Photos by Tyler Acremedia
Most of us can admit when we see a great lineup come out we start formulating how to make it to that festival. Typically these lineups are stacked with artists, attendees end up paying over $300 after fees and only get to catch about 10 of those acts due to scheduling and running between stages.
Here at Home Bass, those days are over! Revolutionizing the travel industry, Brian Thomas creates the ultimate solution. Home Bass is a resort buy out with packages that are less than normal festival tickets. These packages include a 3-night stay at the resort and a weekend party pass for all the festivities. Home Bass guarantees attendees can catch every DJ set! Announcements including Dirtybird Players and Desert Hearts takeovers have been set for Sunday, June 9th, with more artists announcements to come. There’s much more than the music at these events. Come out to Home Bass Returns 2019 and experience all the glory for yourself! The only regret you will have is if you don’t make it to this event because the FOMO will be real.
Beginning his first business at age 10 washing cars, carrying supplies around in a wagon, Brian Thomas has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. During high school, he began Underground Paradox Productions. With this company, Brian would throw themed parties at local clubs. About 2,000 tickets would sell with no headliner DJ, just a DJ. It was just a party to let loose and have fun.
When Brian began promotions for nightclubs he was disappointed to see that people would pay all this money, yet didn’t have the whole heightened experience for the value of their dollar. In typical entrepreneur fashion, he took matters into his own hands and starting bundling travel packages. His first package to Electric Forest sold out in 2 weeks.
After seeing the demand for this type of experience, he took it one step further by adding hotels to the packages. Magnetic Music Festival in Atlanta was the first time Brian packaged the bus trip from Tampa to Atlanta, a 1 night stay in the hotel and the festival ticket for only $140! From there he really began to gain momentum and the rest is history in the making. Brian is making moves in all the right directions. I had the opportunity to pick his brain and gain insight into his operations.
Festival Squad: Can you explain the evolution of your company Music Festival Trips?
Brian: After the success from the packages to Magnetic Music Festival, I put together about 11 different trips including Spring Weekend, Counterpoint, Buku, TomorrowWorld, EDC, Imagine, and Mad Decent Block Party to name a few. EDC 2013 I stayed in a timeshare unit with friends. I booked a DJ in the room and got transportation. Everyone split the price and then I thought this would be really cool if we could have the entire resort to ourselves.
I bought 35 rooms at the same resort and learned more about the hotel industry. Each year we continued to grow and the sales director from the resort explained that we needed to move up to a resort buyout because we wanted concerts on site and all the activities. We researched 11 different properties before finding The Grand Orlando Resort. From there we rebranded to Home Bass.
FS: What is the idea behind Home Bass?
Brian: Home Bass is a central place for people to stay when attending a festival. Everyone always says “we’re going to home base, let’s get back”. It’s a good place to vibe with others on the community aspect and heighten your experience as a music festival.
In the beginning, we matched people in the rooms. A lot of people loved that aspect because they didn’t know who they were paired up with, but a lot of people would become good friends or even start a relationship together! People loved it and followed the concept. I’ve had people write me about their love stories, I’ve had people write me thank you letters and it’s really heartwarming. There’s something more than the whole package thing, it’s the experience factor and the community factor.
It’s some of the stories where people tell me how they can go to the club and they didn’t know anybody before, but now they go and they’ll always recognize someone from that bus trip or that experience. That’s where it all starts with music festival trips.
The focus now is on the resort buyout experience because people travel to us and it makes it easier to helps us grow. We couldn’t get to this point of expansion if it wasn’t for being able to get to the point of resort buyouts. I’m hoping to revolutionize the travel industry when it comes to events and people love and support the concept.
FS: Are there any new experiences attendees can expect for Home Bass 2019?
Brian: Our last event had a lot of things going on. We simplified it to the point that there’s the music, the staging, and the production. I think what everyone is going to love is the label takeovers and how we mix the brands into what we are doing and cultivate entire operations. People will come here for loving Dirtybird music and be introduced to other takeovers and labels that they never knew of. I think that’s what’s going to really stand out, branding of other artists.
Experience wise I think people are going to love that we are putting a barber shop up. We are upgrading the salon as well. There’s a vendor market we are putting in the bottom of the tower unit. The pool area is expanded to double the last size and the volcano in the back is awesome.
It’s cool because you’re at a resort and the artists are walking around grabbing a burger at the bar with us and they are interacting with guests. When you have that interaction it’s nice because people want to be surrounded by other cool, like-minded people. This humanizes the whole experience. There’s a bunch of communities coming together and that’s what it’s all about.
Every music partner and every artist that is working with us see what our concept is and are like that’s sick nobody is doing it at least on the East Coast on this kind of scale.
FS: What advice would you give a first time Home Bass attendee?
Brian: It’s not a race its a marathon. There’s a lot of different things going on, a lot of music, a lot of events, a lot of partying so you have to make sure you have that balance. Look at the schedule to know when the artists are coming on. When you have these giant festivals you technically only see about 10 of those artists out of that entire lineup. Here we have 20 plus artist and we guarantee you’ll see every single one of them as long as you pace yourself. There aren’t multiple stages, the sets are all one at a time so you can really indulge in the music.
I do this at camping festivals, but I would do it here too. I love to get a giant Gatorade cooler and fill it with water. You can fill it up with 5 gallons of water and one pack of ice. It’s good for 5 days and it’s cool having that in my room and the community aspect of it.
You can request to have your friends rooms next to each other! On the website, there’s a resort page with an email. Send an email with the main names on the reservations and we will make sure they get booked together. We now handle all the booking process and who gets put next to each other.
When it’s in our hands we can make some magic happen and get the job done as quick as we can.
I would also look into the area and see what else is around. There’s a bunch of theme parks. Volcano Bay is right across the way and Dinsey and Universal are close by. Stay an extra night at the hotel and explore Orlando.
FS: What’s an essential item you recommend attendees bringing?
Brian: Cooling towels are always big and not a lot of people make use of them. I also suggest bringing a lot of festive gear to be decked out. It’s going to be hot so bring sun hats, sunscreen, a portable fan, and of course inflatables and floaties.
FS: Home Bass has an intimate vibe amongst the people who attend and put on the event. How do you create the family aspect for MFT and Home Bass followers?
Brian: Everyone is like a big family at Home Bass. I also like to introduce people to each other when I am walking around the event. It’s always easier to start a friendship when a common friend introduces two new people. Then those people will introduce each other to their own friend groups and you see huge groups of people all hanging out together. We all are here for the same reasons. The love of music, the strong community and the opportunity to connect with like-minded people for a weekend at a resort that fills everyone’s needs.
In addition, we have the Facebook page where we like to connect everyone and post updates on everything in the works for the event.
FS: Each year Home Bass continues to grow exponentially, what can we expect to see in the future?
Brian: The main focus right now is building in the Florida market. Orlando is an area of target. I think there’s a lot of potential here. There’s a lot of conventions that come here, a lot of hotels and things I can learn about the travel industry, so I think Orlando is home base for the time being.
We want to expand to 4 times a year. The people that travel down for spring break run out of things to do. Our goal is to captivate that audience that’s traveling down, so an exclusive resort may be a possible option for them coming down this way. I believe we have the perfect properties to make that happen. Also, growing partnerships with festival brands is going to be huge. I think there’s a good handful of festivals we can bring some great value to.