On Tuesday the wait began to enter the Shambhala campgrounds. After getting in line at around 9pm Tuesday night, pitching the tent once to sleep, and moving into two other lines, we finally set up camp at 3:30pm Wednesday afternoon. The campgrounds are unlike anything we've ever seen, completely surrounded by mountains and wilderness. Waiting for the festival to officially begin on Friday, we spent the afternoon exploring the grounds and jumping in the river that runs along the outskirts. After today, Shambhala left us very excited to see what was in store.
Waking up on Thursday morning we were able to get more of a taste of what the festival would be like. Starting off the morning with a dip in the cold river with our new friends from Canada, the first DJs began playing at the Living Room and Amphitheatre stages around noon. The Living Room stage kisses the water, playing on a sandy beach area visible to those hanging out and swimming by the river; the stage uses the natural acoustics of the mountains to beautifully relay the sounds naturally. At the Amphitheatre stage, SkiiTour played a techno-trap style set with winter themed acrobats while blasting fake snow at the crowd. People in the audience wore ski goggles to support the Canadian duo and increase the set's snowy-ski feel.
Friday brought the official Welcoming Ceremony with dancing entertainment and a blessing of the festival with sage; followed by the opening of the Fractal Forest at 12pm, as well as the Pagoda, Village, and Grove stages. The Fractal Forest, closed to all photographers and videographers, is decorated to the extreme with eye catching art and beautifully engineered lighting that enhances the magic of the woods. While each stage is individually decorated with woodland, trippy architecture to suit the festivals natural vibe.
Come Friday night, Madi Lawton and Andie Inscoe danced through the forest to cover Stickybuds, Griz, and Mt. Eden and Excison up close and personal. The nighttime shows brought insane visuals that pierced throuh the trees and bass that shook the grounds. Stickybuds and Griz threw down in the Fractal Forest while Mt. Eden and Excision had everyone moving at The Village. So far, Shambhala has proved to bring about one of the most positive places one can wish for with unreal music quality and an amazing crowd very excited to hear great music.
Written By: Andrea Inscoe
Photos By: Madi Lawton