August 23, 2019 | 2 COMMENTS

If you have never heard of Shambhala before-  brace yourself, this isn’t your average music festival. The week-long party is held on a farm in the middle of nowhere (Salmo River Ranch, B.C.) includes six main stages, hidden stages like the Rabbit Hole, renegade stages, and is currently the longest-running festival in Canada with 2019 being its 22nd year! The lineup includes artists across the board to curb anyone's EDM cravings with the likes of Excision, Spag Heddy, A Tribe Called Red, Volac, Father Funk, SNBRN, Skiitour and LSDREAM just to name a few. 

Shambhala Lineup 2019

Photo by Shambhala Music Festival /

On top of the music, Shambhala has events like yoga, acro yoga, body painting, flower crown workshops, and more. Many events are actually created by attendees themselves, like the “8th Annual Captain Thomas’ Shamb Virgin Train Tour” run by Gabriel McCay, who takes first-timers on a tour through the festival dressed as Thomas the Tank Engine. This year Shambhala was also blessed with the “Great Bag Rummage of 2019,” as well as the “Naruto Run Into Fractal Forest.” 

Captain Thomas Virgin Shamb Train


     Photo from Facebook : 8TH Annual Captain Thomas’ Shamb Virgin Train Tour! Gabriel McCay

People go all out with their costumes for this festival too. My personal favourite had to be the group of attendees that dressed up as lamps. Why? Who knows. But they honestly looked incredible and gave me life. Along with the walking works of art of people, the festival was covered in artwork created by the hundreds of volunteers that put countless hours into creating Shambhala.

                               Shambhala 2019 Photo by @sunflowerraver

Now, how does a festival get better than a killer lineup, amazing people, costumes and fun events? Believe it or not, it was the rain. This year, like many years prior, Shambhala experienced heavy rain, giant puddles of mud, and a lightning storm that actually halted the festival for about twenty minutes. But with Shambhala being Shambhala, the rain stops no one. The rain ended up bringing everyone closer together, with people gifting each other ponchos, singing and dancing in the rain to the music, and helping one another through the mud. It was like the rain enhanced the vibes of the festival. It literally washed away all fears and worries anyone had. 

Shambhala Rain                                       Photo by @sunflowerraver


With Shambhala being such a large festival, the harm reduction services were on point. There was a whole tent ran by ANKORS dedicated to harm reduction, safe spaces across the festival if you needed a break, and even safe spaces dedicated towards women. These services and tents created such a safe atmosphere for anyone attending. 

Many times I found myself in the crowds surrounded by random people and left with them being a part of my family. My favorite set that I had experienced that weekend by far was JAUZ. The people around me helped me fix aspects of my outfit, made sure my bag was closed, lifted my totem when I was tired, danced with me, and made me feel welcome. I felt like I was home, even though I was actually thirteen hours away from my actual home.

Shambhala Forest

Photo by @sunflowerraver

Shambhala was an entirely different festival and culture of what I was used to experiencing. Everyone and I mean every single person, had nothing but kindness in their heart. If you ended up apart from your group at any time, another group would quickly adopt you. People constantly helped you and lifted you up. It was a positive vibe throughout my entire experience. With 2019 being my first year at Shambhala, it was clear to me why people continue to go back year after year. Shambhala is more than just a music festival in the middle of nowhere. It is a family of people who get together and completely change your outlook on life, and who you are.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend Shambhala, you have to go. It is a once in a lifetime experience. And, hey, maybe next year I’ll see you in the Rabbit Hole. 

Shambhala Art

Photo by @sunflowerraver



Jessica Slabchenko said:

Meeting you was one of the highlights of my first shambs 💛 Great blog post!!!

Victoria said:

Hera! I love this article and you. I wish I could have experienced such an amazing festival with you. Next year maybe!!

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