Shambala is one of those festivals which you hear about from a friend who’s mate went there, or I know i guy who’s sisters uncle went…… and so on, but from all the rumours over the last few years I hadn’t made it a priority to go.
So, this year we touch base with the lovey pr guys, who are more than happy for aaamusic to swing by and sample all the festival nice-ting’s. So we did.
Its a brilliant sunny day in Northamptonshire of the shires fame, and I reach my destination in very good time, no traffic here my dears, just a few dirt tracks to navigate and before I know it, im all parked up and heading down to tentsville for a weekend stay.
The camping situation is as expected, and it aint too long before most of the available space has been hogged, and any tiny areas (i.e. directly outside my tent) has also been furnished with a nice big tent – right in front of my flap….. why o’ why lord, are people so stupid as to pitch a big ass tent in a tiny spot?????? (I haven’t held my breath – and I didn’t get an answer). But we persevere and get on with the job in hand, which involves finding our way around this large site, sussin’ the treats, bars etc and finding all the little hidden places that offer the fun-est of times.
The site is cut in 2 by a peaceful and calming reed thatched lake, with a dainty wooden walk bridge and soaring dragon fly’s, scenic views of the main area and even a hot air balloon wafting its bulbous onion shaped girth as the sun hangs heavy. Nice. Then onwards, into a secret wooded area with all types of tents, yurts and stuff, featuring craft – try-it-yo-self demo’s and make-a-table-leg witling looms. It was akin to travelling through time. I did find the loo’s on stilts a bit mad, as there was a 12 inch slot at the foot of each door, and given the angle of the ‘aloft loo’s’, those passing by could have a really good view. Design fault?
But bearing all doesn’t seem to be much of an issue for some (and by some I mean loads) of folks as there are top bits and bottom bits wiggling about, taking full advantage of the cool breeze. I do not partake as I am, of course, doing a mans work.
So, back to the main arena area. We have, several large bars, cocktail bars, tasty eats places, a big UFO?? never found out what that was all about.., a cinema, a hotel, helty-skelty, a games arena, hot tubs, sauna….. on and on and on and on…… for quite some time.
Music – well there is a vibe here at Shambala, and its more of a roots-y, chilled get up, with a heavy sprinkling of the Reggae. There are dedicated dance areas, and the dance if far reaching, from roots-y to French dance and live acts. The rain is an on and off and on again situation, and I feel most punters are filling tents not for their personal love of said dance, but just to get the hell out of the nasty cold stuff.
There are a lot of really nice and fun types here, but from my personal experience there are also a few not-so-nice types, and one occasion I had to get the security involved – I aint no weed ladies and gents, and I can handle a situation, but some people will try their level best to destroy what you have (and I mean own) – to which, I don’t take kindly too – and get a touch upset.
I did have a really good time here and im glad I came. This is a fun packed place to be – with more than a few oddities to experience – I would recommend the hot tubs!!
Many, many thanks to Alex and the gang for once again taking care of me and arranging for aaamusic to come along.
See y’all soon