If you answered a random tree phone at Electric Forest 2017, you may have had a life-changing conversation with Bassnectar, and you probably didn’t even know it.
The influential DJ and producer teamed with non-profit organization and festival partner To Write Love On Her Arms on a piece of emotional outreach unlike anything Billboard Dance has ever seen. Grand Artique walked through Sherwood Forest, putting up old-timey telephones that connected to an old-timey switchboard and headset in some unseen office. There, Bassnectar sat ringing the phones until someone answered, then he dove into an off-the-cuff, intimate conversation with each one of them.
He focused his conversations around friendship, giving each participant the space to have an honest conversation about their emotions and concerns — topics ranging from long-term hurts and regrets to helplessness and suicide. Bassnectar is a smart and empathetic guy, and he used those skills to help each unsuspecting fan leave that phone a changed, emotionally lighter human being.
“That was so much more fun than playing a set,” Bassnectar recently told Westword in a post-festival interview. “That was so much more fun than making music. People were wearing their hearts on their sleeves, and they were crying, and talking about suicide and losing their friends, just deep principles of life. I was marveling at that for the past couple days, that at this place in my life that I never intended to get to — I’m almost forty years old — having this dreamlike music career, what stands out to me is just getting to visit with some people and talk about life and death with strangers.”
Four hours after he started, Bassnectar had to be dragged out to play his headlining set. A striking video has since been published, capturing the emotional weight of those hours in five minutes. It’s an incredible project, more than worth your attention. Thank you to Bassnectar and TWLOHA for taking the time to make this human connection.
If you or anyone you love could use help from fellow, caring, understanding humans, visit TWLOHA online. Watch the full clip below.