After tweeting a short cryptic teaser that had the Bassnectar family clamoring over possible upcoming events, Bassnectar has officially revealed his return to Chicago, IL, March 30–31, 2018, after a seven year Windy City hiatus. The two-night run features an incredibly diverse cast of bass music’s most promising rising talent, including REZZ, TroyBoi, TOKiMONSTA, Ivy Lab, Danny Corn, and Bay Area newcomer Andreilien.
The theme of the spring time gathering, according to Bassnectar’s official blog, is set to “…celebrate the dawning of Spring: rebirth, regeneration, and a radiant gratitude for life.” The whole team promises to amp up all levels of art, music, interactivity, and community as well with staples like The Haven and The Gift Altar.
The spring announcement also comes as the first of four seasonal gatherings in 2018, of which Lorin Ashton presents as a bit of a jigsaw to be decoded by his devoted followers. The Bassnectar team will be planting tiny reveals and clues over the coming months as to dates, themes, locations, and line-up support. But for now:
Pre-sale tickets for the Spring special event will go on sale Wednesday, November 15th at 12pm ET. Regular tickets will go on sale the following day, also at 12pm ET. Read the full announcement on Bassnectar’s official blog.
For its tenth anniversary, Lorin Ashton is bringing his iconic BassCenter gathering to Virginia’s Hampton Colosseum for a specially curated three-night run. Recently, Bassnectar spoke to fans in an hour-long Reddit AMA and revealed some insider details into the event.
He’s deemed the occasion as “the Return to the Mothership,” which harpoons back to nostalgia of Bassnectar/Pretty Lights co-headlining show, BassLights, from 2012-15. Since the show’s cancellation, fans have since been making some noise about their demigod’s return to the sacred Hampton venue. Ashton certainly answered the call.
“Essentially Hampton Coliseum really wanted me to come back, and it seemed like a great opportunity,” says Lorin, “also I wanted to try something a bit more intimate and left field in Colorado.”
Last year, Ashton drew over 25,000 attendees to Commerce City, Colorado for a massive two-day camping event. “Having pulled off the biggest show of my career,” said Ashton, “I wasn’t thinking ‘yes! bigger is better! now I gotta come back and play to a hundred thousand people!!’ AHHH… i dont want to take over the world.”
Photo courtesy of Brown Note Productions.
“Bass Center is without a doubt the creative pinnacle of the year for my entire team!”
Of course, it wasn’t always that way, but, as Lorin explains to his fans, “after last year, it really became a chance for me to take the deepest dive possible into ‘bassnectar’ and reinvent it live while ripping into the past and flinging it into the future. its like the quintessential ‘ok i am involved in every tiny aspect of this event’ so i just obsess over it.”
Anyone who has witnessed the mass spectacle that is the Bassnectar experience knows that there is bound to be mistakes made in any three-hour-long impromptu event, for which Ashton handles like a complete veteran. But fans also know they can expect to see massive spectacles, such as faux-snow or beautiful rose petals falling from the ceiling, instead of the usual EDM confetti. No wonder, then, that Ashton becomes so obsessive about every minute detail.
Ashton describes his process in planning out the weekend as “OBSESSIVE. COM. PULSIVE.” He jokes that, in the BassCenter lead-up, he’s “basically just [been] terrorizing [his] team for a year about this event. and ironically, lots goes right, lots goes ‘wrong’ and lots of stuff which goes not as planned ends up better than planned…”
And that is exactly what one can expect to happen at a Bassnectar show. Expect the unexpected. Or, as the bass music demigod puts it to his cult-like fan base so regularly, “don’t expect anything, just come join us and dive in deep.”
What makes Bassnectar events so special isn’t only the cutting edge technology or the physical, visceral, emotional rollercoaster of sound. It’s the psychedelic, communal experience in which the Bassnectar fanbase brings to the show. As many devout followers of Bassnectar would say, it’s not a fanbase so much as a family base. At every turn, you’ll see random acts of kindness, like homemade gift exchanges, pop-up art installations, and live performers wandering through the crowds.
Photo courtesy of Westword.
Leading up to the event, Bassnectar noted in his AMA that he worked “nonstop hours with the lighting team, designing how to approach the room into the exact visual experience we want.” Of course, in addition to the stunning visual display, the music will make unexpected twists and turns that Ashton has cooked up in his mind, and, yet, that he isn’t exactly even sure he is taking.
Lorin elaborates, “[F]or Bass Center, across three nights, I will conjure up 3 totally distinct sets which feel like the full throttle tour sets, which a totally unique and independent of each other, with all my favorite music, remixed into new versions, going NUTSO on the request line, and basically taking every request that comes in…with a twist”
“In terms of the music…for anyone who is like ‘why dont you tour anymore’ …those three nights are like fucking tour.”
Photo courtesy of aLive Coverage.
Outside of Bassnectar’s own performance, there are a number of enticing features that attendees can expect to see at this year at BassCenter X.
The area called “The Haven,” which was debuted at last year’s BassCenter event, was designed as a safe space for fans to come to when they were facing sensory overload (a common thing to happen at nectr events). The Haven is home to massages, a gift alter, green tea, and interactive projects.
Also announced is the unveiling “The Lot” in Hampton. This is an enhanced gathering space outside the venue with renegade sound systems, pop-up arts & crafts fair, and guest performances.
“We are working on every tiny element,” Lorin continues, “making the outside ‘line’ area blend into a larger kind of event carnival, maybe kind of like a Grateful Dead lot of the 1990’s meets an ICP show, meets a free outdoor day party in Golden Gate Park.”
