East Meets West: Summer of Festivals Series- Bass Coast Volume 2

This is Volume 2 of Stina’s experience at Bass Coast. Click here for Volume 1

I’d never festival’d before. Yes, festival IS a verb. Sure I’d sang “Ziggy Zaggy Oi OiOi” in Kitchener at Oktoberfest. I’m also told I had a great time at George Street Fest. (I would like to take this moment to offer thanks to Dionysus, the god of madness and pleasure that a) I survived  b) no smart phones were around when I was having plastic cup after plastic cup of Lamb’s, rum because I have no doubt in my mind that I was the farthest thing from picture perfect.)

The Summer of 2018 found me changing the tides; in two months I found myself at three music festivals. Each with their own personality. I present to you, part two of Bass Coast:

“Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high there's a land that I've heard of once in a lullaby”

“where troubles melt away like lemon drops…”

I was raised on a solid diet of Dad Rock and Soul Music/Crooners. Big Shiny Tunes 2, and Baz Lurman’s Romeo & Juliet soundtrack, (I will go to the mat that they are some of the best compilation CD’s in existence). I had nary of a smattering of knowledge into the world of DJ’s and looping, and bass. What the hell was I doing at an EDM festival?

Witnessing my own conversion. I get it now; the pulse of the bass, the satisfaction of the beat dropping, the reverberation of the sound and feeling inside your chest making your essence morph into a pinball machine and you keep hitting the all the high scores. Greasy beats, jungle beats, disco beats; I was there for it and more. I have never moved or stomped, shimmied, shaked, DANCED more in my entire life. I was able to sweat and purge the shell of my former self and create space for new bits of life, energy, moments and people to find their ways into my heart. Because my heart was flung wide open to receive and I was eager to let this newness, eager to bloom in ways that my solitary nature couldn’t. Transition for surviving to thriving, individual to community. Synergy.

The very nature of Bass Coast, to support and foster community, interconnectivity and this runs deep. For one thing, due to the layout of the festival, people constantly surround you. If I’m being honest, I was overwhelmed at times. Let me reiterate: (cue Aladdin singing,) this was a whole new world to me.

My friend Vio, aka Festival Queen, offered many helpful nuggets from what to wear, to what to pack and how to navigate the scene. “Just listen to how you’re feeling. Try not to take it too seriously. Don’t worry, you’ll be great,” she promised. Seeing her at Bass Coast in the late afternoon when she had just woken up still makes me peal with laughter, “Oh my gosh, let’s hang out later! I don’t have anything scheduled until midnight!” Girl is seriously a CEO of raving and would be hitting the hay at 10am when I was getting ready for yoga classes. I would retreat to my tent for solitude, but headed Vio’s advice and not take it too seriously.

 And it was all good; I was still getting my legs and figuring out my rave persona if you will. I already had my nickname, Rave Babe (as I was new to the whole lifestyle. Though I think I’m growing up, and maybe next year I’ll be Rave Teen?) I was feeling my galactic disco-kitten aesthetic (very grr baby).

Galactic Disco Kitten.JPG

In hindsight, a cat is a good archetype to look to; I was still learning to strike that balance between being the independent mysterious woman who walks alone versus someone who's not only included but a vital member of the community. So, who was I in a crowd of nearly 6000 people? Solo Raver.

I had my core group whose orbit I would always return, but I also needed to explore on alone. Alone really isn’t the right term though, again, community. At the apex of Saturday night’s musical jocularity, well past 2 am, I turned to my sweet friend Claire and proclaimed “I need to go explore now.”

With trepidation she asked, “Umm, are you sure?” (Substances may have been involved).

Without fear or unease, but much mischief, I knew I’d be fine. And I was.

Not five minutes later I “happened” to run into my homegirl Britt.  Upon turning around in the twinkle lights, I see my lovely friend Xhalida walking concurrently with, Mel, a friend from high school, who lives in Ontario. Of all the thousands of people at that festival who could “happen” to walk beside each other, it was two beauties that mean heaps to me. I know, my brain melted too.  I drifted through the woods swathed in my angel wings and wonder, interacting with the art, the lights, and the people. People whose last names, heck, first names I didn’t even know. We would dance, laugh, and marvel at where we were, what we were feeling, and we would imbibe in the moment. That’s all it needed to be, a moment; I would leave them or they would flutter off with a hug a smile or a kiss.

My Juliet Moment.JPG

“And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true…”

 I carry those moments with me, the magic. A quarter of a year later, I can still feel the beat in my chest, not just of my heart, but the bass. I step up to the challenge to have the positivity and energy, love and inclusiveness radiate out through me and project my array of colours to the multitudes.  Because Bass Coast was, IS special.

I’ve spoken before about the universe winking, and to pay attention to that. Bass Coast was a wink and a grin and laughter. Mother Nature got in on the party, and blessed the party. What’s better than a double rainbow arching its way over the sky while people dance and cheer? That the next day Momma Nature topped herself; she granted us a Sun Rainbow, a Solar Halo, a perfect colorful ring encircling the sun. See? Magic.

Rainbow over the Valley.JPG

*The complete Summer of Festivals Series- is available here.*