Excision’s Bass Canyon Kicks Off, UTA Growing Artist-Led Events With Kaskade L.A. Takeover

Lost Lands
courtesy Circle Talent Agency
– Lost Lands
The inaugural Lost Lands Festival was presented by Excision and curated by Circle Talent Agency, with a lineup that also included Zeds Dead, 12th Planet, Cookie Monsta, Destroid, Ephwurd and many others Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.

Dubstep artist Excision’s brand-new Bass Canyon festival kicks off at the picturesque Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington tonight, appropriately topped by Excision, with a B2B set with NGTMRE as well as two solo sets, along with sets by Zomboy, Bear Grillz, Liquid Stranger, and many others Aug. 24-26.
The musician/producer is the brains behind his traveling “Paradox” production that delivers crushing bass with a wall of 40 PK double 18” subs, which is a lot even for bass-heads. He’s also top of the dinosaur-themed Lost Lands festival in Ohio that debuted last year and sold 25,000 tickets over two days, according to United Talent Agency’s Steve Gordon and Kevin Gimble who represent Excision.
“We took the concept from Lost Lands and reimagined it for the Pacific Northwest with a fresh, new experience for fans,” Gordon told Pollstar, adding that the Bass Canyon lineup is more multi-genre versus the primary dubstep-focused Lost Lands. “Excision and I have discussed this for years and it wasn’t until recently that we really felt it was the right time. Legend Valley turned out to be the perfect space for Lost Lands and with the first-year success under our belt, it gave the buyers at Live Nation the confidence to build out three days at the Gorge.”
But it’s not just festivals for Excision, who is also a headlining touring force with recent reports to Pollstar including 4,000 tickets sold to South Side Ballroom in Dallas March 16 ($117,669 grossed), 8,532 tickets sold over two nights at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago ($339,052) in February, and 14,943 tickets sold to the Bill Graham Civic in San Francisco in January, with $674,005 grossed over two nights Jan. 26-27. 
Sun Soaked
Michael Tullberg / Getty Images
– Sun Soaked
The Sun Soaked Outdoor Beach Party in Long Beach July 21 was hosted by Kaskade with 31,000 people in attendance.

UTA’s electronic division continues Circle Talent Agency’s (which was acquired by UTA in April) trend of artist- or agency-curated festivals and events, with its long-running Global Dub Festival at Red Rocks this year headlined by Zomboy and Ganja White Night and a new Los Angeles city takeover by Kaskade. The Chicago-based artist sold close to 40,000 tickets over the course of a week in July with a pop-up show at Venice Beach, four club shows and 31,000 people attending a vinyl set at Sun Soaked outdoor beach party in Long Beach.  UTA says all allotted 29,000 tickets sold out within the 24-hour presale.

Pollstar caught up with Excision, also known as Jeff Abel, to hear first-hand about his Paradox, his festivals and what else he’s up to.
Let’s hear more about your Paradox production. What was your vision and how did it come together?
The vision for the Paradox started as we began moving into bigger and bigger venues. We had to create something that would fill out an arena stage on the weekends but be able to shrink down for theaters during the week. So, we built The Paradox with 16 possible size configurations, giving us the flexibility to maximize any stage we came across.
Over the last three years with The Paradox, we’ve built hundreds of visual animations, each dedicated to a specific track. They are designed to stay perfectly in sync as I mix between these “music videos” on stage.
The convex LED layer inside a larger concave LED wall allowed us to create curves that would completely immerse fans from any angle in 3D visuals, lights, lasers and an insane amount of bass. It’s definitely an experience you need to see in real life to feel the magnitude of it all.
Jason Koerner / Getty Images
– Excision
Excision performs at Fillmore Miami Beach on February 11, 2017. (

Can you elaborate on some of the touring specs with the Paradox? How about the crew?
We travel with four semis full of gear and three tour buses for the crew and I, so there’s always a ton of fun logistical challenges.
My brother Brett has been with me since day one and he knows the operation inside out, taking on both the PM and TM roles. But it definitely takes a village. Neither of us could make it happen without the 25+ folks out there with us. Every single one of them is equally valuable, and I could not be more grateful to be able to tour with some of the most talented people in the industry year after year.
Headlining is one thing but how do you become the name on top of two new major festivals, in Lost Lands and Bass Canyon?
We started in May 2017 and I had just secured Legend Valley as the venue for Lost Lands in Ohio, set for late September that year. Steve and the Circle team were essential in helping build out the lineup and our festival team quickly. To be honest our expectations for the first Lost Lands were very humble. We had set a goal of 10,000 tickets per day if we did everything right, especially with only four months to promote it. But after selling out at 25,000 we realized there was a real appetite not just for bass music, but for music festivals that focus on the fan experience, themes and vibes.
2018 brought the chance to throw a three-day event at the beautiful Gorge Amphitheater, which was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. It wasn’t long before we were creating another brand and launching Bass Canyon. My team and I spend the majority of our summer planning the best fan experience possible for both festivals by talking directly to the community and listening to their wants and needs.
Are there more Excision-led festivals in the works?
Since getting into the festival world, we have learned that having the right venue is everything. Legend Valley and The Gorge are both beautiful places, and we’re always on the lookout for a location that can amaze and inspire.
Do you have any opinions about the world of touring today in general, and your genre specifically? What’s it like out there right now?
The biggest trend I’ve noticed over the last decade is niche genres dominating the touring scene. Selling out arenas used to take a radio hit and now there are acts you’ve never heard of taking over!
One of the biggest differences with electronic music tours is that there are shows nearly every day of the week for the duration of the tour, and each venue has its own challenges.
 We also construct a giant wall of 40 PK double 18” subs. That’s a ton of bass, even compared to other touring electronic music acts. I have to shout out my crew for all their hard work- grinding through everything for more than two months, there’s nothing easy about it.
Another notable difference in our genre is the presentation of the opening acts. At the end of the day, the fans are there for the music, so I’ve always believed it’s important to let every artist at the show play a loud set. On our 2018 tour, Liquid Stranger, Dion Timmer and Monxx threw down unique, hard-hitting performances day in and day out. Presenting such a strong core of up-and-coming artists to new crowds each night shows the strength of our scene and is mutually beneficial for all of us in the long term.
What’s next?
Creating a robotic T-rex and teaching it to produce music. I’m also very excited to finally release my album that I’ve been working on for nearly two years, Apex, (which came out Aug. 14)!