By Paul Rodgers
CALGARY – Year four of one of Calgary’s most unique events is fast approaching and once again it has evolved and built upon its previous years to become something even more grand and wondrous.
Circle the Wagons and BassBus founder Baran Faber spoke with BeatRoute in a rare free window of time amidst an extraordinary hectic schedule. Faber recently returned from Bass Coast Festival where the BassBus team is responsible for building the Pirate Radio stage. No easy feat, especially when you’ve got CTW right around the corner.
“It’s absolutely insane. I don’t think I could put it into words what I go through,” says Faber, who says he’s been working 18 hour days since he’s been back in Calgary. He said at Bass Coast this year he had to develop and structure a strong leadership team to step up and make sure the crew was meeting deadlines and having the vision that he normally has to ensure that the job was done, while he was working from a mobile office on the bus itself, getting the pieces together for CTW.
“I had to really kind of learn how to delegate and just make sure that I cover all bases while all of this stuff was going on. That being said there’s no easy way to do it, it’s just a shit-ton of hard work. I believe in, it I love it, I love seeing it come to life and that’s what it takes to make it happen.”
This year Faber has really pulled out all the stops to make this event even more sensational than years past. In addition to the beautiful new site at Currie, there are 30 new vendors, up from seven or eight last year. There is a 30 foot inflatable climbing wall that actually requires belaying, as well as 90 foot inflatable obstacle course, the largest you can get in Canada. The line up has also been carefully curated, with electronic acts and bands interspersed throughout, to give the diverse crowd a taste of both worlds and a well-rounded festival experience.
“Over time it develops and we see what people like and new areas to focus on and highlight and increase,” explains Faber.
He says that while sometimes the workload seems like almost too much to handle, getting to stand back and take in his work when it’s finally complete and the crowds are enjoying it reminds him why he does it and “sends shivers up [his] spine.”
“That is the payment for me because it’s definitely not monetary — it’s out of pure passion and the love for it. And if it got to the point where I was just working the entire festival and didn’t actually get to experience the festival I’d come out of it and be like, ‘okay why did I do that?’ So I always make sure I refuel my tank by taking it all in as much as I can.”Baran Faber, BassBus, Circle the Wagons