SHAMBHALA FESTIVAL IN BRITISH COLUMBIA RETURNS FOR 18TH YEAR
In the rapid torrent of festival saturation its easy to forget that some events have been going strong for years before soft drink companies had stages or wristbands went ‘beep’. Shambhala, the annual British Columbia-based alternative festival, is now in its 18th year, and with a line-up that boasts some of the best names in underground dance music and an enduring earthy-new age vibe that’s greying confidently, it shows no signs of succumbing to the wash.
Held every August at that Salmo River Ranch (about an eight hour drive east of Vancouver), the festival is hosting Skrillex, Claude VonStroke, DJ Harvey, Dusky, MK, Kygo, Justin Martin, and Bonobo (DJ set), and scores more solid acts over four days and five nights on the 500-acre ranch.
This year they have six curated stage concepts, and as always they’ll host the now-ubiquitous yoga, workshop and wellbeing centers for trudged and weary outback ravers to get their kundalini on and come away from the festival with a fresh, albeit hazy, outlook.
Shambhala is sadly completely sold out, though if you still want to get in on the vibe of the event you can check out their excellent mix series here, which features sets from the likes of JackLNDN, Cause & Effect, and a banging four hour twist from one of Mixmag’s favourite selectors Mr. Scruff
Shambhala is an annual electronic music festival held during the first week of August at the Salmo River Ranch, a 500-acre (2.0 km2) cattle ranch, in the West Kootenay mountains near Nelson, British Columbia. The festival lasts five days and four nights and offers a mix of music and art in nature.
The festival began in 1998 and has grown to become the largest and one of the longest running electronic music events in Canada. Since the beginning, it has been a family-run event and has never accepted any corporate sponsorship. In the summer months, the ranch becomes home to volunteers & event staff who contribute to repairing and adding onto the many permanent structures on site.
It has six uniquely themed stages. With the launch of the 2008 website in spring of that year, it was announced that two of the stages would be undergoing transformation. The former Portal stage, under new stage management has become The Labyrinth and Main Stage has adopted an Oriental theme with its new name, The Pagoda. As of 2013, the stage names are The Living Room, AMP (AMPhitheater) (formerly the Rock Pit/ The Jungle Pit), The Fractal Forest, The Village, The Grove (formerly The Labyrinth, The Portal, The Inner Sanctum), Nebula, and The Pagoda (formerly Main Stage).
The Summer of 2008 marked the release of the Shambhala Music Festival DVD, showing 10 years of the festival. The documentary, directed by filmmaker Malcolm Levy, looks at Shambhala’s history, and “follows different characters through a year in the life of Shambhala from the perspective of DJ’s, people in charge, first aid attendants and others.”
For 2011 and 2012 Shambhala has won Best Large Event at The International Breakspoll Awards.
Shambhala doesn’t ask for any corporate sponsorship making the festival run solely on the volunteers. Creating the idea that the people who attend and volunteer reflect their own visions on the festival and make it what they wish it to be.
2012’s Shambhala hosted ten thousand guests accompanied by 2000 workers and volunteers. Although all ages were welcome in the past participants must now be 19 or older.