Shambala is a family friendly, proudly independent and socially-conscious festival and will be continuing its ‘adventures in utopia’ with another four day celebration of all things music, art, dance, poetry, comedy, workshops and theatre on 24th – 27th August.
The variety and quality of entertainment on offer is staggering for a festival of its size and as ever, participation is the name of the game. This isn’t a festival where you park your bum in front of the main stage all day – it’s a place to get your hands dirty, whether that means building your own adventure playground, honing your fine art skills in a c*ck drawing class, or learning how to build a house through open-source technology.
Over 200 diverse musical acts will provide the sound track for this year’s adventures – no identikit festival line up here, but show-stopping musical gems and discoveries from all corners of the globe. The full 2017 line up is expected in late March but confirmed names include 65 Days of Static, Alice Russell, Oumou Sangare, Stereo MCs and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.
Award winning green credentials
Shambala is committed to being as environmentally sustainable as possible and is considered truly pioneering, even winning the European Festival Awards’ ‘Green Operations’ award in 2016. In the past five years, the onsite carbon footprint of the festival has been reduced by 81%, the festival is 100% renewably powered and has banned single use plastics on site
2016 saw Shambala tackle the environmental elephant in the room by going meat and fish free, a controversial move that paid off when 77% of attendees surveyed voted to keep the festival meat and fish free moving forward. This year, traders remain meat and fish free and food remains very much in focus with dedicated foodie venue: The Garden O’Feeden.
This celebrates all things edible, colourful and sustainable with a mouthwatering menu of demos, banquets and brunch clubs. This year’s programme puts waste-free dining at its heart, enticing a lineup of adventurous foodies to show us how it’s done.
Theme of dreams
Whilst Shambala has always been a four day escape from reality, this year will take it to another level: with the 2017 Carnival dress up theme, ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ – ‘a state of absurdly over-optimistic fantasy where everything is perfect and the impossible might happen’. Just the tonic, given the state of current affairs. Expect dancing cupcakes, candy floss clouds, a month of Sundays at the end of the rainbow, where pigs fly high past blue moons. An all singing, all dancing adventure into utopia.
A secondary theme underpins much of 2017’s content. Each year, attendees vote ‘community’ as the number one thing that keeps them coming back to Shambala – little wonder when life in the UK can feel a little insular. With dwindling natural resources, divisive politics and growing populations, it’s time to come out from behind our closed doors and social media gloss and reconnect with real, wild, life. Where better to do so, then in a field full of people who believe that partying on and saving the world need not be mutually exclusive? It’s time to shake off our individualist mentalities and explore a future that is Open Minded, Open Hearted & Open Sourced.
New for this year
Brand new venues will be welcomed to the fold, such as Botanical Disco, a debauched, late night mirror ball wonderland, pumping out the best in funk, soul, disco and northern soul. Also new for 2017 is The Imaginarium – a forum for ideas, debates, story telling and candle-lit exchanges, based on the coffeehouses of 17th century London. This is a late night sanctuary where Shambalan revolutionaries are invited to join in, hatching out a visionary utopian plan for the world, over some seriously delicious coffee
Everything but business as usual
As ever, Shambala’s programme is packed to the rafters with workshops, debates and interactive, immersive nonsense, from old favourites like Power Ballad Yoga, nipple tassle workshops and the legendary Shambala flashmob!
Published on 22 August 2017 by Ben Robinson