There is no doubt about it, Bassnectar is an idol in the electronic dance music industy. He continues to make a huge impact each and every year and we can only expect that to continue.
I have said it before (and I will always say it), Bassnectar is a genius. His music is incredible, one-of-a-kind, innovative, and transforming the electronic generation right before our very own eyes. He’s been called “The Grateful Dead of our generation” and I strongly believe that such a statement could be fulfilled. He delivers a great performance, puts his heart into the music and he’s an all around music mastermind.
However, it has never been his music I have had an issue with. It’s everything from making a joke of the EDM culture (which he represents) to his die hard basshead fans defending such behavior time and time again that I do have a problem with.
Today, I read a status on Facebook that made a lot of sense to me, urging me to speak up.
First of all, I’ll start off by saying it took this guy a lot of balls to make such a bold statement, because we all know that Bassnectar fans have no fear in defending themselves (and Bassnectar) to the deaths (both a good, and occasionally bad thing). However, you can’t judge an entire fan base off of a percentage of people associated with it. I also want to say that clearly this doesn’t apply to every die hard basshead. I have a TON of friends who are huge Bassnectar followers and I adore each of them. They all share one trait, and it’s the heart of gold that each of them possess.
Unfortunately, this can’t be said for all of his die hard fans or even most, for that matter.
I know that a lot of people could (and probably will) argue that an artists’ fans shouldn’t effect how you feel about an artists’ music.
However, you’re wrong.
An artists’ fans have a HUGE effect on how people enjoy their music. As a festival goer and bass-seeker, seeing the music live is how I get my fix. It’s how I get my high.
It would be ignorant to say that the fans of an artist don’t effect the experience of others, in both a positive and negative sense.
Whether you want to agree or not, it’s the energy around you that molds the experience. We naturally associate music to the memories we have tied to them, and if the only ties I have are bad ones….well, eventually only bad experiences come to mind when we hear that music. This goes for any artist, under any genre. This is also why artists have implemented teams of young music lovers to “work” shows and events in order to try and promote good energy, and assure that people attending are having a good time.
There have been posts and articles alike about how some Bassnectar fans are ruining the festival experience and people are coming forth with “festival horror stories” of how bassheads have played a negative role in scene. Comments from people who have attended his shows are calling some of the more serious bassheads rude, and overly aggressive.
Bassnectars response to all of this?
If you read the LiveForMusic article he is referring to, you’ll see that the writer opens with complete praise and respect for Lorin, and simply gives personal accounts of people who have had poor encounters with ‘Nectar fans.
Bassnectar thinks that those of us who are speaking up about the behavior of his fans are just haters. He thinks we’re looking for something negative. When in reality, we don’t need to look for it when his fans are boldly displaying it all over the internet, left and right.
We are not looking for something negative….we are trying to shed enough light on an issue so that we can work together as a community to repair it. To restore the faith that’s been lost among your other fans, Lorin. Because, believe it or not, you have other fans outside of these “hardcore” rail-riders that have been making such a fuss. You have other people that love your music, too.
I didn’t want all of this to further cloud my judgment and so I sought out other people’s opinions and lo and behold….a light at the end of the tunnel.
Rachel Perine, from Chicago, shared with me her opinion on the matter after attending both Electric Forrest and Camp Bisco sets.
“..as a collective at shows, they are giving themselves (and the group as a whole) a bad reputation. It’s more than just a few people, and it definitely isn’t everyone, but it’s more than enough for people to rightfully look down on the community’s behavior as a whole…”
Rachel went on to tell me of an incident at Camp Bisco where a female fan actually tried to fight her because Rachel refused to let her jump over her seat in attempts to get closer for Bassnectar’s already overly-crowed set. She continued by telling me she loves Basssnectar, but even as a big fan that gives no one the right to disrespect others in attendance, and especially not other performers.
Actions such as waiting up to seven hours before his performance to guarantee a spot at the rail, has lead to other bassheads speaking out to there rail-riding family members.
