Bass Coast Music Festival | Depth, Beauty and Bass

The anticipation for Bass Coast Music Festival was continuously fed with each mile we drove. Being originally from Nevada where the only greenery I seen growing up were palm trees and cactus made this trip an exceptional adventure. I now live in beautiful Boise, Idaho, also known as, “The city of trees.” I thought when I moved to Boise I knew GREEN, but I have never experienced trees the way Canada knows trees. The farther we traveled from home the closer we came to a fir forest wonderland complete with short encounters with the elegant critters that inhabit the ocean of greenery that surrounded us.

We were greeted by beaming smiles and high energy volunteers as soon as we pulled into the festival grounds. Soon after we met a fellow in gold booty shorts, a fedora and oversized glasses who realized we were from the states and made us feel right at home. We had found our home base for the next 4 days across from the slowly streaming river, surrounded by massive mountains next to our new neighbor and friend, one of many we would make throughout the weekend.   

After setting up our meek camp complete with an easy up that wouldn’t quite stay up, tents, some chairs and enough food to sustain us in our adventures to come we decided to explore the grounds. The amount of effort put into so many of the campgrounds made the camping experience exciting in itself. Everything from trampolines to domes with swings and hammocks inside, art cars, rooftop dance parties and a “lawn” full of windmills and a sign that welcomed all for “free hugs.” We had officially entered an alternate bass universe.

After spending some time wandering the campgrounds and getting distracted by the colorful characters and welcoming camps we decided to venture into the actual festival which begins with a bridge, not just any bridge, a bridge that doubles as an art/music installation. The railing was rigged in such a way that you could place your hands over the small circles on the metal and it would trigger different samples of music created by Longwalkshortdock. Each circular light triggered different sounds and if a few people got going the bridge turned into a show all in itself. So many things!! And we still had yet to even enter the festival.

Once across the bridge we fully immersed ourselves in the beautiful madness all around us. No particular schedule in mind or sense of time. Only freedom of self and exploration. We started our night with Dj Dubconscious’ feel good vibes at the Cantina stage, followed by BOGL who happens to be from my hometown, who knew?! Then moved on to the Main stage where the powerful Honey Larochelle demanded attention with her radiant beauty, incredible vocals, and intelligent dialogue. She not only addressed the losses that the music world has accrued this year with Bowie and Prince but the incredibly disheartening, unnecessary deaths that made headlines just before the weekend of Bass Coast.

Thank you Honey Larochelle for being brave enough to use your platform to speak about social injustice, if even for only a moment. She was a wonderfully transparent, and stunning transition into late night Friday which consisted of these two forest nymphs aimlessly discovering the countless art installations and happening upon so much amazing music. There was never a time that the music was not impressive. If it wasn’t the vibe we were looking for we could walk to another stage and find exactly the atmosphere we wanted at the time.

Saturday the sun graced us with it’s presence and we were able to wash away the well earned sweat from the night before in the icy cold river just on the other side of our camp with our fellow bass faces at the festival. Meeting new people at any festival is probably my favorite, second only to discovering new music and Jason the magician was probably my favorite encounter of the entire weekend. Thank you for your clever banter and incredible magic in both tricks and presence.

The river, sunshine and great company made for the perfect transition into the evening of so much delicious music by the time we made it back to camp we were both physically wiped out complete with cheshire cat sized grins and bursting at the seams after being filled to the brim by artists like Bleep Bloop, B. Bravo and of course The Librarian who’s set brought what seemed like the entire festival to one place for the moment and ended with a bang. Very literally. The drum and bass matched only by the boom-clap of the fireworks. The reverberating collective awe of the entire audience was palpable and gave everyone in attendance that second wind they needed to keep on-keepin on until sunrise.

There is so much to say about the depth of beauty in those that put the festival on and work so hard to make all in attendance feel welcome and safe, about those wonderful souls that find refuge at Bass Coast each year with like minded freedom seeking and creative individuals, about the integrity allure and elegance of the individual art installations, about the intriguing and elegant options available for purchase at all of the vendor booths and of course the insane amount of mind bending musical prowess that is the Bass Coast lineup but it will never do it justice. This festival is one that I hope to make it back to next year and one that I hope keeps doing exactly as it has. It is a gem tucked away in one of the most beautiful beautiful places I have had the opportunity of traveling to.

Thank you Bass Coast for allowing us to immerse ourselves into the culture of art in every sense of the word that Bass Coast encompasses. Invigorating sight, smell, taste, and touch at every turn. Ear drums satiated by the low frequency harmonies that underline the rhythm in music lies close to my heart.

Shout out to Andrea Graham for being a boss and hosting such an amazing festival and Paul Brooks for being rad as ever and working so hard to make sure we had what we needed. Excited for next year!

Check out the recap video below, as well as articles and galleries in the site.

Luna Reyna

Luna Reyna (she/ella) is the founder of RIZE Entertainment. She is deeply invested in shifting power structures and centering and amplifying the work and voices of systematically excluded within the arts. She believes that art is vital for revolutionary practice and movements and hopes that RIZE can be an instrument for amplifying art that expresses the conditions of an unjust society and facilitates healing.