Friday, 6 September 2013

2013 Festival Round-Up - Shambala

As the last of the big festivals, Bestival, gets underway, it's time to look back at all the amazing festivals of 2013! I totted up eight in total this year, though five of them were for work and didn't involve camping. So they only half count!

My two favourites of the year, though, were Shambala and Secret Garden Party. I suppose it's unfair to discount the festivals I work on - so much time at those is spent backstage missing all the action that it's impossible to judge it fairly. But for sheer vibes and beauty, these two come out top for me!

Photo from Shambala Festival
This was my first time at Shambala and I was so impressed. Everyone was lovely, there was so much to do, and it looked like a pulsing, vibrant, ball of fun! So many festivals could learn from this one. Wherever you turned, there was something new to discover - exactly what a festival should be about.

I hardly took any photos there, which is a shame, but I was far too busy drinking beer and discovering stuff to be organised (plus, phone battery!).

'Scuse the hair and face / That VIEW! / The Chai Wallahs stage lineup
The tent photo makes me sad because I actually enjoy camping at festivals these days, and it's going to be such a long time til I do it again. When I went to my first ever festival (Global Gathering '08), I detested it and swore I'd never do it again! But now I think I've got it down. Blow-up mattress, minimal supplies, lots of glitter, big jumpers and comfy shoes. Done.

That beautiful view. Sigh. I'm hoping that next summer I won't have quite as many festivals to work at (depending on what's next in my career) so I can focus on enjoying more views like that. The Chai Wallahs stage was where I discovered an amazing band - Archipel - we just happened to stumble in when they started playing and I was absolutely mesmerized. Stunning, mental, French electro-pop.

I'm definitely going to go next year - and would recommend it for anyone wanting a totally relaxed, hippie vibe at a festival, with a hedonistic edge (especially by night!).

Shambala Festival runs next year from 21st-24th August.