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A Family Like No Other (Shambhala Review)

Nestled deep in the supernatural Kootenay mountains resides a place known to many as Shambhala Music Festival, or to the more passionate patrons as the place we call “Home.” Shambhala has become so much more than your run of the mill Arts and Music Festival. The community of volunteers and workers toil tirelessly to curate a more magical experience than most could imagine. With safety, integrity, creativity, and sustainability as the focus of the whole vision, festival-goers have little to worry about beyond their own personal choices. The environment created at Shambhala fosters community building, and drives its participants to take part in the upkeep of the farm, showing deep reverence for the land and the animals residing there all year long.

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A major pillar of Shambhala’s stellar success stems form the farm itself. It is settled some of the most emaculate landscapes, encapsulating each unique biome of the Pacific Northwest. The farm is beautiful, inviting and oozing of lush, loving, goodness. A year-round home to a family and their farm animals, they’re excited and happy to share their land so we can come together to share our love, and our creations. The animals presence keeps patrons reminded of the respect we must have for the land, as to not harm their habitat for the rest of the season. We know that if we respect the farm and maintain a deep reverence of the land we can continue to have a homely return each year.

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From the music to the staging the entire experience is a well planned magical production of the highest order. While boasting headliners is a common selling point for most festivals, Shambhala shines a different and unique light in this area, as its seven unique stages and community center envelope the surrounding natural paradise. All flowing into each other in a whirlwind of art and nature merged the extent that the human eye may fail to recognize where the natural ends and the abundant organic-feeling art installations begin. Each stage has a life of its own and a distinct personality. Whether you want to find yourself bouncing in the Pagoda, getting lost in the feels of the funk while passing through the Fractal Forest, head-banging at the Village, or blissing out on the river to the Living Room stage, after being lost in the labyrinth of creation in The Groves psychedelic expanse, you will rarely come across a space without something to discover.

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As Shambhala is becoming more popular, year after year we are seeing an influx of people being attracted to the farm from all walks of life, from every corner of the world. Being my sixth year on the farm coming from America I have noticed a significant increase in the amount of Americans attending. Being so incredibly different than the typical corporate American festival, it is interesting to see how their perception of what this festival is evolves over the weekend and see the change evoked by their experiences. Diversity and culture are held in high regard here, including our entire human family into this community and sharing a special emotional embrace we refer to as “Shambhalove.” Shambhala embraces its patrons as the most important asset to the establishment, ensuring their safety in every aspect from safe on-site substance testing, to volunteer wanderer called Shambassadors, whose sole purpose is to ensure your happiness and comfort.

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Shambhala is a radiant quilt of happy humane volunteers and staff, local integrity-driven vendors, and heartfelt passionate creators of all mediums. Landscapes of artistic expression delicately woven by a family with a heart of gold and pure intention. After 6 years now of returning and seeing the highs and the lows, the community building, and heartfelt relationships formed, I am happy to call this place home. We who call ourselves “FARMly” will continue to return year after year to take part in the magic. As many words as one could think , as intricately organized as possible could do very little to convey the life experience obtained in a mere 4 days at Shambhala.

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Media courtesy of Joe Create

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