After months of anticipation, Sound Haven finally came and went. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into this event. It bolstered some of the biggest producers and VJs in the game. There was no denying the fact that every Bass fan from far and wide was excited to step foot on the festival grounds.

My first fest of the year, as well as my first camping festival ever, was Yonderville this past June. This was on a much smaller scale, and it featured champions from the underground Bass community. Going from Yonderville to Sound Haven was definitely a transition. However, to say it was so worth it, and that it changed my life, would be an understatement. Sound Haven was the best weekend of 2021.

THE MOST STACKED BASS LINEUP OF THE YEAR

As someone who has immersed himself in Bass music, I’ve never seen a better lineup before. Sound Haven showcased the most talented producers in the scene. They provided three incredible headliners: JantsenThe Widdler, and two unique sets from Mersiv. These guys brought forth the sounds we’ve come to know and love. Outside of that, there was truly something for everyone.

We had the deep 140-dub sounds from KhivaTernion SoundA Hundred DrumsDalek One, and NotLö; the hyperactive, scorching bass from MizeRavenscoonSmoaklandIllanthropy, Vibe Emissions, and Tape B; the soothing downtempo sets from Mystic GrizzlySuper Future, Supertask, and Benji Robot; and most importantly, the debut set of Superave.

The undercard was also incredible. Sound Haven was sure to spotlight producers who might be under the radar. Those who caught my eye were ChmuraFabdotLowcationKirbyBrightRafeeki, and Reginald Simpson. It was special to see these names get a chance to showcase their talents.

VENUE + GROUNDS

Photo courtesy of Wingtip Photography

Welcome to Jaceland, located in Gruetli-Laager, Tennessee. This is about a three-hour drive from Atlanta and a two-hour drive from Nashville. The campsite was spacious, with plenty of land to fit 3,000 Bass fans from across the country. Walking from place to place was so easy. Sunrises and sunsets were otherworldy. This was the perfect venue for a camping festival, and you could tell the layout was nothing short of stellar

Although there were two stages listed, in reality, there were three stages. The main stage, titled the UFO Stage, featured top-notch production, with a full LED wall for visuals, stellar lighting, lasers, and a full Funktion-One rig. The side stage, or the Planetary stage, was incredibly colorful, featuring up-and-coming bass talent playing on a major Hennessey rig.

The third stage was probably my favorite. The Mean Mug and Subciety teams linked up to create what was a memorable renegade stage. Using a bus, they brought a full CDJ deck and sound system to deliver an incredible after-hours party. Secret sets came from Common Creation, Mize b2b Smoakland (for some Drum n Bass action), NotLö, Sky Suite b2b Undehfined, Benji Robot, an Integrate b2b, and more. Everyone who came to the bus was seen having the time of their life through sunrise each morning. Big shoutout to the Mean Mug and Subciety teams for pulling through and showing everyone what a true renegade is like!

Outside of the stages, there were plenty of vendors! There were about six food trucks, a merch booth run by Wobble Factory, a convenience store, and even a braiding station.

TRULY AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE

My weekend started with meeting some online friends. It was the first time seeing them in person after connecting with them for eighteen months prior. That feeling was surreal enough, but what laid ahead would be even better.

Sound Haven had just about everything I would have dreamed of for a Bass centered festival. As soon as I stepped foot on the grounds, my pre-show anxiety turned into a four-day-long uncontrollable smile. Being at a large stage with incredible production and sound meant the world to me. Being able to feel the energy of bass music, and experience how moving it can be, meant even more to me.

Like Yonderville, I made it a case of mine to meet as many people as possible, catch plenty of sets, and explore during my free time. Everyone I interacted with, whether it was a fan, staff member, or producer, was incredibly kind, open-minded, and having a good time. Every single producer who played gave it their all and proved they were forces to be reckoned with. The campgrounds were stunning, and seeing people vibe at their campsites was a sight to behold. It was a pleasure to see everyone enjoy themselves, and as a result, it made me the happiest person on the planet.

Friday might have been my favorite day at Sound Haven. The day started with an incredible side stage takeover from the Wubaholics gang, featuring Tape B, Reginald Simpson, Brwn Bear, and Kick. I’ve never seen an early afternoon takeover with that kind of high energy. Later that night, we got what I believe was the best sequence of sets in modern Bass music history. From 8:00 pm on, it was Smoakland into Space Wizard into Mize into Superave’s debut set, where the crowd’s energy was at its peak. It really goes to show that the future of the scene is bright with these unique talents. Later that night, we got some renegade stage happenings and continued music from the main stage. Sets from Dalek One, A Hundred Drums, and Lowcation continued the vibe, before Molokai and Super Future took those who were still awake deep into their feels for what was the most emotional two hours of the weekend.

If I had to list four highlights from my weekend that stood out to me, it would be: interacting with people who make the underground Bass scene what it is; being able to meet and hang out with two of my favorite bass producers right now, Super Future and A Hundred Drums; witnessing Mersiv’s sunset downtempo set from the side of the stage; and attending a special b2b2b2b2b sunrise set from Mize, Black Carl, Tripp St., Super Future, and Smoakland. Those four experiences truly made me realize that this was actually happening, and all my hard work paid off. That’s how important Sound Haven was to me.

VERDICT

I’m honestly still trying to process that this weekend happened. Sound Haven made me realize that I truly belong in Bass music. It was a culmination of the smartest minds in the community coming together to create an experience like no other. You could tell that Sound Haven had the energy that compared to Wakaan, and that the future is bright for the festival.

Big shoutout to Jered Ardry and the entire Sacred Hive team for working around the clock to make this a reality. They were thrown so many obstacles their way, but they worked diligently to make sure the experience was a positive one, and it truly was. We have to give credit where it’s due, and they absolutely deserve it. I cannot wait to see the bigger steps they take for next year’s event!

Photo courtesy of Dan Werner

Be sure to follow the HIHF team on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram to check out some of the cool videos and experiences we got from this past weekend. And be on the lookout for an exclusive interview, coming soon from an amazing artist who played a very special set as well!

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