Cheers to another incredible year at Shambhala Music Festival: A private farm turned into massive Music Festival with zero corporate sponsors and fueled with pure and endless love. This was my fourth year attending and has to be by far, my favourite experience to date!

There were incredible unique underground artists from around the world performing sets in genres I never knew existed. I did a lot of solo wandering around this year, allowing me to discover so many new sounds and meet new people which made this year extremely special.

At The Village Stage, I stumbled upon UK artist Dizzee Rascal whom I learned about back in 2013 when traveling South East Asia; the group of travelers I was partying with were astounded that I “didn’t know Dizzee” (insert British accent).  I went to see him at the Village, which is the most esthetically pleasing stage, and he did not disappoint! I had such a good time, and the entire crowd without fail sang along all his songs with him. Sadly I don’t have footage, so here is his video with Robbie Williams, a UK artist we probably all know…

The Living Room Stage is situated next to the river, providing a much-needed chill out space if maybe the other stages are too intense or your body needs a break from dancing. The music quality is fantastic. One of my favourite performances was presented by Adham Shaikh who is a Juno and Emmy Award-nominated music producer, composer, and sound designer! He makes his way to the Living Room every year and there is truly no other sound  I would like to hear on Sunday afternoon, when you are pumped but need some relaxing time next to the ever-flowing magical river. Mark Farina also killed it at the living room playing from 12-3 on Saturday, he really lived up to his hype, throwing down some great house beats while most of the farm was playing really heavy bass and dubstep.

The AMPhitheatre has its usual opening night crazes which include Long Walk Short Dock and Skii Tour. I love the AMP’s layout, you can be anywhere in the area and you see the essence of Shambhala, cool, funky people, dressed in the wackiest fashion holding incredible totems.

I discovered the new Rabbit Hole which is a secret (ish) stage around the corner from the living room stage situated on the river. This stage has full size beds with ongoing cuddle puddle action! On Monday morning, it was an incredible experience almost feeling like a burning man camp party. With no DJ lineup or promotions, it was a beautiful mini-escape to stumble upon.

The Fractal Forest is Shambhala’s pride and joy! In 1999 they started out as a small stage in the forest built on a burnt out old growth tree stump. Here they are 20 years later and have seen their little stage grow into a world class music venue hosted by some of the biggest DJ and artist legends from around the globe. This stage is hidden in the forest surrounded by trees with a stage that boasts impeccable 360 degree visual projections. The essence of Shambhala comes alive at the fractal, its the place where everything and anything goes…and I mean it.  Some of the annual local, funky, sets include The Funk Hunters, Stickybuds, Smalltown DJ’s and so much more. One of my favourite moments of Shambhala is the Monday morning Rich-E-Rich closing set of the festival. This is where the standing warriors reunite as each stage closes one by one. This year I saw someone “vacuuming” the forest dirt, someone attempt to smoke a bowl from an entire watermelon, and a multitude of other out of this world things. Thank goodness photography is strictly prohibited ( in case you didn’t know). On another note here is another one of my favourite moments of the festival, A.Skillz vs. Z-Trip freestyle at the Fractal Forest.

A.Skillz vs Z-Trip "A to Z"

When DJ Z Trip calls out A.Skillz during their impromptu "A to Z" freestyle in the Fractal Forest at Shambhala Music Festival. Amazing!

Posted by Fractal Forest on Monday, August 20, 2018

The Pagoda Stage is definitely one of the Main Stages of Shambhala, focusing on house, techno, tech house, some bass and more. Friday is the undeclared DIRTYBIRD take over with artists like Fisher, Kyle Watson, ClaptoneJustin Martin, Claude Von Stroke, and Christian Martin taking control of the crowd and the stage, The production was fabulous and DJ Soup who runs the Pagoda started the night on a high note.

Last but not least, The Grove Stage! For some reason, I feel completely at home at the grove, chilling out to amazing euphoric music coming from all genres. I had the pleasure of catching D Double E with GreazusFakear, and one of my favourite producers, Christian Löffler (keep your eyes out for a featured article on him coming soon).

Shambhala Music Festival in British Columbia has donated $10k to the harm-reduction company ANKORS to purchase new advanced drug-testing technology called the FTIR Spectrometer that will be implemented at the festival for the first time from Aug 10-13. While a recent BCCSU study showed that 90% of opioids on the streets tested positive for fentanyl, Shambhala music festival showed ZERO traces of fentanyl allowing for safe partying!

If you want to see what Shambhala looks like, here is the official after movie below!

The best part of this is that the tickets are on sale NOW for 2019, GET THEM HERE! I hope to see you on the farm next year!

Article by Hellan

Cover photo by Leah Gair