After a year of waiting, Excision was finally able to reunite bassheads in the Gorge Amphitheater for the first time in over a year.
Bass Canyon was the inaugural electronic music festival at the Gorge Amphitheater and sparked the flame that had dwindled in the Pacific Northwest since the statewide quarantine began in March 2020. Fans, Excision and his team were thrilled to return to the gorge. where they curated their best iteration of the festival to date.
Back to the form
Although the festival started with a messy camping situation, the entire Bass Canyon felt like a return to shape for Excision, his team, and the entire Pacific Northwest electronic music scene.
The brand new Evolution stage from Excision adorned the gorge for the first time and transformed the already incredible setup into an unforgettable sight. His three sets were energized to the brim as always, although this time it felt a bit more sentimental as he was finally able to reunite the fans for a breathtaking experience. The overall energy of the festival was top notch, which Excision and its fans have been dreaming of since Bass Canyon was postponed last year.
Seldom does a festival go smoothly, and this year was no exception for Bass Canyon. The Gorge Amphitheater staff were unprepared for the eager campers to return, resulting in hopeful attendees waiting in campground check-in lines for five hours late into the night.
While this would be simply an inconvenience at most festivals, the Gorge requires the pre-party to be inside the venue and the Excision team to pay for entry. So many could not attend the pre-party.
It is important to note that this issue was beyond the control of Excision and it took the necessary steps to correct the situation. Refunds were offered to those unable to attend the pre-party due to the unusually long camping lines. Those who have not yet received or requested a refund should follow the instructions in the tweet below.
New stages, refreshing experiences
For the past several years, Bass Canyon has shown all of its headlining talent on a single stage, while local talent has played on a much smaller setup near the festival entrance. This year, however, a welcome change. The paradox was once at the evolutionary stage, while the latter was placed on the hilltop stage. The local stage, hosted by the White Rabbit Group, was set up in the center of the venue, allowing attendees to watch all three stages on their way to the pit.
The Hilltop stage hosted some of the festival's diverse sets. INZO, Blanke, Downlink, Dieselboy, Hex Cougar, and more have shaken up the formula, moving away from the booming dubstep sounds Bass Canyon-goers are used to, and playing a myriad of different genres. The local stage was a gem as PNW favorites like Blood Klotz, Weird Waifu, Baskets, AKOMA and more kept things moving late into the night.
As many long-time visitors to the Gorge Amphitheater know, bad weather can completely derail a festival in no time. Fortunately, this year the weather was only a minor inconvenience. While day 1 had no problems and day 2 was only hit by an hour of rain, the wind on day 3 paralyzed the festival for a few hours. This resulted in delays and ultimately shorter sets for most of the artists performing on Sunday.
For the past several years, the Bass Canyon’s timing has prevented serious weather-related problems. There is always a chance that smoke could arise from the growing threat of forest fires in Washington, but the fires always managed to end or start after the festival. Future iterations could potentially suffer from this problem, although it is a risk most are aware of when booking events in the canyon.
The bottom line
Since Lost Lands first released in 2017, Excision has cemented its reputation as a formidable festival owner. Both Lost Lands and Bass Canyon have become headbanger oases, drawing artists and fans from all over the world. After delays at both festivals and his tour, he delivered the best edition of Bass Canyon we've ever seen.
If you haven't been able to attend Bass Canyon in the past three years, do yourself a favor and do it next year. Bass Canyon not only gives you the opportunity to camp in one of the most scenic locations in the world, but the choice of music and community are always the best.
And if you do attend in the future, let your friends know if you plan to leave.
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