Becky Cooke steps into a dream-like world of flamboyantly dressed festival-goers, eccentric sights and hypnotic sounds as she attends this year’s Shambala Festival…
Shambala has made my life so much more glittery… almost as glittery as the festival itself. I arrived at Kelmarsh Hall early on Saturday morning. As the rain poured, I strolled through the site with my rucksack and all my possessions covered in waterproof materials. Families grabbing breakfasts for their little ones, and cheery festivals-goers provided a warm-hearted welcome upon arrival. After putting up my tent and dropping everything off, I was eager for a weekend outside. After grabbing a hot drink, I was soon embracing the festival spirit – it didn’t take too long at all! It immediately became apparent why so many people have such a deep appreciation for this festival. Whilst drifting around the festival, with the sun breaking through the clouds fairly frequently, there was a host of fabulously fun activities for children and adults alike. No one could possibly be in a bad mood at Shambala… even in the rain!
With various venues and stages of different sizes, a wide range of brilliant talents performed over the weekend. My personal favourite was the UFO. This was a circular, small indoor nightclub with space goddesses to greet you at the spaceport entrance.
The array of animated people that were gracing the fields of Shambala was truly spectacular. I spotted one fabulous person who was outwardly as happy as I felt. He danced for the entire weekend – like his life depended on it – in a multicoloured lycra all-in-one… absolutely incredible!
Sunday was perfect. The magnificent weather and vibrant atmosphere combined made it a wonderfully special day. Whilst there were many weird and wonderful sights at Shambala, one of the most bizarre was a completely naked man being proposed to by Cinderella – instead of slipping his toes into a glass slipper, he was given a flip flop instead! Come evening, the ‘big burn’ bonfire and fireworks felt cleansing. Although I wanted the fun to never end, the astounding display was a perfect finale to the weekend.
I have always loved the festival vibe… that feeling of disconnection from the real world. Shambala satisfied this completely. It is another planet – one, which I cannot wait to visit again next year.
To purchase your early bird tickets for next year visit: www.shambalafestival.org
By Becky Cooke