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Theme, first wave of performers unveiled for Bass Coast festival
It’s an interesting phenomenon.
The Bass Coast music and arts festival has been sold out for months — well ahead of anyone knowing exactly what musical performances to expect to see hit the stages in Merritt this July.
“It’s funny, I was just interviewing one of the artists on the lineup — Kasra; he’s based in London — and he was telling me that you would never sell out a festival in the UK without releasing the lineup,” said Bass Coast director of communications Paul Brooks.
The upcoming edition of the festival sold out just two months and two days after going on sale, said Brooks.
In total 4,500 tickets went on sale and were scooped up as of Dec. 24, 2016.
The feat is a new record over last year’s milestone when Bass Coast sold out for the first time — three months ahead of the annual event in July.
“We have a lot of international travellers coming this year. We’ve sold tickets all over the world — more so than previous years, so it’s catching on that Bass Coast is a destination festival,” said Brooks.
With that first sellout, however, came reports of counterfeit tickets to the festival being sold online, including one confirmed incident reported to local police.
This year, Brooks said they have a new ticket transfer system in place on their website that will ensure people trying to find third party tickets don’t get scammed.
“Let’s say you have a ticket and I don’t know you personally. You can go and communicate with the ticketing provider and they will ensure that that ticket actually exists and then the ticketing provider will hold on to that ticket while you transfer your funds,” said Brooks.
“It’s a totally secure way to do it rather than using good faith,” he said.
More information on ticket transfers is available on basscoast.tickit.ca/transfers.
Bass Coast announced first wave of musical acts for 2017 event on Wednesday (Mar. 15), which Brooks called their most developed lineup yet.
“It features a spectrum of electronic music and there’s a good balance of heavy hitters as well as emerging artists,” said Brooks.
One new act Brooks is excited to see at this year’s festival is Paul Woolford, who will also be playing under the moniker Special Request.
“That’s the same guy, but it’s two different styles of music. Paul Woolford is more house and techno, and then Special Request is jungle drum and bass,” said Brooks.
“We’ve tried for the last couple of years too get him and we finally sealed the deal.”
Brooks said the festival will also have plenty of returning acts as well, including B. Bravo, J.Phlip, Doctor Jeep and Smalltown DJs who’ve all played at the festival in years past.
“B. Bravo played last year, and he’s just such a great performer,” said Brooks. “He plays keyboards and he’s got this really great funky style.”
“We have these artists that we bring over, and they’re our friends now and we watch them do incredible things and we have to bring them back,” Brooks said with a laugh.
Three artists under the record label Critical Music Showcase are coming to the festival to celebrate the label’s 15th year in business and 100th release.
“The Critical Music Showcase features Enei who’s from Russia, Kasra who’s from London and Sam Binga who’s also from England,” said Brooks.
“These artists usually play independently, so to bring them together to celebrate the label they produce music on is really cool,” said Brooks.
In total there will be 100 artist gracing the stages at the 2017 Bass Coast July 7 to 10.
The theme for this year’s event is space, and organizers are already in the process of planning stage designs, and are even on the hunt for a telescope so festival goers can star-gaze.
Brooks said space was a contender for last year’s theme.
“Following the festival we were thinking space would translate really well into a theme,” said Brooks. “People really embraced [last year’s] gold theme, so we think people will really take this space theme and run with it.”
“Space will be represented in stage design, it’ll be represented in the art installations that are on site this year it will be represented in the workshops that we curate and I’m sure the artists will also figure out a way to incorporate space into their performances,” said Brooks.
While the event is sold out, there are still a limited amount of tickets available exclusively to Merrittonians that can be purchased at 378 Board Shop upon showing proof of residency.
Below is a list of all the acts coming to Merritt for Bass Coast this summer.
Critical Music Showcase:
The Funk Hunters