I’ve heard how amazing Shambhala Music Festival is and I’ve been told for a long time that I needed to go. I’m not much of a festival kid and I never even bothered to check the lineup, but so many of my amazing friends were going to be there that I decided I’d check it out anyways. As the days were leading up the festival I nearly had it set in my head that I wasn’t even going to go. I had no ticket, no ride there, and the task ahead seemed too daunting to have a fair payoff in the end. This blog is what convinced me to finally go. I knew I’d be able to get a ton of really amazing photos and share them with the amazing people I’d meet. So thank you for that!
The Road To Shambhala
This all started sometime when I was in Calgary and talking to my friends about the Shambhala Music Festival. They told me how amazing it was, how much fun I’d have, and how great it would be for my camera and I. We were going to take The CoLaboratory but it was in state of disrepair and things were taking longer than expected. I ended up hitchhiking home from Calgary to handle some things before heading to the fest.
In Seattle I had to tie up some loose ends before I could go back on the road full time. I ended up drinking for a couple of days and missing 2 busses, but I finally caught a bus to Vancouver. There was drama at the border and apparently I had to leave the country by the 12th because I didn’t show them I left after my last trip when they gave me a restricted visa. That is a separate adventure though!
I got to Vancouver with no ticket and no ride to the festival. I would be relying on the magic of the universe to deliver me there safely. I scoured craigslist and eventually I found someone selling a ticket for $125, which was well below face value. I had in my head that I would not spend more than $150, and this looked like it was going to work out perfectly. I sent a few messages and ended up agreeing to just give her the $150 I wanted to spend. We were both happy.
In order to purchase a ticket from someone else, they need to give you a written letter giving you permission to pick up the ticket, a photocopy of their ID, and the paypal receipt from their purchase. I crafted up a brilliant craigslist post a few days prior that was sure to get me to the festival.
My email was blowing up with people wanting to give me rides. Eventually I found someone from Montreal who was driving from Vancouver and the timing worked out perfectly for both of us. She picked me up and off we went to the Shambhala Music Festival. She asked me if I had plans to meet my friends and seemed surprised that I was certain I’d run into all of them without having made any attempts at communicating a meeting point. I’d run into all of my friends within the first 3 hours of being there.
The Shambhala Music Festival
The festival in of itself was great. The land was gorgeous, the people were friendly, and the music was fantastic. I danced my face off for hours and hours and hours, had fun conversations with amazing people, and overall had an incredible time. There were food vendors that served up good food (albeit expensive), there was free drinking water if you had a vessel for it, and the environment felt safe and welcoming for anyone to be whoever they wanted.
Whenever I wasn’t raging my face off and dancing until my body hurt, I was taking photos. I shot with my Pentax K-5 and 3 lenses. A Pentax-A 50mm 1.7, Sigma 10-20mm, and a weather sealed Pentax 18-135mm. I also used my Nikon SB-24 flash which is an absolute dream to use. It’s a fully manual flash, but for the $30 I paid for it, it’s a work horse that I’m glad to have. I learned a lot about shooting in this environment and found many challenges to overcome.
Photos From The Shambhala Music Festival
Since the motivation of the event was to take as many photos as I could, here they are! If you see yourself in these photos, head over to facebook and tag yourself in them, please please please. It helps spread my website, photos, and stories as far as possible!
From here, the next stop is Burning Man. Again, I don’t have a ticket or a ride, so let me know if you can help me out by leaving a message below! I’m hoping my karma from the free ticket I gave away last year comes back to me.
And If you like festivals and want to read about the one that changed my life forever, head over to this post: Going Off The Deep End At Rothbury.