By Paul Rodgers
CALGARY — Bass Coast festival has been making increasingly far-reaching and eye-catching waves in its past few years. This year they sold out of tickets before the lineup dropped, and they continually strive to cultivate an atmosphere of inclusivity and acceptance in a setting teaming with incredible art and stage installations with a world class lineup of international and regional talent.
The festival was founded by two women: Liz Thompson and Andrea Graham. Graham’s life largely is dominated by two things: Bass Coast, and her work as a DJ/producer under her alias The Librarian. BeatRoute had the opportunity to catch up with her during her long drive back to her home in Squamish, B.C. from Symbiosis festival in California, which was her last festival performance of a very busy summer.
“I’ve been away almost every week since June,” Graham says. “I am looking forward to getting home and spending some time getting creative and making music. And we’re already well under way working away on Bass Coast 2017 as well, so it’s kind of my plan for the next two months – to stick a little closer to home and work on music and Bass Coast.”
Graham has a multi-tiered past which includes schooling for jazz piano, hotel management and a nearly completed B-COMM which she left in order to start a coffee shop, which is what she did right before she started Bass Coast.
After returning home from California, Graham says she will be taking two weeks off from shows in early October for some much needed down time, that will however include a lot of work on Bass Coast 2017. Then, in November, she plans to dedicate the whole month to making music.
“I feel like my creative process has changed a lot over the years because as Bass Coast is demanding more of my time it actually creates a lot less time for making music,” Graham explains. “So only in the past year have I been trying to dedicate more of my day or my week towards that and also try to learn as much from my friends and the people that are around me.”
That sense of community and channeling inspiration from those around you is a huge component of what makes Bass Coast so special. Everyone from the artists and organizers to the volunteers and attendees are encouraged to dive in headfirst.
“We want everyone to be able to participate whether that is through an official way or even just by participating in the theme or going to a workshop or meeting your neighbours – it’s all about everyone really getting involved in whatever way they can.”
Shambhala, (another festival Graham headlined this summer) selling out in one day is yet another indication that these types of festivals are only getting more and more popular. Bass Coast tickets went on sale today and Graham states they are “preparing for a rush.” The unprecedented sellout of tickets for 2016’s festival presented one of the biggest hurdles for Graham and the other organizers; they had to work even harder to preserve the intimate, consistent vibe and maintain a space that “fosters community.”
Listening to her speak about her craft or her festival, the two primary things that demand the most of her time and energy, or hearing one of her painstakingly crafted – yet seemingly effortlessly executed – live sets, her passion and dedication are unmistakable. When asked what one thing about herself that readers may not know might be, unrelated to her role with Bass Coast or The Librarian, she responded:
“Outside of music and Bass Coast, I live in the mountains and I love mountain biking, and that’s why I call Squamish home… It’s close enough to the city to be able to travel and have that sort of music and urban fix, but I’m also in the mountains and I get a lot of inspiration for music and Bass Coast as well while I’m riding my mountain bike.”
These are the things she lives for, and her fans and festival attendees remain forever grateful and in awe of that fact.
Catch the Librarian at work on October 29th at the Hifi Club.AB, Alberta, HIFI Club, The Librarian