Fans can also experience the show from any angle since the entire event is a “free roam” type of environment. Ashton says about the venue, “the floor is so massive, and we are making the stands wrap around so you can spend the whole night running in circles if you wish.”
Bassnectar will be playing extended sets each night alongside a diverse cast of musical talent, including Cashmere Cat, Dan Deacon, Mr. Carmack, CloZee, Tsuruda, Bleep Bloop, Shlump, Son of Kick, and CharlesTheFirst. Suffice it to say, the tenth iteration of the event is poised to be one of Ashton’s best yet.
BassCenter X is will transpire for three days this weekend, September 1-3, 2017. Limited tickets are still on sale.
All quotes from Lorin Ashton in this piece are from his Reddit AMA earlier this year.
When Bassnectar isn’t busy digging out of the vault each year for new albums, curating new immersive experiences for his cult family following, and headlining every major U.S. festival along the way, Lorin Ashton makes time to engage regularly with fans over social media. Yesterday, June 28, the Bay-area producer stopped by r/IAmA for a very special Q&A — special since it was his first AMA in over 4 years. Ashton got candid on a variety of topics, ranging from side collaborative projects, his overall creative process, and his upcoming special events.
Here are 8 things we learned from Bassnectar’s Reddit AMA:
1. His “heavy duty”collaboration with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello also features Big Boi and Killer Mike.
2. His manager mentioned how impressive the rate at which his “hair” comments came.
Bassnectar has been iconic for his trademark thrashing hair. Building on his manager’s earlier comments, Ashton even made sure to mention later on how important it was for fans to be themselves: “dont grow your hair out and try and play music that sounds like bassnectar [grow your hair out and play music that sounds like YOU].”Bassnectar has been iconic for his trademark thrashing hair. Building on his manager’s earlier comments, Ashton even made sure to mention later on how important it was for fans to be themselves: “dont grow your hair out and try and play music that sounds like bassnectar [grow your hair out and play music that sounds like YOU].”
3. There’s a new Colorado camping event in the works for 2018, which is being talked about as the new “BassCenter.”
Ashton finally spoke up about why he wasn’t going all in a large-scale Colorado-based festival this year, especially after last year’s massive success with 25,000 people in attendance. As Ashton explained, he doesn’t want to “conquer the world” or “go bigger;” quite the opposite, actually, Lorin wants to go more small scale for his events in order for them to feel more underground. Less lights, more focus on the sound.
Ashton also explained that a “Mothership” event at Hampton Coliseum just seemed to fit better, especially since the venue asked him to return (a rare feat for any Bassnectar event). It’s no secret that a huge Bassnectar fanbase resides in colorful Colorado, and with the record breaking numbers of BassCenter 9, the biggest show of Lorin’s career, it comes with great relief that the “King of the Sound” is bringing his set-up back to the Rocky mountain region. Hopefully the Bassnectar team are shooting for a camping site outside of the city this time around.
4. He delves into his inspiration for his Mimi Page collaboration, “Was Will Be.”
Ashton goes into a unique stream-of-consciousness dialogue that gives fans a deeper look into his spiritually-driven creative process. He first explains how he meant for the song to build upon 3 previous tracks, then moved toward tapping his usual favorites for the vocals. Ashton elaborates, “Lupe Fiasco, Zion I, Rye Rye, all kinds of people made really interesting concepts to it, but the one Mimi came up with was so haunting” that it “was super powerful to [him].”
5. He speaks in depth about the concept behind “Freestyle Sessions.”
The event sounds like it’s going to be an alien playground of sound. Since this is the first event of it’s kind, Ashton explains he’s been focusing on the music non-stop, and that it’s going much deeper than a main stage set at Electric Forest or Bonnaroo, for instance. “Its what would i play if it was just you and me on a road trip, or if it was just us and a dozen friends drinking wine in a tree house.” Eventually, Ashton plans to roll out the concept to small rooms in cities across the country, with no lights, just loud bass music in the dark.
6. Coming up with his set lists are “insanely time consuming,” but an intense matrix of endless possibilities.
7. It doesn’t sound like he’ll be doing another road tour anytime soon
Lorin explains how difficult (indeed, physically impossible) it had become to move his massive collection of equipment on the road 4-5 nights/week. He further alludes that his current iterations of “tour” stops (e.g. “family gatherings” or “special events,” as they’re deemed) is where he is at currently in life. Perhaps that may change in the future.
Lorin Ashton, known to most under his Bassnectar moniker, has just revealed the full line-up for his Freestyle Sessions event taking place at 1st Bank Center in Denver, Colorado this July 7-9, 2017.
Ashton took to his official blog this morning, May 19th, to elaborate on the Bassnectar team’s creative vision for the special three-night event. According to Ashton, the Sessions will be taking on a rare and unique “interactive approach” with omnidirectional lasers and lighting, along with rare tracks, throwbacks, and customized remixes of specially requested tracks from fans.
Backing up Bassnectar on the bill for Friday, July 7th, is Truth, Thriftworks, and Goopsteppa, followed by ill.Gates, CloZee, and AtYyA on Saturday, July 8th, and, finally, Beats Antique (DJ Set), Aztek, and Mr Projectile on Sunday, July 9th. As always, come armed with no expectations – but also expect to experience a “dynamic free-for-all” featuring DJ sets from amazing line-up support, and three specially themed sets from the King of Sound himself.
Read Bassnectar’s full blog entry to learn more about his nightly themed sets, including “Freestyle” Friday, “Dreamtempo” Saturday, and “Wildstyle” Sunday. All remaining GA/VIP three-day and single-day tickets are available here.