhabitants living around the venue.[12] [13]And the ethos of respect to all kind of culture help the Bass Coast Festival attract more mature audiences, who are willing to make contributions to the society and nature. They are positive to pick up and classify their personal rubbishes, or throw the cigarette butts into special recycling bins, which does a big help in keeping the environment tidy and clean.[7]


  1. "Destination British Columbia". Super, Natural BC. Retrieved 2019-05-16.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Derdeyn, Stuart (October 5, 2017). "Bass Coast Festival: A decade of big beats". Vancouversun. Retrieved Sep 17,2018.
  3. "Bass Coast Electronic Music and Art Festival". Bass Coast Project. Retrieved 2019-05-16.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Bass Coast Festival". Retrieved Sep 17,2018.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 McGowan, Hollie (April 29, 2015). "Bass Coast's Founders Want You to Leave Inspired". Thump. Retrieved Sep 17,2018.
  6. Derdeyn, S. (2014, Jul 31). Merritt tunes up for bass coast festival; electronic music. The Province.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 "BASS COAST 2018: A REFRESHING DIVERGENCE FROM THE NORM" Retrieved Sep 20,2018.
  8. 8.0 8.1 McGowan, Hollie (July 24, 2017). "How Bass Coast Is Keeping Underground Music Labels Alive". BeatRoute.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Musicians set to electrify audiences at Bass Coast Festival". Retrieved Oct 6, 2018.
  10. "A Bass Coast First Timers 5 Things To Look Forward To" Retrieved Oct 6, 2018.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 McGowan, Hollie (July 24, 2017). "How Bass Coast Is Keeping Underground Music Labels Alive". BeatRoute.
  12. "Bass Coast slated to be bigger — and safer — than ever" Retrieved Oct 10, 2018.
  13. Lederman, M. (2014, Jul 31). Music festival dress code strikes a chord. The Globe and Mail.

External links[edit]

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