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BnC’s Bass Coast Favorites: 2019 Edition

July 5, 2019Peter Merritt

Another revolution around the sun has passed, and we have somehow already found ourselves FASTLY approaching what has come to be the most anticipated event of the year for the Booms and Claps crew: Merritt, BC’s Bass Coast Festival. Founded in 2009 as a small boutique festival in British Columbia, co-founders Andrea Graham (AKA The Librarian) and Liz Thompson have grown Bass Coast over the past decade into the internationally renowned event it is today with hard work, incredible talent, and true dedication to their craft. With a world-class lineup of artists representing every corner of underground electronic music,  beautifully nuanced aesthetics and branding, BIG OL’ SOUND SYSTEMS, thought-provoking art installations, a progressive approach to harm reduction and safety, a gorgeous venue, and a delectably diverse offering of food vendors, Bass Coast has consistently proven that the team will nail every element of event curation, year after year. We’ve been hooked since our first year in 2015, and we can’t wait to return July 12-15 for another weekend out in the beautiful Nicola Valley. Before we see you all out there, we just want to share a few of the things we’re looking forward to most about the Bass Coast 2019 experience:


While the entire music lineup is impeccably curated every year by the likes of co-founder Andrea Graham and Bass Coast cohorts Max Ulis and Lorne Burlington, this year has a couple stand-outs and Croydon, UK’s Yip Wong AKA Deft is certainly one of them. With releases on Ivy Lab‘s 20/20 LDN imprint and a unique sound behind the decks that draws influence from techno and rap just as much as beats, footwork, and DnB adjacent music, we’re HYPED for his 1:00 – 2:30 AM set on Friday night. Check out his recent Booms and Claps mix below for an idea of what to expect.


In an exciting turn of events, the legendary online streaming outlet Boiler Room will be broadcasting live from the Cantina stage on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at Bass Coast this year. The streaming session will sport a lineup of favorites such as Sam BingaOAKKThe LibrarianShanti Celeste, and even a dancehall set from grime and dubstep 140 bpm don Kahn. If it’s anything like the mid-afternoon dancehall set he played at Slay Bay in 2016, we’re in for a treat. Not only are we incredibly excited for the world to see the beautiful vibe that’s created every year at Bass Coast, but there’s no better place for a raucous day party than the Cantina Stage. It’s safe to say these afternoon sessions will be a highlight of the festival.


One of our favorite parts of the Merritt, BC Bass Coast venue is the refreshing river that runs directly through it. Although the weather is generally relatively temperate, it’s still crucial to be able to cool off and relax when the sun hits its peak in the middle of the day. Don’t forget to bring a floatie!


After the epic Mixpak showcase on the main stage last year featuring Deejay FlorentinoDre Skull, and Serocee, we were so excited to see Jubilee representing for the Mixpak crew in 2019. Her debut album “After Hours” has been on repeat for us since its release in 2016, and her DJ sets always deliver an eclectic mix of dancehall, club music, rap, and Miami bass tunes, so we can’t wait to see what she brings to the table for her 1:30 – 2:45 AM Sunday night set. Big vibe expected on this one.


The incredible music and art are what draw people in to the Bass Coast community, but what really sets them apart is their commitment and attention to creating a safe space for ravers to gather in an intentional manner. It’s these seemingly “little” things that may fall to the wayside at other events that really create the culture and vibe at Bass Coast that keeps regulars coming back year after year. A huge part of that culture is the simply amazing Harm Reduction program that Bass Coast implements every year, spearheaded by Vancouver, BC’s Stacey Forrester. Their approach to safe partying is refreshing and inspiring, and hopefully will serve as a case study for other events around the world in years to come. Check out one of their informational videos below, be sure to utilize one of the many resources they have available on-site this year if you need help, and take a peak at their Educational Series on the Bass Coast website.


It goes without saying that a festival named “Bass Coast” is going to need some serious sound support, and PK Sound delivers everything we could desire on that front. Not only is every stage stacked with a huge PK rig, but their attention to tuning and a properly run sound system ensures that attendees get every bit of clarity in addition to low-end bliss. We’re especially partial to the rig at Slay Bay, but you won’t be disappointed sound-wise anywhere at Bass Coast.


If you happened to be at the absolute shelldown that was the Innamind Recordings showcase last year on Friday night, then you know what to expect from label boss Kursk this year. His unique take on dubstep, grime, ragga dub, and all things 140 will keep you planted at the Radio Stage, eyes down, skanking, from 3:45 to 5:00 AM Sunday night (AKA Monday morning for you early risers!). Check out his most recent mix on RinseFM below.


PC: JoffreyPhoto

The Bass Coast lineup has no shortage of  international talent every year, but I always find myself equally as excited to see the high caliber “local” Pacific Northwest DJs out in Merritt. From Portland favorites like the Zam Zam Records dons Alter Echo & E3 and the Wake the Town crew of PRSNBarisone, and Danny Corn, to BC mainstays like Shiny ThingsGreazusMandaiWesterley, Homesick, Self Evident, and the Sub Chakra crew out of Calgary, the regional talent at Bass Coast is bar none. Do yourself a favor and check out some of these local artists in between all the international headliners, because they often end up being some of our favorite sets of the weekend.

Madam X

After an explosive early career in the UK and Europe with her label Kaizen RecordingsMadam X has gained a strong following in North America over the past few years, including support from huge players in the North American scene like Dirtybird head honcho Claude Vonstroke and Gary Richards aka Destructo of Hard Events and Holy Ship! She tends to find herself in that sweet, dark pocket at 130 BPM between dubstep, breaks, and techno, and we can’t get enough of it. Catch her on the main stage Sunday night, 9:30 – 11:00 PM.


We couldn’t pick just one of these guys, and this list is already too long, so we’ll just leave you off with this: these three are the godfathers of the “halftime” sound that we’ve all come to know and love. While all three represent their own specific brand of the 160-170 bpm sound, ranging from Fracture‘s recent four-on-the-floor electro-influenced “Turbosound” style, to Om Unit‘s ethereal amen-soaked jungle, to Alix Perez‘s bangin’ rollers and dark and wonky hip-hop beatsthey collectively are responsible for influencing the sound of a generation. Be sure to pull up for the three-part halftime drum and bass clinic: Fracture at 10:00 PM on the Radio Stage, Om Unit at 2:00 AM at Slay Bay, and Alix Perez from 1:30 – 3:00 AM to close out the Main Stage on Sunday night.

Honestly, the list of our favorite things about Bass Coast is never-ending, but hopefully you’re starting to get the picture. Unfortunately, the festival is already sold out, but there are plenty of tickets floating around in the Bass Coast Ticket Exchange group on Facebook, so if you’re on the fence, now is the time to pull the trigger! We’ll see you all in Merritt next week.


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