An open-concept concert 

48-hour festival offers platform for all-inclusive access to underground arts


What: Bass Coast Project

When: Friday, July 24 to Sunday, July 26

Where: Squamish

Cost: $130 (early bird pricing)

There's a lot of noise coming up from the underground art scene here in Sea to Sky country, rumblings of yet another festival planned for this summer. Dubbed the Bass Coast Project, this event is chock-full of enough activities, art and music to keep attendees wide awake for the entire 48 hours it runs.

There are three creative masterminds behind this brand-new event: Andrea Graham, Andrea Helleman, and Liz Thompson. The trio met in Whistler seven years ago, and today they're good friends with similar artistic passions.

Graham is a DJ with a background in classical and jazz piano and vocals and electronic music, while Helleman and Thompson joined forces four years ago to start their multimedia company, M Studios. They've worked on a range of web, graphic, film, fashion design and photographic projects, successfully formalized their lifelong hobbies and turned them into a professional, branded business.

"We're really arty, and the reason we're able to be successful as artists is because we kind of have business and marketing sense. That seems to be a big thing for Bass Coast, is we just love promoting. We just discovered today that we're promoters," Thompson said with a laugh.

The Bass Coast Project, however, is an entirely different animal than any of their other projects.

Unlike some of the big musical events that have taken place within the region in the past year, the Bass Coast Project focuses on a myriad of creative endeavours from the underground art scene - everything from fashion design, music videos, yoga and capoeira to organic gardening and hula hooping - and showcasing them during a 48-hour festival that promises to be an enlightening experience for any of the 1,500 people who snag tickets to the inaugural event.

The emphasis is on unity and participation.

"It is a platform for all the arts, and participants are welcome! We want everyone there to be involved," said Graham. "Example: you could bring art to hang in the forest, cook pancakes for your neighbours, listen to a presentation about science while a live percussionist plays, attend a yoga class with a DJ playing the soundtrack, or just dance your ass off!

"We will provide a platform for all the amazing local talent combined with an incredible international lineup that really integrates the arts."

All three organizers see the festival as a community-based event, featuring all participants as central players.

"We aren't the faces of Bass Coast, we're just bringing it together," Helleman explained.

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