Josh Goldfarb, from Columbus, on the other hand, says more power to those who can withstand sitting at one stage all day awaiting ‘Nectar’s performance. However, he goes on to say, “What isn’t cool, is disrespecting other artists and their fans. I wasn’t at Bisco to personally witness any of this, and I didn’t see the EF rail riders since I was toward the middle/back of Ranch Arena at EF, but all the negative attention on how the rail riders were acting is enough to make me question their behavior.”
He explains it all in one simple analogy: Imagine if you were an artist at a major festival or event, you walk out on that stage excited to be greeted by fans, and you find the first few rows are not only not into the music, but they are actually sitting down/sleeping…How much of a bummer would that be?
Well done, Mr. Goldfarb, I couldn’t have said it better myself. And you know what? It’s just as much of a bummer to be the die hard fan of those performers and have to see other people sitting down in the front, where they could be getting their groove on.
So maybe it’s not asking them to stop waiting up at the front of the gate, but if you’re going to do so….do so, respectfully.
This isn’t a matter of “I paid to see this person so I’m waiting here all day”, but more of turning your backs and sitting down during other performances, actually IS disrespectful. Thousands of people attended Camp Bisco, which means you, rail-riding basshead, are not the only person who paid $200.00+ to attend this festival. And whether you would argue or not, Bassnectar is not the only person playing at this stage.
A lot of people let out their roar against these bassheads, begging them to stop with the hour long waits, and let others enjoy the artists who play before hand. The artist which they paid to see, the ones these bassheads have their back turned to…
However, one basshead spoke out on a thread saying, “it’s not our fault your not as dedicated as us bassheads”.
Let’s be clear, dedication has nothing to do with it at this point. It’s a matter of respect. Respect for other people who are attending and respect for other artists who are performing.
But the issues simply don’t stop with just the rail-riders waiting out the arrival of their bass-god, but the effect it’s having on our community as a whole.
One individual shared this:
This was posted on Bassnectars wall, and this individual is actually receiving DEATH THREATS! From bassheads! Now, I don’t agree with his wording, and I believe there is always a better way to approach an issue than with the anger that is clearly displayed….but death threats? Really?
We are supposed to fight hate and anger with LOVE AND PEACE. This guy was clearly upset, at ‘Nectar and his fans, and he didn’t handle it the right way. But we most definitely should have, and we failed when multiple Bassnectar fans threatened someone’s life, regardless of if it was serious or “just a joke”. Someone’s life should never be joked about.
I spoke with one individual, who asked to stay anonymous, about his general experiences and thoughts on fellow Bassnectar fans. His words struck home with me and I was both happy and disappointed to hear that someone felt the same way as I have.
He said, “I just feel that once you have established yourself as a basshead that you have to obey certain rules. It’s almost like you have to like everything he posts because when you have a different opinion on a song or a set people attack you,” He continues by sharing that he has seen Bassnectar on many occasions, in multiple settings, and that Bisco was probably his only poor experience with fellow Bassnecatar fans. “I had to constantly tell people that I was there for the music and wasn’t worried about getting “fucked up” I also saw the people sitting and waiting all day with Nectar shirts on ignoring what was on stage…” and continues with, “I had mixed feelings about the new album “Into the Sun” I wanted to experience the music for myself before I judged the album at all. I can honestly say I wasn’t too impressed with his set. When I posted how I felt about his set, people were actually mad that I wasn’t agreeing with them. As someone who sells Bassnectar inspired artwork I was kind of scared to express my true feelings about the set in fear of losing people I think are my friends.”
People actually feel pressure form Bassnectar fans, and even a slight amount of fear, that they will be shunned if they fail to uphold the basshead image.
What’s the worst part about all of this? It’s no question that the basshead lifestyle has been compared to that of a cult on multiple occasions; however, the leader himself (who promotes peace in various ways) has made no attempt to put an end to this kind of attitude or image of his followers. Sure, we cannot hold (and do not hold) Lorin responsible for the actions of his fans; however, he has a lot of power over them, and a ton of influence. That being said, it would be nice if he spoke up and urged his fans to make a more positive impact, outside of just the one tweet…
Honestly, we NEED more than this, Lorin…
There is no doubt about it, there is a certain standard that’s often assumed among bassheads, but what happens if you fail to uphold this standard? What happens if you go against the grain, or speak your own opinion on the matter? Do we lose friends? Receive death threats? Sense when is it not okay to voice our opinions over an artist we all agree is a genius?
