The devastating impact of COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions to halt its spread, have meant that we have had no choice other than cancel this year’s Shambala festival - which would have been our 20th anniversary. This is heart-breaking, Shambala is an annual reunion of a huge community of like-minded souls and we are devastated that we will not be able to come together this August.
This also means as a company we will have to survive with no income for 18 months. What does this mean for Shambala? Well, for the last two decades we have been a proudly independent event with no external funding, corporate backing or commercial sponsorship. We are led by our values and ethics not by profit alone. There are no adverts in our utopia, only adventures.
- We now find ourselves in a very grave financial situation. A festival on our scale costs millions to produce. We have already invested significant, unrecoverable costs into Shambala 2020 as well as the ongoing overheads costs simply required to exist.
- We have secured a bank loan which gives us a degree of security to work towards next year’s event 2021 event, and we have invited all our 2020 ticket buyers to help by donating £30, only if they can afford to do so.
- But this will still not be enough to fill the black hole we are staring at, and now we look to you, our Shambala community and family, to help us get through these turbulent times.
- We know that, with a little help from our friends, we can weather this storm and emerge stronger.
- Shambala has championed the importance of community resilience for two decades, and now more than ever this crisis has shown how important the concept of ‘Community’ really is. We all need each other in these crazy times not only to survive, but to thrive!
- We need to raise much needed funds to help keep our Adventures In Utopia alive. The money will help bridge us to next year; covering essential costs, ensuring that our small and dedicated organisation continues to exist (with belts tightened), and are able to produce next year’s festival without any compromise to you, to our ethos or to the quality of the festival.
- Shambala is also part of a wider community and ecosystem in the world, and your donation supports this as much as our own core costs.
- Shambala is too precious to so many people not to exist. It is so much more than a festival, it’s a space that we can live by the values we hold so dearly, and clearly demonstrate a different world is possible. And you, our community and supporters, are an integral part of making this happen.
We will work non-stop to ensure that Shambala will return next year, stronger and more resilient. We will also continue to develop and support the community initiatives that promote a more sustainable planet, as well as carrying on the work we do with all our creative and charity partners.
Oh lordy, have we got some serious rewards up our sleeves, from the sublime to the ridiculous - including the opportunity to get married at Shambala 2021 (yes, seriously), the chance to win one of two lifetime tickets (!) and some incredibly beautiful, exclusive art prints, t-shirts and enamel badges from artist Victoria Topping - the creative mastermind of this years Shambala artwork. Check out the rewards section for the full list of what's up for grabs!
With your help, we can in return promise to:
- Present an incredible musical line up that you won’t find elsewhere – and that perfectly compliments the vibe, atmosphere and rhythm of your weekend.
- Ensure a complete and total lack of sponsorship, brand activations or corporate bollocks.
- Give you a thousand chances to participate, whether you’re after escapism, brain food or just tears-running-down-your-legs hilarity.
- Provide a four day adventure in utopia, where you can play, make lots of new friends and return to the world fuelled up on the beauty of being alive.
- Pioneering, intimate and truly innovative, Shambala Festival has blended creativity and participation perfectly for two decades. It's a special place where you play, revitalise, and return to the world full of joy.
- It’s a playground, a realm for wild experimentation and alternative education, where unforgettable life skills are shared, learned and put to use.
- We are (and always have been) committed to being as environmentally sustainable as possible – it’s in our DNA, and our green credentials are considered pioneering, Europe-wide.
- We have reduced the carbon footprint of the festival by over 80%, achieved 100% renewable power and recycling rates of 80%. We banned plastic bottles back in 2013 and have since eradicated disposable plastics. We've also been proudly meat and fish free since 2016.
We see Shambala, as so much more than just a monumental party, it’s a haven, a think-tank, a happening - all infused with a heartfelt, purposeful hedonism.
Shambala is still run by the same five friends who began on this unexpected journey. For many years, we ran Shambala around day jobs of carpet-fitting, restaurant and youth work. The early days of handmade clay pendants in the place of wristbands may be a distant memory, but the soul of Shambala has not changed a jot since it began – though we’re grateful to no longer have to walk miles to the dial up internet of the local library to send our emails.
We’re all united in believing that a proper party should not come at the expense of a positive future. We’ve been able to live our values through Shambala, and harness the opportunity to celebrate life and inspire change.
Shambala isn’t a product or a brand. It’s got a life of its own, It's a community of thousands, coming together to share ideas, dance until dawn, revel in all the very best parts of being human, and make a contribution to life in whatever way we can.
With your help, we can keep the party going forever.
Lots of Love
The Shambala Team xxx