Shambhala Music Festival 19

I made it the Shambhala’s 19th anniversary in British Columbia. This was a festival that I’ve heard more good things about than any festival yet. The year before I was at Electric Forest sitting with an artist who kept ranting and raving about Shambhala. I’ve heard a lot of attendees go on about festivals, but never an artist. After listening to him for about ten minutes, I knew what my next year’s festival was going to be. Shambhala

The History

Shamb for short is a completely non-sponsored and alcohol-free camping festival located in majestic British Columbia at Salmo River Ranch. The festival is capped at 10,000 attendees and leave it at that limit. The thing about Shamb is it isn’t out for profit. You will notice a something completely different about this festival compared to any festival you have been to.

The festival has the Salmo River run right through the festival which is quite rejuvenating every morning. As the sun starts to heat up, you can go and wash last night’s sins off of you in the river. The brisk water has a holy aurora of starting out your day.

The Vibe

The no alcohol rule really makes a difference. Let us face it, nothing good comes from drunk people. Well, hardly ever that is. The no sponsorship makes you feel like you’re at a personal friend’s really big party in the mountains. Everyone is completely laid back. I didn’t see any aggressiveness, no fighting or arguing, no many people needing medical help, and so on. 

The artists are more excited to be there than the fans. This is the first festival I have been to that I witnessed this. You could tell every artist who played had put so much time and effort into their set at Shamb. After talking to several, it was apparent that the artists were having more fun than the crowd.

Artists and attendees alike both are in some of the best moods you will ever see at a festival. The festival itself has a “test your Tylenol” policy. This was another aspect that makes Shamb rise above than the rest. Meaning, if someone gives you any sort of Tylenol, you can take it to get it tested to make sure it is Tylenol.

My Festival

I had an RV squad of a bunch of close friends. Well, I knew half and the other half were acquaintances of the same group. With our RV, we were able to park right up front and gain early access for the pre-party. We fly in Spokane Washing and drove overnight into Canada. This helped beat all the traffic and one of the first people to arrive at the music festival. We had zero issues getting in and was able to set up our spot quickly.

Thursday – Thursday was early arrival day and pre-party where I wanted to see Space Jesus and Eseeks play. All day slowly friends and soon to be friends were pouring into the festival grounds. Spent the day talking to friends I haven’t seen in awhile, making new friends, and dancing at the amphitheater stage.

Friday – Friday was the day to check out the actual festival grounds. In the afternoon, they would be opening the festival grounds so you can go explore before any music actually started. My friends and I took full advantage of this and spent most of the day getting familiar with the festival layout. Getting accustomed to the festival layout is something I always do and go into detail in my festival guide. Within 30 seconds of walking into the festival grounds, I knew I was going to love this festival. Every part of the grounds had a different theme and was decorated for it.

As dusk started to come, I bounced around friends groups to check out different artists of the festival. Mostly hung out at the Pagoda stage for the night.

Saturday – Started the day as with most people and trekked our way to the river. Here everyone is having a very mellow beach party and just laying by the river. It was one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve ever had at a festival. The night was followed by normal festival shenanigans. Making new friends, dancing, tent parties, and more.

Sunday – Wake up and have another river party. Most os Sunday was spent hanging out with my Colorado crew that were in another RV. This was the last day of the actual festival, so I spent my day seeing everyone I haven’t seen yet. It’s pretty easy to miss out on seeing so many people.

Favorite Sets: Favorite artists I saw in no particular order (even though this was really hard to do).

Shambhala 2016 Lineup

  • Late Night Radio – is a colorado Local who i was really excited to see. He’s not very big and wasn’t even listed not the official schedule. The stage was somewhat hidden and I was 1 of 20 people there watching.
  • Ephwurd – was probably the most energetic set I saw. The crowd was absolutely insane for these guys.
  • Questlove – was such a nice change of place and brought an awesome and much-needed blues/groove vibe to Shamb.
  • Dr. Fresch
  • Hawyre – Hawyre was a new artist I’ve been wanting to see for awhile and did not disappoint. I was absolutely mind blown by how good he was at Shamb and was one of the few sets I watched in it entirety.
  • Chris Lorenzo – is one of my favorite people in the game. I’ve seen him a handful of times, but at a festival like Shamb, I was super excited.
  • Rezz – was hands down my favorite set at Shamb. She has someone I’ve been following for awhile and this was the first set of three, that I 100% fully enjoyed. I’ve watched her transform over the past years. The other two times I’ve seen her, I was not too impressed which was hard because I have been a fan of actual music she’s made. At Shamb, she finally showed she had mastered playing live and making music. I’ve heard multiple people agree, this was their favorite set at Shamb.

Overall, Shamb stole my heart away. It was hands down the best music festival I have been to yet. I went in with high expectations and left with his expectations getting surpassed. I could never recommend a festival more than Shambhala and if you are thinking about going. DO IT.

Thank you Nika for the awesome pictures of Shambhala. You can check out his Instagram here.


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