guest written by Hatim Hafid
Bass Camp Music Festival at a glance
Now in it’s fourth year, South Lake Tahoe’s Bass Camp is more than enough to impress the average EDM enthusiast, and it only gets better with age.
Music genre: EDM, Big Room House, Dubstep, Trap
Camping: Yes, but space is limited. Camping is organized by Bass Camp’s partner Unity Travel and is located less than half a mile away from the festival, an easy walk.
Capacity: Small; around 3,500
Crowd type: Young, Kandi kids, Ravers
Water station: Yes!
For the first timers
The festival is located in the parking lot behind Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. If you are flying into Tahoe, it takes roughly 10 minutes to get from the airport to the festival by car/uber. If you fly into Reno, there are shuttles available that can take you to South Lake Tahoe. I drove from the Bay Area, which thanks to minimum amounts of traffic took about four hours and offered some great views along the way. Parking is free adjacent to the festival grounds, as well as across the street at Mont Bleu. The area is full of hotels, so finding somewhere to stay is pretty easy (Bass Camp offers festival ticket/hotel packages on their website). Or go the camping route, but purchase your ticket as early as possible as the camping spots are limited; they were all gone two months before the fest.
Tahoe Pan Ice stood out above all else. Their ice cream is spread out on a pan along with fruit of your choosing, crushed up, and rolled in together. Definitely a tasty new take on ice cream, and very welcome in the hot weather.
Bass Camp had three stages day one and added another for day two. The Dancetronauts stage was particularly impressive, with dancers and noteworthy lighting/pyrotechnics that made for a show which visually stood out over the rest. Unfortunately sound bleeding was a huge problem unless you stood directly in front of a stage—an irritation for festival goers and artists alike—and and while the silent disco was a great solution for this, it didn’t quite have the stylistic draw I was looking for.
- Nero’s classic dubstep drops got the crowd hyped up while his softer Flume-esque remixes showed off his knack for variety
- Borgeous, Chill Harris (formerly known as Kill Paris), and one of my personal favorites Hermitude had me jumping at the main stage
- I discovered up-and-comers Kayoh and Joyzu and will never let them go; give them a listen to really understand why they stuck with me
Things to do
Enjoy the music or relax on the grass. Its a small festival, so making friends with your neighbors is highly encouraged!
VIP or nah
The spacious VIP area beside the main stage is equipped with tables, umbrellas, and chairs, plus separate bathrooms and food vendors. VIP by the Dancetronauts stage was in the form of a boat of sorts, but due to sound bleeding isn’t actually the best area to enjoy the music. It’s a nice set up for those looking for a relatively relaxed experience, and they throw in a free tshirt, but definitely not necessary to get the most out of your Bass Camp experience.
The atmosphere at a festival that caters to audiences as young as Bass Camp can be delicate, but several classic, memorable festie moments really made the whole thing come together. Yasmine Yousaf jumped into the crowd for a bit of surfing, Borgeous sprayed champagne on anyone within reach, and I gave one of my best lightshows yet to Nero’s “Two Minds”.
My friend and I started gloving about three years ago, and though I didn’t consider myself an artistic person before exploring this outlet, I truly feel that its given me a fresh opportunity for self expression. Walking through a crowd and having someone tap me on the shoulder for a show has become a welcomed response to my reaching out for connection, with lights at my fingertips. In its own way, gloving contributes to an environment of inclusivity and openness by providing a platform for shared experience. I came away from the festival grateful for the chance to have been so open, and feel people around me open up in return.