Today’s blog is by Zaralea Grace, former Nelson local and 10 year Shambhazen. She is also known as DJ Ms DVS and currently resides in Kelowna, BC. Because of the length of this blog, it’s been broken in to 2 pieces. You can click through to Part 2 at the bottom!
Greetings Shambhala Virgins! You are about to embark on a journey of epic proportions!!! You may have heard a lot about Shambhala but for whatever reason, could never make it until now. You may have even heard the expression “Shambhala will change your life!”
Well, I am here to tell you – that statement is 100% correct!
You are on the road to Shambhala; to have a life altering experience that thousands before you have already had. This is your rite of passage.
This event is not for the faint of heart. You’ll need to prepare yourself in order to receive this full throttled, earth shaking, ground breaking, mind blowing experience to its full potential.
Here’s a breakdown of what to expect…
Tickets & Online Community:
Lets start with the pre-planning stages. tickets go on sale in mid-October, and sell out ridiculously quickly. Keep this in mind if you’re planning for 2013. Plan to get yours as soon as possible! The festival sold out of 7500 online tickets for SMF2012 in just 17 days! Good Luck!
Tickets entitle you to entry no sooner than the Friday, August 10th at 8am. There are additional charges if you arrive on Wednesday ($60 per person) or Thursday ($30 per person). Gates open at 8am on Wednesday, August 8th.
Next, go to the festival’s website www.shambahalmusicfestival.com/community/ and register an account to read the message board, submit & view photos & to connect with fellow Shambhazens year-round.
Next (if you haven’t already), “Like” the official page on Facebook to receive regular updates and status posts to stay informed. And, of course, mark yourself as attending on the official Shambhala 2011 event page on FB!
Once you’ve purchased your ticket (or get one for your birthday or Christmas present!) you can now start organizing! Most everyone dresses up in costume. Shambhala is the equivalent to Christmas, New Years and Halloween all in one! Be creative. Some people I know start making costumes 6-8 months in advance and bring enough costumes to change into two a day! Start building your Tickle Trunk!
If you have a group of friends going it might be neat to coordinate together for a theme – it’s always fun to go out in a theme costumed group!
Which leads me to my next thought. As a group, its great to come up with a camp theme and decorate your area with everything from batiks, wind chimes, banners and flags to lights (solar garden lights are awesome!), canopy tents, tables and chairs. Make your base camp as enjoyable and comfortable as possible – this is your home for several days!
Note: Generators are prohibited on site.
There’s a fairly large list things to bring – Britz has a comprehensive checklist that’ll be released with the new website.
The days can be extremely hot. From the moment the sun evaporates the glistening dew off your tent at 8 am, until about 8 pm when the sun slowly slip behind the mountain. Once the sun goes down, the temperature drops rapidly, leaving everything cold and damp. The nights are long; remember its coldest before sunrise. It’s recommended that you bring a fall or winter type warm coat. The temperature could be anything from 1-8 degrees at night, and 15-40 degrees during the day! It really is quite a range!
The farm can be extremely dry, mid summer. There is a lot of dust and dirt kicked up despite the great efforts to water the grounds keeping it moist prior to showtime. If you’re sensitive to dust, be sure to come prepared!
For the longest time it seemed as though it hardly ever rained during the festival, up until recently. The last few years it has rained here and there, ranging from light afternoon drizzles to insane downpours and epic thunderstorms. Be prepared to get muddy and wet!
The 200 acre plot of land is normally a working cattle farm. Thanks to the dedicated pre-show volunteers, most cow dung is removed before we arrive, but be careful where you pitch your tent!
So to recap, bring a dust mask or bandana, light clothes (shorts, swim wear), warm warm clothes (toques, gloves, warm jackets, sweaters), and rain gear. And don’t forget footwear. At least one pair that is waterproof. A lone pair of flip-flops will not cut it.
The bugs are usually not so bad but the closer to the woods you camp, the worse it gets. It’s mosquito city around dusk. Remember the West Kootennays are the only interior rain forest in the world. There are some weird bugs out there! Bring bugspray (preferably aresol & deet free).
Shambhala on Google Maps. You can click the “Directions” link and enter your own address to get personalized directions to the Salmo River Ranch.
This eternal battle seems to never end. For as long as I can remember, there were complaints about wait times, however I think out of the ten years I’ve gone, the longest I’ve ever waited was six hours.
Its definitely a work in progress and every year they seem to get a bit better at organizing.
BUT! The good news is – the waiting process is all part of the Shambhala cultural experience! You’ll meet great people, and if you’re well prepared (with water, snacks, and changes of clothes easily accessible), you’ll have a great time.
Don’t like to wait? Every year, I’ve shown up on Friday morning/evening, and there is little to no line.
Most people show up early to get the party started, but take note: there is no music or entertainment of any kind on Wednesday. The Wednesday attendees are just there to get a good camping spot and set up camp. are only two stages that open. On Thursday, two of the six stages (The Rock Pit and The Living Room) open at Noon, and run through the night, and access to the remaining four stages is closed off. All the stages open on Friday afternoon.
Hopefully all this information will help you form a decision on when you want to arrive!