By Alan Ranta
VANCOUVER – If you live on the Western side of North America, chances are you’ve heard of Bass Coast. It’s been a veritable institution in B.C. since it hit Squamish in 2009, and has only expanded in visibility and content since moving to Merritt in 2013. It now reigns as one of the biggest and best arts festivals in the province, having channeled over $100,000 into artist installations over the past five years despite shunning corporate sponsorship, while consistently curating musical line-ups that feature and foster talent with a keen focus on the Pacific Northwest.
“It’s this unique corner of North America that I feel musically has a little different output than the Southern or the Eastern side of the continent,” muses festival co-creator Andrea Graham (a.k.a. The Librarian).
With Bass Coast’s 2018 iteration lined up to be its tenth, the victory lap has already started. To kick it off, the festival is bringing its core to Vancouver on Thanksgiving weekend. The Librarian will be doing a back-to-back set with original Redbull Thre3style champ Mat the Alien, joining Low Indigo boss Michael Red, Portland’s Barisone and VanCity’s infamous SHAHdjs collective on the bill. The atmosphere will be provided by art installations from The Guild, directed by festival co-creator Liz Thomson with work from the festival’s lead carpenter, Andor Tari.
“We’re creating installations for the stage and creating a whole environment so that when you walk into the Commodore you feel like you’re at Bass Coast,” imagines Graham. “We’re all about participation. That’s one of the foundations of Bass Coast, so we want to encourage people to embody what they feel Bass Coast is. We haven’t announced our theme for this year, so you could pick any one of our past themes, and utilize that as inspiration for what to wear. Really, it’s about coming with an open mind and celebrating the community.”
Naturally, Bass Coast merch will be available at the show, but this will also be the first opportunity to buy tickets to the 2018 festival, so attendance is mandatory for anyone even thinking about going next year.
Bass Coast brings the party to the city on Sunday Oct. 8 at the Commodore BallroomBass Coast, Commodore Ballroom