Success has many measures, but for the organizers of the Shambhala Music Festival (SMF) it really comes down to two, festival-goer experience and safety. With a record, sold out crowd of 11,000 people highlighted by 300 acts on six uniquely themed stages, the feedback rolling in from guests has been overwhelmingly positive.
“I think our staff did an incredible job this year,” says Jimmy Bundschuh, SMF’s founding owner. “From the gate to human resources through to our stage directors, everyone put an incredible amount of passion and energy into the festival, and it showed. It’s not everyday you get Bassnectar texting you saying it was the best Shambhala ever.”
Highlighted by what many in the EDM community are calling the best line-up of the summer, featuring international acts like Bassnectar, Andy C, What So Not, Lucent Dossier, Griz, Z Trip, A Tribe Called Red, Skream and many others the only problem with the festival was trying to take it all in.
Stage production was also at an all time high, with cutting edge audio/visual, live performance, sound and set design. The Grove stage—new for 2014—was packed the entire festival, while mainstay stages like The Village, Pagoda, Fractal Forest, Amphitheatre and Living Room each had their own vibrant energy and exquisite artistic sensibilities.
“After 17 years it’s amazing that Shambhala still gets better every year,” explains Jeremy Bridge, stage director at The Village. “It’s a feat that is very difficult to achieve since the bar is already so high. This is thanks to all of the incredible people who pour their love into the show so relentlessly, something money can't buy. When I look around The Village it’s breathtaking to see how it has evolved to be so much more than just a stage. It’s now a completely immersive environment, something that cannot be packaged or copied, a place truly unique in the world.”
On the safety side of the equation, the festival experienced a very low number of incidents. There were only seven transports of guests to hospital, with no life-threatening injuries.
While SMF’s security and first aid staff are leaders in the festival world, organizers attribute these low numbers to a increasingly intelligent crowd. “I think people have responded well to recent incidents at other festivals,” says Bundschuh. “Our crowd did an amazing job of taking care of each other and themselves. These are some of the lowest incidents we’ve ever seen when it comes to public safety.”
Shambhala Music Festival is proud to announce their dates for 2015: August 5-10, 2015, Salmo River Ranch, BC. Tickets go on sale November 1st. To everyone who participated in the festival—as a guest, volunteer, artist or staff, from all of us at the festival, we’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks and gratitude. It’s an honour to share these magical days with you all. Shambhalove!