9 reasons to add Bass Coast music festival to your BC bucket list

Jul 19 2022, 10:09 pm

Pandemic restrictions have finally lifted and concerts and music festivals are back in full swing this summer.

With so many activities competing for your attention, it’s important to pick the best experiences for an unforgettable summer.

Bass Coast is one of those experiences — an incredible time that’s worth making a journey to.

It’s like entering another world



Forget other festivals you’ve been to that are just stages plunked on a field; Bass Coast is so incredibly beautiful. The festival grounds are done up in all kinds of art, and it’s all set in the mountainous Nicola Valley with a refreshing river running through.

Exploring the art installations is so fun



This year, Bass Coast showcased 57 interactive art installations, the province’s largest-ever temporary exhibition of public art.

art installation


“From suspended sculptural rings made of abandoned books that evoke the ancient giant trees that once stood on these soils, to a fully interactive version of DaVinci’s Ornithopter Flying Machine, the installations at Bass Coast this year invite you to explore the realms of the unseen, play and reimagine what’s possible,” co-founder Liz Thomson said in a statement.

Some fan favourites included a talking robot, a phone that allowed you to talk to someone at the other end of the festival, and a glowing light walk controlled by other attendees.

Discover amazing local (and international) DJs

dj kookum

Vancouver-based DJ Kookum plays at Bass Coast’s Slay Bay stage. (Bass Coast/Submitted)

Bass Coast prides itself on being BC’s best-curated to deliver an unforgettable experience. This year’s headliner was the renowned Claude Von Stroke, and the festival typically books itself heavy with local BC and Canadian artists. DJ Kookum, DJ Shub, Hubbz, Shiny Things, Funk Hunters, Small Town DJs, Dan, and Sicaria Sound were highlights this year.

“We’re looking for artists … that are bubbling up. They may not be household names headlining major festivals, but they’re the ones that influence those headliners,” co-founder Andrea Graham told Daily Hive in March.

It’s small enough to feel intimate

bass coast cabin stage

Bass Coast’s Cabin Stage (@basscoastfest/Instagram)

With ticket sales capped at around 5,000, Bass Coast is smaller than many other electronic festivals. It’s certainly enough people to feel like a party, but the crowds aren’t overwhelming and you’re able to get close enough to the stages to really experience your favourite artists.

It’ll make you feel young again

slay bay zebra friends

Bass Coast/Submitted

The average age of Bass Coast attendees is relatively high — if you’re in your twenties, you’ll be one of the youngest ones there. It’s refreshing to know it’s the type of festival you can keep coming back to year after year and be in good company.

It’s founded and run by women


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A post shared by The Librarian (@librarianmusic)

The electronic music scene is known for being quite male-dominated, and it’s a treat to experience a festival created by women with no corporate presence. There are plenty of female DJs on the lineup, and the festival feels like it has a wellness-focused vibe.

Sure, the music blasts until 6 am. But there are plenty of chill areas to take a break, yoga classes in the morning to ease the tension, and even an outdoor spa where those who book in advance can get a massage or have their hair done.

Harm reduction is key

bass coast main stage

Bass Coast/Submitted

Similar to other BC festivals, Bass Coasts provides complimentary drug testing with fentanyl strips and benzo-detecting strips. It also has a spectrometer to analyze samples in greater detail.

The stages are choose-your-own-adventure

cabin stage backstage

The backstage view from Bass Coast’s cabin stage (formerly Radio Stage). (@basscoastfest/Instagram)

Where else can you watch a DJ play from a wooden A-frame while you dance on astroturf among trees? The Cabin State feels like it’s being hugged by the forest — there are even small trees growing on the dance floor.

Then there’s Slay Bay by the river, where you can dance hard or listen to the beats from the riverbank while looking at the mountains.

For midday there’s also the Cantina stage, where the DJ plays from a low platform and fans can surround them from 360 degrees.

bass coast mainstage

Bass Coast/Submitted

Then there’s the main stage that comes alive at night with light shows and streamers from front to back that make it feel cozy.

There’s nothing like a rejuvenating dunk in the river


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A post shared by Bass Coast Festival (@basscoastfest)

Wondering how you’ll stay clean after three days at a camping festival? By the end of the weekend, you’ll certainly feel grateful for the river.

It runs through the site separating the stages from the camping area, and although it’s cold it’s perfect for beating the midday heat. Bonus: you’ll feel clean and ready to dance again. Many people bring camping chairs and floaties for optimal chilling.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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