Photo by Louis Bockner
Last year, I went festival crazy. There were new events popping up every month and I made it my goal to experience them all. In total, I attended 15 music festivals in 2015, but one stood far above the others: Shambhala.
Shambhala Music Festival takes place from August 5th-8th in the gorgeous wilderness of Salmo, British Columbia. If you ask anyone, they'll tell you that it's an extremely special place. I'm here to explain why.
1. Every Stage is the "Main Stage"
Photo by Novus Photography
Shambhala's 6 stages are more akin to fairytale music venues than a festival stage. They are left standing year-round and have grown into elaborate spectacles over Shambhala's 19 years.
Each stage is run by dedicated Stage Directors, who obsess over their stage's unique theme and genres of music. The stage crews treat their stage like the "main stage" and book the leading artists in their chosen genre.
Basshead favorite The Village Stage is headed up by the likes of Excision, Caspa & Rusko, Ephwurd, and Andy C. The Pagoda Stage - a literal temple for house and future bass - will be soundtracked by legends like Boyz Noise and Justin Martin, alongside newcomers like REZZ and Marshmello. And that only scratches the surface of the full lineup.
2. Shambha-Love is in the Air
Photo by Leah Gair
Shambhala started as a 500 person party on the Bundschuh family's Salmo River Ranch. 19 years later, the event remains a family affair, except that the family has grown to a sold out crowd of 10,000 fans.
Many Shambhala fans are drawn back year after year, some for over a decade, and their driving principle of "Shambha-love" can be felt throughout the ranch. Wherever you go, you're sure to be welcomed and respected for what you bring to the Shambhala family.
3. The Venue is Pristine
Photo via Shambhala Facebook
The lush wilderness of Salmo River Ranch is tucked away a hundred miles from the closest major city. An ocean of stars twinkle overhead every night, miles of towering trees line the ranch, and the Salmo river itself snakes alongside the venue, always close enough for a quick dip in its clear waters.
The entire Shambhala family collaborates to preserve the ranch's beauty. Fresh food is sources from the ranch's very own cows and organic vegetables and waste is kept to an absolute minimum. Organizers also custom-built solutions for sustainable water treatment and power generation during the festival.
Unfortunately, weekend passes for Shambhala 2016 have been sold out for months, but you have a few options. The safest option is to start planning for next year's 20 year anniversary and grab tickets as soon as they go on sale. You could also make the journey to Salmo on Sunday August 8th and grab one of the limited tickets at the gate for 24 hours of magic.
Stay tuned for our full review of Shambhala 2016 coming in August!