Road To Shambhala 2019: 5 Farm Traditions That We Live For
We’re less than 50 days away from Shambhala Music Festival’s highly anticipated 22nd anniversary. The critically-acclaimed and deeply beloved Canadian festival in British Columbia was recently crowned ‘The Best Music Festival In North America’ by DJ Mag, and for those of us who frequent the Salmo River Ranch for a few days in August each year, this came as no surprise. While Shambhala is known the world over for its incredible production and a mind-blowing lineup of electronic music’s most innovative artists, what continues to set the gathering apart from other events is its unwavering sense of self.
A tight-knit community has blossomed over two decades in the Kootenay Mountains, and it’s the Shambhala Farmily’s propensity to be welcoming and inviting to newcomers while also remaining steadfast to its values that make it so remarkable. Since 1998, if you ask any Shambhala veteran they would be happy to clue you in on some of the close-held festival traditions and even a few Farmily secrets if you’re lucky. Over the years we’ve had our fill of fun in the Canadian wilderness and picked up a few tricks along the way. Now that we’re in the home stretch we can’t stop thinking about all the mischief in store and have selected a few of our favorite Shambhala traditions.
The Living Room & The AMPhitheatre On Thursday
Day Onesie at it is known on the Farm is a special event. On the Thursday of Shambhala, as the festival grounds begin to stir and buzz with anticipation and excitement, two out of the six stages sate our appetites. The serene and sensual Living Room comes to life along the Salmo River as the raucous and angsty AMPhitheatre draws a massive crowd as well.
Usually, Thursday’s lineup is packed with local talent from the BC area. Local legends like The Librarian, Mat The Alien, SkiiTour, Pigeon Hole and Longwalkshortdock get the party started in style and as day turns to night the farm is filled with creatures of all distinction. Adorned in onesies of every make and model the Farmily let their freak flags fly high for the first night. Its a beautiful sight to behold and always seems to prickle our skin with goosebumps as we prepare for our favorite four days of the year.
Sunny Days At The River
Since The Living Room is one of the first stages to open at Shambhala its customary to see dancing denizens congregate along the banks of the Salmo River. The crystalline water is a gift from above on the hot and sticky days and it almost doesn’t feel like Shambhala until you dunk your head beneath the surface. The party literally never stops down by the river and you can always find some beautiful souls hidden in the nooks and crannies along the way.
Opening Ceremonies & Unique Stage Traditions
The six stages of Shambhala really do operate as a family. In any family, there is love and camaraderie, but beneath the surface competition and individuality. Shambhala is no different. One issue we always have when we go home to the Farm is figuring out how to be in six places at once.
One of the major reasons for that is down to the unique traditions that each stage upholds that makes us want to see, feel and experience everything we can. The Grove’s spellbinding opening ceremony is always one of the most moving and spiritually warming parts of the weekend. Yoga at The Living Room is perfect for recharging one’s batteries after long nights of wanton boodie. The Ragga Jungle Rinse is the mandatory way to get the body loose and limber and ready for all the madness that will ensue. The Fractal Forest Funk Jam might be the dopest party on the planet earth (we’re not 100% sure we haven’t been to every party just yet but it probably is) and Rich-E-Rich’s Monday morning set is always the perfect way to close out the festival.
These unique ceremonies and traditions really bring the festival to life and make you feel at home and a part of something much bigger than yourself.
If there’s one thing Shambhalovelies know how to do it’s make a costume/ensemble. Some of the most intricate, impressive and inspiring costumes can be found on the Farm. When day turns to night and the heat breaks, you’ll see all manner of garb adorning the precious peeps that call Shambhala home. There are far too many to list, so just come for yourself and check it out.
Finally, our favorite Shambhala tradition has to be Shambhalove. It’s potent, distinct and visceral. Life on the farm is full of laughter, connection and togetherness. When you join the Farmily you really do feel like you have a few thousand more brothers and sisters to share moments with.
This Shambhalove manifests itself in many different forms, from Shambhahugs that can do more for you than a month of therapy, the Shambharoar which is literally the explosion of excitement that fills the sky at random throughout the festival, gifting random strangers something meaningful and precious and so many other ways. We can’t seem to get enough of it and in less than 50 days we’ll be headed back to the farm to get our fill!