5 reasons to never miss a Bassnectar curated event
BassCenter has cemented itself as Bassnectar‘s most-anticipated event of the year among his cult-like family following. Set inside the famed indoor venue of Hampton Colosseum in Hampton, Virginia this year, the event offers 3-days of top-notch “underground” bass music curation to fans, alongside a plethora of other live acts and interactive community building activities. Every single detail is finely tuned with utmost scrutiny by none other Lorin Ashton himself, according to a Bassnectar Reddit AMA he’d done.
For such a prolific annual gathering, topping it from year to year is no easy feat. Just last year, for instance, BassCenter pulled 25,000 fans to Commerce City, Colorado. Such inflated numbers eventually led its hair-thrashing visionary to make the executive decision to pull in the reigns a bit for his brainchild’s 10th iteration, with an aim to make it a smaller, more intimate affair. Indeed, is what unfolded at Hampton’s sold-out 10,000 limited capacity venue, a space dubbed “the Mothership” by bass heads, dead heads, and Phish heads alike.
Fresh off last week’s conclusion, we’ve compiled 5 reasons why one of Bassnectar’s special events should be in your travel plans soon.
All photos courtesy of Reston Campbell Photography
1. An abundance of impressive, up-and-coming bass music
At each and every Bassnectar event, there is a slew of opening talent that Ashton hand picks with specific purpose. Yet, since BassCenter is the premier event of Bassnectar’s year, both creatively and communally, artists seem to really bring their A-game to each of their sets. Bleep Bloop came to impress with his usual brand of weird space bass. Clozee is becoming a mainstay of Bassnectar’s events, making her second appearance in two months, with her organic Eastern-influenced line of bass music. Direct openers for Bassnectar were Mr. Carmack and Cashmere Cat, who brought something different to the table, pumping in a lot of his melodic productions for Ariana Grande, while delivering heavy sub bass to get the crowd in the right space for Bassnectar.
2. Live roaming performers, pop-up acts, and vendors at every corner
From official vendors lined up along the outside of the venue to the more organic sales of homemade goods by passionate, artistic festival-goers, one should bring their pocket book armed to any Bassnectar event. Even the hotel lobby turns itself into a market place for selling shirts, pins and gifts, and all kinds of merchandise. Those who also chanced upon The Lot’s musical musings were fortunate enough to discover a hoop squad grooving and spinning to heart thumping bass music from The Librarian, Dorfex Bos, and The Fungineers.
3. The production quality is second to none
Cutting edge technology what makes Bassnectar events so special. The sound in itself is a physical, visceral, emotional rollercoaster that can be seen and felt as it reverberates throughout the entire body. Paired with the visuals, which are also carefully planned by Lorin and his team, the event becomes a psychedelic and communal experience. As if the sound and visuals weren’t enough to overload the senses, there were also points at which rose petals fell from the ceiling and large inflatable animals were released into the crowd. Ashton conjured up three completely distinctive, “full-throttle” sets for the weekend, complete with all his favorite music that he adapted to fit a more contemporary frame. The themes for each two-hour-long performance were Space, Earth, and Ether, whereby the iconic figure structured thematically around fan requested songs leading up to the event.
More notably, Bassnectar brought special guest Chase Iron Eyes during his Earth set, onto the stage. Iron Eyes is an American Indian activist and member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and he donated his time onstage to give a conscientious speech about the continued protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. He then ended his stirring monologue with a powerful chant that resonated with those watching through out the weekend, “Water is Life!,” before providing a number for guests to contact so they could assist with the ongoing protests.
4. Activities and art at every corner
BassCenter additionally provided an endless amount of options to pass one’s time outside of just the music. From games and booths to massages and a gift alter in The Haven, every corner of the Mothership seemed to provide a new adventure. The Lots was an enhanced gathering space outside the venue, was complete with renegade sound systems, pop-up arts & crafts fair, and guest performances. The Center itself was akin to a teeming bazaar of art, with painters showcasing their work live to a backdrop of curious spectators buzzing about.
5. The passionate community of bass heads is one of a kind
BassCenter is not a typical large-scale electronic music event. For one, it boasts an exceptional amount of love for community. Across all three days, you’ll see selfless bass heads practicing random acts of kindness and treating others with respect, gratitude and equality. Gifts from random strangers are a regular occurrence. Meeting your new best friend in the host hotel’s elevators is not unlikely. Trading kandi, smiles, and hugs with police officers is routine social practice. Any given show feels like Ashton’s very own pop-up hippie commune. These unified ravers are not only committed to chasing Lorin’s music all over the country, but to spreading his message of love and acceptance.
There’s Bassnectar festival sets, and then there’s Bassnectar curated events. The proof is in the pudding with BassCenter X, and seeing is believing if one wants to know – truly know – what this immersive community is really about. The next chance to commune with the progressive, fun-loving and wildly ostentatious Bassnectar community is New Years Eve in Atlanta, Georgia!
Featured photo courtesy of aLive Coverage