Canada Day with Bassbus by Rusty Meeks

Betty and Veronica (Miss Hazard & SamIAm) on the Bassbus stage Photo by Michael Benz

Betty and Veronica (Miss Hazard & SamIAm) on the Bassbus stage
Photo by Michael Benz

As BassBus celebrates it’s 3rd birthday this year it's clear that they've earned a reputation as one of the most forward thinking party makers in Alberta. The very first Bassbus event ever was held at the Arratta Opera house back in summer of 2011. I sometimes wonder if they knew just how great of an impact they would soon lay on the Calgary arts and electronic music community after their first event.

Bridging the gap between rave and mainstream has never been an easy task, but this year on Canada Day the BassBus did just that. Starting at 5pm, it was clear that the City of Calgary wasn't expecting what would soon turn out to be one of the wildest Canada Day celebrations I've ever been a part of… not to mention the very first time the City of Calgary forked out cash for an electronic music stage, in the heart of Eau Clair Market no less! As the crowds began to gather, it was as if the entire Calgary electronic music community had amassed for the first time ever, poking its head up from the underground to show the rest of Calgary what it is we do in broad daylight. It was hard to believe that an event of this type and proportion was really going down in "conservative" Calgary downtown.

I was DJing last, following an awesome selection of artists, once again perfectly curated by the Bassbus. This would be the fourth time DJing side by side with one of Calgary's most talented and prominent artists; Sergio Levels aka Sandro Petrillo. Add in Juicy Jamey on the saxophone, and Reggie Suave on the conga drums… Right before my set, I asked myself “Is this for real”?!

As our set started, I was looking out at about 3000 people and a distraught young man wanders his way over to the DJ booth to get my attention. I smile at the guy, but immediately realize he's not here to give compliments. "What the fuck are you doing?" he yells. "This is Canada Day! Stop playing that Euro bullshit! Play the Canadian National anthem or something!" And in that moment I realized just how public this whole movement had become. Friends, family, DJs, promoters, dancers, party goers, stragglers, homeless people, and some people just like this guy who were wondering what the fuck had happened to this god forsaken cowboy town. I suppose they never considered that over the years, this many people would be working hard in the underbellies to bring the music we love to the surface, and here we are, it is our time to shine. I couldn’t feel more proud of my friends and this moment in Calgary’s history.

The music was still blasting as the fireworks went off at 11pm. I peered up at the sky above the Bassbus only to see Baran sitting on the roof sipping something cold and smiling ear to ear. The party had been a huge success, and Bassbus had once again proven itself as pioneers of a Calgary movement that is only growing. For a second I forgot that we were celebrating Canada Day but remembered that being from Western Canada is truly special.

Fireworks Display with Pals Photo by Michael Benz

Fireworks Display with Pals
Photo by Michael Benz


Posted on August 12, 2014 and filed under Events.