There comes a point where this needs to end. We simply can’t afford to have this type of image directly related with our scene, not when we’re trying to break away from all of the other stereotypes that society associates us with.
So here we are, fellow bass junkies alike…. no one has said they don’t like Bassnectar’s music, and no one claimed that every basshead is the same.
However, what we are saying is that there is a large enough portion generating a great deal of negative attention, that it’s time we do something about it. It’s time we call for change. Being dedicated to an artist, and passionate about their music is a great thing. Being blinded by it…not so much.
When you see an artist multiple times, it’s okay to say when one set is better than another. When they release new music, it’s okay to say if you don’t like it as much. Just because their name is printed on it, doesn’t make it the best album ever. It’s OKAY to have a DIFFERENT opinion!
What you bassheads, the ones who are giving all of the other loyal bassheads a bad name, need to realize is that how you act will ultimately reflect on the artist you praise. Would you ever want to make a bad name for an artist you love? For Lorin? Whether you care or not, fine. But the truth of the matter is, you’re giving yourself and fellow bassfam a tarnished name, as well.
People join our culture to feel accepted, regardless of what they believe. They come to these festivals to build a better relationship with those who share a love for the music, and by acting such a way, you’re pushing those people out. You’re making them hate the scene they fell in love with, one they loved so much because people were said to embrace our differences.
I’ll be damned if I see the day that our backs are turned on others because they are different. Not in this scene. Not in our culture.
It’s, “come one, come all” and it’s a place where each person belongs, and should feel welcomed.
So, bassheads, keep in mind how loving and accepting those who opened the doors to Bassnectar’s music were to you, when you first got introduced to it. And give it back. Give back all of the peace, the love and the respect so we can bring back the UNITY which built our scene in the first place.
We understand your love for ‘Nectar’s music, and your desire to be front and center…we do. We would never ask you to sacrifice the things that give you, your bass-fix. But please, PLEASE, for the love of our culture, show some respect.
Respect those who are attending, and trying to see the artists playing before Bassnectar. Show respect to the performers, who have traveled far and wide to come play for the crowd you are occupying. For all you know, they could be the next “Bassnectar”. Think of how you would feel if the roles were reversed.
And when people speak out with their differences, accept that not all of us have the same point of view. Voice your opinion with the same love and understanding you would want from others.
In the end, it’s not about treating others the way you want to be treated, it’s about treating them better.
Shortly after I posted this article, Bassnectar made a post to his facebook.
This is exactly what we needed, and it didn’t stop here. This further confirms just how much of an influence you have on your fans, Lorin.
Not long after, my newsfeed was flooded with post after post of both Ambassadors and bassheads alike, sharing in great detail, what drew them in to Bassnectar’s music and how it has had such an impact on their lives. By encouraging them to speak up and act as a positive influence, so many people are being exposed to a side of the culture they have set to see from bassheads.
This is how it’s done, this is how you change a stereotype.
To each person who has shared a piece of there bassfam story, thank you. As a community, we needed to see this side of ‘Nectar fans. A side other than the dedicated, raging face side. It’s easy for an entire group to be affected by just a few people, as much as we would all hate to admit it. However, when a great deal of you come together and share your genuine, heartfelt, and positive messages, you make it impossible to ignore. You triumph over the negative image you have been associated with.
I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside the Ambassadors before, and it was clear just how much they cared for the scene by how they spoke. But that’s just me. And there is a world of people out there who haven’t seen that side of things. Who haven’t seen the kind of love that a lot of bassheads have in their heart, not just for Bassnectar, but for fellow fans. The stories I’ve heard are beautiful, and I would only encourage more to come. Where there was an abundance of hate and anger, there is now and overwhelming amount of love. I can’t stress enough just how much we needed these testimonies to shed some light on what has been a very negative subject.
Lorin, thank you for speaking up and making a difference in such a positive way. I personally, have not always agreed with some of your choices/views, for lack of a better word. The impact you have on your fans cannot go unnoticed, and seeing such a positive thing come of this has been inspiring. Keep it up.