Bass Center XI ups the ante in immersive programming
Eleven years in the running, Bass Center has become a premier celebration of the Bassnectar community. After throwing a two-day camping festival in Colorado for Bass Center IX, the ultimate Bassnectar family gathering migrated to Hampton, Virginia in 2017. It comes as no surprise as to why the Bassnectar team is bringing the heat back to Hampton for Bass Center XI. Just ask any Bassnectar diehard who’s had the opportunity to see the Bass-Don at The Mothership, “nobody got it like Hampton.” A world of imagination awaits, set to heavy low-end vibrations.
While setting the stage for the Bassnectar team’s biggest event of the year, it’s important to look back on some of the significant events and releases that have transpired since the last time Bassnectar took over “The Mothership.” From announcing his own destination festival in Mexico called Deja Voom, to creating Be Interactive, a nonprofit project dedicated to forward-thinking social change, the Bassnectar project has continued to morph into a multifaceted musical empire rooted in progressive ideas and forward thinking motions of empowering and inspiring people.
This year, Bassnectar has been taking a different approach to his events and festival performances, which makes this iteration of Bass Center that much more intriguing. In a reddit post following his two-night Family Gathering in Chicago in April, Lorin described his intentions for performing live in 2018 as him “trying something new:”
“Last December/January, i made a list of EVERY ‘bassnectar song’ [off albums,remixes, etc] and i made a list of every event we have planned for 2018. I picked ONE event for each song. then i went through my entire record collection that is programmed/warped/initialized in our Ableton UNS System and picked one or two events to play each at. by the time i got done i had more than enough music for each event, and then i figured of course there will be a ton of new material popping up, and im sure i’ll want to play several songs way more often than that…but it made a bunch of really cool, precious moments.”
While Bassnectar is known and loved for never playing the same set twice and drastically shaking up the set list every show, he has given out a few clues as to what might be in rotation come the first weekend of September in Hampton. One of these being “Sugarcube,” a fan favorite that Bassnectar hasn’t played since his headlining set at Okeechobee in 2017. Lorin has a large pool of material from more recent times to utilize as well. Reflective parts 2 and 3, an EP under the new side project titled NAUX FAUX, and a collaboration with Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello, are some of his notable cards to play.
The Bassnctar team always finds ways to one up themselves. Similar in nature to Bass Center X in 2017, there’s a plentiful amount of features that are returning to Hampton to provide bassheads with the most immersive and inclusive experience possible outside its musical offerings. The Lots, arguably the most popular feature of Bass Center X, will be back and more expansive than the year prior. It serves as an area outside the venue that brings enveloping festival vibes and culture to the Bass Center experience.
The Lots will also be seeing the return of a dedicated music stage with another finely-tuned lineup [yet to come], loads of vendors + food trucks, non-profit area, Activation Zones, Love Here booth, live art, donation drives, and opportunities for fans to participate and create. Of course, Bass Center XI would not be a proper Bassnectar event if it didn’t include the Haven, a place of tranquility that provides needed relief from overstimulation.
Without a doubt, we can expect Bass Center XI to feature extremely powerful motifs that engage the audience with concepts that Bassnectar wants his fans to ponder. Whether or not everyone agrees with Lorin’s stance, it’s undeniable that at a family gathering of this size, a statement will be made. A Twitter post in August backed up this notion that more or less advised his followers that they’d followed the wrong act if their expectation was for him to “stick to music.”
Bassnectar will be playing an extended set on both nights with support from diverse yet thematically cohesive musical talent, including Barclay Crenshaw, Noisia, Hatcha, Stylust, Ana Sia, and Ill-Esha. He’s chosen a quality batch of artists to perform alongside him — not surprising for those who’ve been to his events in the past. By the time the weekend comes to a close, attendees will have had a dose of bass sizable enough to last until their next event.
Photo credit: aLive Coverage