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NYE 360

Okay, so Bassnectar NYE 360 was hands down the greatest night of my entire existence.

I’ve been to a few Bassnectar curated events before (BCX, BCXI, & NYE’17), but everyone just kept telling me the same thing, “There’s nothing like 360.” Now, if you have gotten this far and have no idea what I’m talking about, Bassnectar (whose real name is Lorin Ashton) is one of the biggest producers in EDM and me and my friends travel around the country to see him play. For me, his events are about much more than just music. Not only do Lorin and his team put in a ridiculous amount of time and effort into the production that goes on at these events, but it’s also where I get to spend a few days with the people that I consider my family. Most of them live anywhere from 10-14 hours away from me and even my Mississippi fam lives at least two hours from me, so I cherish these weekends were we all get to come together and leave the outside world behind us. Traveling to these events is pretty much the only time we get to see each other, so each year we try to make as many as we can. We all pile up in cheap motel rooms, hardly getting any sleep or eating any real meals while we are there, just soaking up as much time as we possibly can with one another. When it comes to the actual events, we have a pretty big group, so we typically get in line early so we can get a section to fit everyone. For this NYE, we were in line at 4:00PM, doors didn’t open until 6:30 and music wasn’t starting until 8:00. It was a long and cold wait, but we had a great spot (section 123 if you were there), so it was totally worth it. There were staircases in each section that led straight down onto the floor making it feel like the crowd wasn’t separated at all. Especially since the main centerpiece of 360 was the actual stage in the middle of the room. Instead of everyone just looking towards one end of a massive room, we were all facing in towards the stage and towards each other. It gave this sense of oneness I had not felt at any other curated events. As if we weren’t just there with our groups, but there together as a whole. I knew I had friends all over the room that weren’t sitting in my section with me, but I still felt them with me in that room because I knew they were close and I knew they were all seeing the same thing I was seeing. We probably didn’t get 20 minutes in before I could feel tears coming. There was just something about being able to see the whole crowd that just made it feel so intimate. I had never felt so connected to humanity than I did that night. If beautiful had a feeling, that was it for me.  It was also the first time I’ve ever been able to feel like an absolute nobody, and that was a feeling I never thought I would ever get. I know that I am no celebrity by any means, but I do still have a large following and I am still recognized when I go out in public. It’s never a bad thing, it’s just always in the back of my mind to be careful of the things I do in public because I never know who could be watching. Not that I’m out robbing banks or anything, but if I want to pick my nose in my car, I usually have to tell myself to wait until I get home and that’s just really fucking annoying. I’ve literally had someone pop around my car while I was showering at a festival before. Haha if you’re reading this, I promise that was totally cool, not mad at all, I’m just trying to make a point. I have been caught off guard more than once and that’s kind of made me a little more on edge about going out in public over the years. It’s why I basically hide in my house like it’s my bat cave. But being able to be in a room full of people, not worrying about if any of them knew who I was, was the weight off my shoulders I had really been needing. Even though people had come up to me before the show to say hi or take pictures, I knew the second Lorin came on, not a single person in that room gave a fuck about me or what I was doing. I truly felt “Lost in the Crowd.” I know that is a feeling that not many people will ever experience or even understand, but it meant the fucking world to me. I had one night where I could just let go and be myself. When I say that I did not care, I mean that I had on a pair of leggings that were two sizes too big since I have lost so much weight recently (not on purpose), and they were hanging almost to my knees and I was having to hold them up with my hands, so I just ripped them off to be more comfortable. I was in public, in an arena with 20,000+ people and I was shaking what’s left of my ass and, in my underwear. My parents would have disowned me if they had seen me right then, but in that moment, I just felt free. A freedom I had been needing for a while now. I kind of touched on this the other day on SnapChat, but lately I have just been going through a lot in my personal life and with family (or lack-there-of) and it’s put me in a pretty deep state of depression. I’ve never been one to say I have chronic depression or anxiety or anything like that and I’m not on any medication for it, but I do acknowledge that just like every other human, I can go through depressive states when an emotional event takes place in my life. For the past 6 months, I felt like I was getting knocked down every single time I tried to get back up. I finally started telling myself that maybe I wasn’t meant to make it. Maybe I didn’t deserve to. Maybe my younger self was too cruel to be forgiven. Maybe my time was up. And then everything that I had predicted would go wrong, went right. Things started to fall in place. Really good things. Things that I’m still not sure I deserve, but if I’m going to be given these opportunities, I’m going to make sure I do my best to try and be worthy of them. I want to be better. I want to be someone people want to be around, not because of my social media following, but because they just like who I am. I felt like I had those people in my life and I knew it was because of Bassnectar and his music, that I was going to have this group of friends for the rest of my life and I needed to do everything I could to hold onto them. Looking around that room and then looking around at my friends being so happy, I couldn’t hold it in anymore and I just let it all out and started crying and continued to do so for a while. I was ugly crying into my