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, the event offers 3-days of top-notch “underground” bass music curation, alongside a plethora of other live acts and interactive community building activities. Every single detail is finely tuned down to it’s tiniest moving parts by Lorin Ashton himself, according to a recent Bassnectar Reddit AMA of his.
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 the hair-thrashing visionary to pull in the reigns a bit for his brainchild’s tenth iteration. Ashton’s aim was to make it a smaller, more intimate affair – intimate, 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 an amazing weekend, we’ve compiled 5 reasons why one of Bassnectar’s special events should be in your travel plans soon.
Featured photo courtesy of aLive Coverage
1. An abundance of impressive 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. Bleep Bloop came to impress with his usual brand of weird space bass. Clozee is becoming a mainstay at Bassnectar events, making her second appearance in just two months, with her organic Eastern-influenced line of bass music. Direct openers for Bassnectar were Mr. Carmack and Cashmere Cat, who each brought something different to the table, while delivering heavy sub bass to get the crowd in the right space for Bassnectar.
2. Live roaming performers, pop-up acts, and vendors around every turn
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 also 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 is what makes Bassnectar events so special. The sound itself is a physical, visceral, emotional rollercoaster. Paired with the visuals, the event becomes a psychedelic and communal experience. It is sound you can see. At one point, rose petals fell from the ceiling; while, at another, large inflatable animals were released into the arena as bass heads crowd surfed across the floor.
The themes for each night’s performance were Space, Earth, and Ether. During his Earth set, Bassnectar brought a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Chase Iron Eyes, onto the stage. The Indigenous-American activist then gave a conscientious speech about the continued protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. He then ended his stirring monologue with a powerful chant that resonated through out the weekend, “Water is Life!”
4. Activities and art at every corner
BassCenter 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, 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 family 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 newest 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!
All photos courtesy of Reston Campbell Photography