For many months, I dreamed about going to the Gorge Amphitheatre for a festival. Seeing the photos of other events and festivals taking place at that gorge-ous venue and the amazing views of the Columbia River and mountains made me determined to visit this venue. Earlier this year, I saw that Bass Canyon, a new festival hosted by Excision, was taking place there. After seeing the lineup and location, I knew I had to go. Full on production, lasers, all things bass, The Paradox, scenic views- what more could I ask for? I took a flight to Seattle, rented a car with my best friend, and we took off for the Gorge Amphitheatre with our car full of camping gear.
Photo Credit: Bass Canyon
We arrived that Thursday night before the weekend of Bass Canyon and got set up at our designated camping area. It was dark and windy and my friend and I struggled to set up our tent, but with the help of our friendly neighbors, we were finally able to get our tent standing and secure! Day one hadn’t even started yet and the music was already blasting on the campsite with a b2b pre-party hosted by Excision himself. I could tell everyone was just as excited as I was to be at the Gorge and Bass Canyon with everyone jamming at the pre-party and other activities like the silent disco held at the mecca of the campsite. One thing I love about camping festivals is the opportunity to participate in many different activities hosted by the campsite, as well as having the chance to chill and get to know your camping neighbors. There’s always something to do and ravers to meet! And of course, there were ravers who were already tucked into their tents, getting their beauty sleep before the weekend full of bass and headbanging.
Day one is always the craziest: everyone is well-rested and excited for the festival to begin. Slowly, flocks of ravers wearing sparkles and glitter, carrying pois and hoops were making their journey from the campsite to the Gorge Amphitheatre. The great thing about Bass Canyon was that there were no set time conflicts! All the acts played on the scenic mainstage, so everyone could see all the same sets. I made it inside the venue right as Al Ross b2b Dirt Monkey b2b Subtronics got on and I began watching my first set of the weekend. Seeing all of the energy expressed with the whole crowd headbanging from the floor to the hills of the venue, I knew that this was a festival was going to be unlike any other. I mostly camped out on the concrete during Day 1 with my friend as we stayed for Squnto, AFK b2b Svdden Death, Figure, Trampa, 12th Planet, Rusko, BTSM, and finally, Excision and his Paradox set. As each set progressed, I could tell that the crowd was only getting more excited and the production was getting wilder and wilder, with tons of Kvant lasers being shot out, the bass getting heavier, and the visuals getting more crazier. My favorite set that day had to be Excision’s, with BTSM in second place. I have always wanted to see the Paradox in person after hearing so many people’s experiences of it and getting to see it in action was beyond my expectations. The crowd was the craziest and most energetic I have ever seen with everyone headbanging from day till night. Even after day one was over, people were still so full of energy around the campsite. There were still two more days to go!
The second day we got in much sooner and explored the venue a little more. There were tons of booths and places to relax such as a whole tent full of hammocks, a meditating tent, and a stage that shot out tons of foam.
Photocredit: Bass Canyon
We then headed to the stage to catch Sullivan King. Despite Bass Canyon being a bass-heavy festival, there are still many different styles of dubstep, riddim and trap, which became prevalent after seeing Sullivan King. We stayed on the main floor of the Gorge from that set on until the end of that day. My favorite set of day two was Downlink b2b Space Laces; I’ve been a fan of Space Laces’ music and seeing that b2b with Downlink made that set 100 times better. It got a bit rainy during the second day but it obviously didn’t kill any of the ravers’ vibes! Everyone still went wild and headbang despite the occasional drizzle and wind. Another crazy day was over and sadly the final day was coming close.
Sunday morning was a little different: it was a bittersweet moment seeing all of our neighbors starting to pack up their gear for that night. Of course, it was only a reminder for all of us to go even harder on the final day. And I knew for sure I was, especially with the lineup that day. It was the most stacked in my opinion, featuring Excision’s Detox set, Barely Alive b2b Virtual Riot b2b PhaseOne, Slander and the final set of Excision b2b NGHTMRE. Most of these artists I had never seen live so I was looking forward to this day the most. My favorite set that day was by far the closing set with Excision and NGHTMRE. At that point, I had seen both their sets separately, but their b2b was on a completely different level: lasers were shooting everywhere, the combo of their visuals was so mesmerizing, and the crowd was exerting their excitement and energy. It was the perfect way to close of the weekend of all things bass.
All in all, I wouldn't have asked for anything different of that weekend; getting to camp and live at the Gorge for a whole weekend was an experience I had looked forward to for ages and it finally happened. Camping at a festival is a completely different experience than a regular festival. Although there were some struggles such as setting up the tent and the light drizzle, it didn’t ruin my experience at all. In fact, it made it so much more adventurous and provided me the opportunity to meet new people. I met so many amazing bassheads and camping neighbors- someone even made my weekend by gifting me a Bass Canyon umbrella! I never thought of myself as a basshead, but my weekend at the Gorge completely changed my perspective. I’d definitely recommend everyone to head to Bass Canyon next year! Lost Lands anyone?!