pashmina, dripping ass wet with sweat, in a bra and panties, and I had never been happier… and then the countdown started. I had never known what it was like to “chase” a song, until I started going to Bassnectar shows. Chasing Heaven was one of the first Bassnectar songs I could not get off repeat. One of my earliest paintings was named Chasing Heaven because of the colors and the way it turned out, reminded me of the butterfly on the cover of the album Into The Sun which Chasing Heaven is on. There is something about it that is so beautiful, yet so powerful. It feels like the walkout song of a mythological creature. In less than two years, I was now at my 15thBassnectar set hearing this song for the first time live and it was during the goddamn ball drop. My legs pretty much just gave out at that point and I dropped to my knees. I couldn’t catch my breath I was crying so hard. I couldn’t believe it actually happened. Why were all of these good things happening to me? There is no way I deserve this. Why me? By the time I was able to stand up and get my composure, the song was ending so I have no video footage of it for myself, but I didn’t care. It was so nice not to worry about where my phone was. I was completely immersed in that moment and I just let it consume me. There was confetti, balloons, lights, lasers, just fucking everything everywhere. So much fucking sweat too. There wasn’t a dry surface in the entire building and we were all THRIVING. It was truly disgusting and beautiful all at the same time. The icing on the cake for me was Lorin giving us Wildstyle Method towards the end of the show. I know a lot of people complain it’s a song that gets played a lot, but (if you aren’t familiar with the song) it’s a track that actually has lyrics that everyone yells out together and nothing felt more like being surrounded by family than seeing and hearing an entire crowd start saying “Tiki tiki tembo” in unison and then building up to scream “Wildstyle Method” at the top of their lungs. It just felt good. After a few more tracks were played, he let the word “perfection” hang up on the screen where the visuals were projected and the word began to repeat out loud as it drifted off. Speaking for myself, it truly felt like perfection. Then I did something that felt very symbolic to me (although I do apologize to the Greensoboro Custodial Staff…. my bad) I left my ridiculous outfit in the coliseum, To me I was leaving behind a piece of my old self. My old self who paid almost $200 for an outfit that felt cheap as fuck and literally looked like it was made out of aluminum foil. All because I knew it was flashy and it would look good for an Instagram picture. It was so damn uncomfortable, but my ass just HAD to have a good picture for Instagram. I hate myself so much for even typing that, but it’s true. That’s who I’ve been. I’ve sent ridiculous amounts of money on material things all for the aesthetic it gave me. No. more. I left the colisuem feeling so incredibly inspired. It was the kind of night that made you open your eyes to a lot of the things going on in your own life. I wish I could give Lorin the biggest hug and thank him for creating such an amazing event that gave me that one night to not only escape my reality and be a nobody, but to also inspire me to take what I have and do something good with it. I haven’t quite figured out what I am going to do with my platform or how I am going to do it, I just know that whatever I put my time and effort into in this life, I want it to mean something to me. I decided this year was going to be about me just being me. No more posting just to have content, no more censoring myself because I’m afraid of being judged, I’m just going to be 100% me. When we got back to our hotel room, I broke down. I was finally able to be open and honest with my friends and let them know about things that were going on in my life. I absolutely 100% did not have my shit together and I was tired of pretending like things were fine when they weren’t. We all promised to start checking in on each other more this year and I advise any of you reading this to do the same. Good friends are so hard to come by, so make sure you are checking in on those that you love. Let’s go into this year with a completely new mind set than we’ve ever had for. Analyze your current situation and figure out how you can logically make the best of it. Figure it out for yourself. There is a certain kind of power in being able to catch yourself getting in over your head and being able to bring yourself back down. Learn how to take control of your emotions so that you don’t find yourself spiraling or exploding. I think 2018 was a pretty rough year for a lot of us, but it is our duty to make sure we make this year better. It doesn’t have to be the greatest year of your life, just better than the last. Set small, realistic goals for yourself so you are not only more driven to do them, but you won’t be as discouraged if you don’t reach them. Stop looking at time as your enemy and look at is as an opportunity. An opportunity to learn more, be better, do better. An opportunity to accomplish new goals. There is nothing wrong with taking life day by day. You waste too much time overthinking things that haven’t even happened yet. And then what happens when they never happen? You’re left disappointed because an imaginary scenario in your head didn’t play out the way you hoped. Now you’re sad because the universe didn’t read your mind. That is so twisted that we do this to ourselves, but we do it all the time. We have to learn to be more impulsive (within reason) and to stop overthinking the simplest things. To just live in the moment instead of trying to map out our every move. Leave worry behind you this year and just focus on moving forward, together. 

Here is a picture of the ridiculous ass outfit that got left in the coliseum. I felt like a dollar store astronaut, but hey, I did it for the gram.

This was one of my favorite parts of the whole night. Instead of sneaking on stage and letting the music creep in to start the show, Lorin came out and told everyone to make sure they were staying hydrated and to take two deep breaths before he got started. To me, this just set the tone for how intimate the night was going to be.

Opening up the show with “Infinite.”

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