Today’s Poll

Shambhala Music Festival turns 14

By Contributor
August 17th, 2011

By Brittany Gilchrist

When Amber Donaldson of Denver, Col. heard the heavy bass and music starting up on Thursday afternoon, she nearly jumped out of her skin.

“I was already having so much fun even without music on and now that it has started, I don’t know if I can stand it!” exclaimed the first-time Shambhala-er, who came from the U.S. to attend the festival with four other friends.

The Shambhala Music Festival ran from Wednesday, Aug. 3 (the day the gates officially opened) to Sunday, Aug. 7. The music stared on Thursday afternoon and didn’t let up until early Monday morning, which suited the electronic-music loving crowd just fine.

There was no shortage of music for festival-goers, who had six individually themed stages to explore: Pagoda, Fractal Forest, The Village, Rock Pit, Living Room and The Labyrinth.

As usual, the Shambhala line-up included a star-studded cast of the world’s top DJ’s and producers. This year, crowds were treated to big acts like Skrillex, Stanton Warriors, Far Too Loud, Flux Pavilion, Excision, Bassnectar, Udachi, A Skillz and Ursula 1000.

“I was so into Skrillex,” said Donaldson when asked what her favourite sets were. “The next DJ was late, so he played an extra 10 minutes, it was great. Mimosa was incredible. I also hung out in the Fractal Forest a lot. It’s such an amazing place.”

While music was the main focus of the festival — after all, the festival’s mission statement is “it’s all about the people on the dancefloor,” — many other things added to this year’s event.

The Shambhala merchandise store hosted a weekend-long costume exchange, gardens and artwork added colour to the downtown core, a ferris wheel entertained festival-goers, and Shambassadors provided information to travellers at Shambassy locations in Nelson (Our Glass) and Salmo (across from the Dragonfly Café) on the days leading up to the festival.

A highlight of the weekend was an aerial photo that was taken on Saturday. Over 700 festival-goers stood in the formation of a heart on the ground, while a photographer took photos from above.

It has been quite the year for the Shambhala Music Festival. They were voted Best Large Festival in the world at the annual Breakspoll Awards in London, England in March 2011, and are the 35th most visible music festival of any genre in Google searches worldwide. 

In addition, tickets for this year’s festival sold out in record time. If you didn’t have a ticket by May 26, you weren’t going to Shambhala.

“It’s been a really great year,” said Production Manager Corrine Zawaduk. “The atmosphere was very positive and relatively calm. The stages and artwork turned out beautifully, we had a great crew of volunteers and staff. We couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.”

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