Before Bassnectar was a headlining artist thrashing his long hair on a giant, iridescent stage, he was a just a kid who loved music. He also loved a good adventure, as most teenagers do, and one he holds especially dear is the memory of his first rave.
“I had no idea where it was or what it was going to be like,” he says. “A kid from school found the directions last minute … it was like a treasure hunt. I drove there in a car packed with friends, and we parked on the street outside. When we got out of the car, you could hear the bass booming in the distance. We just followed the bass until we found ourselves at the doorway to a building.”
Inside, he and his friends didn’t find any confetti canons or pyrotechnics. There weren’t costumed dancers flitting about a giant stage backlit by giant LEDs or expensive mapped projections. That rave wasn’t about the space or production but rather, it was the people and the music that conjured the evening’s magic. That’s how Bassnectar hopes it will be at his two shows in Atlanta Sept. 9 and 10, when he takes over at 279 Andrew Young International Blvd, NW, Atlanta, GA 30313.
The location is nothing special. It’s four walls, a ceiling, and a floor big enough to house 10,000 bassheads. The location has been a secret until now, but the hard to get to part isn’t the most important detail. What does matter is that Bassnectar and his crew build a space that is inviting and magical, a place where attendees can forget the world outside and create a universe all their own – like at that first rave.
“Everyone was lost in the music, and lost in the experience of a creative, social free-for-all,” he continues. “Instead of staring at a DJ up on a stage, or spending the entire night with their phones out trying to ‘capture the moment,’ they were in the moment, and this is what I want to recreate in Atlanta.”
Bassnectar invites fans to let go on any expectations and give in to curiosity. Attendees are encouraged to check out The Haven, a space that pays “homage” to those old-school “side rooms, or ‘chill-out’ rooms,’ with pillows, ambient music, and friendly people wandering around passing out fruit and tea.”
The main arena won’t be totally bare. There will be plenty of lasers and lights and high-quality sound equipment, which all Bassnectar fans will appreciate, but instead of clumping all the showy bits on a massive stage, they’ll be spread out around the venue, so you can be free to dance in any direction without missing a moment. In fact, the only way to miss the moment will be to take yourself out of it and stare at Bassnectar.
“I never just posted up and stared at the DJs,” he says, “nobody did. The DJ was just some friendly person who got to create the soundtrack for the experience, and the experience went a lot deeper than just the music.”
Tickets sold out almost immediately, which means Bassnectar may be on to something. If you didn’t get a ticket, he’ll be coming back to the South for New Years Eve, and if you’re crossing your fingers for a warehouse-style rave with Bassnectar in your own hood, fear not.
“We are always daydreaming up new ideas, and our team is busy working on more events like this,” he says. “(We’re) currently scouring the West Coast for potential venues.”