Feel the Shambalove as Kass and Honey check out the Shambhala Music Festival for the first time and get “welcomed home” by their new “family”.

On August 9-12, we sent correspondents Kass and Honey to Shambhala, one of Canada’s longest-running electronic festivals, at the Salmo River Ranch in BC. The family-run event is a legendary event- it’s been called one of “the seven most transformational music festivals on earth”  by Rolling Stone– and it stands out amidst the festival circuit for its sense of community, strict no-alcohol policy, and pioneering onsite drug testing services provided by ANKORS, among many other things.

Kass and Honey endured an hours-long drive to get to the Salmo River Ranch in the West Kootenays, and they were even sent to the wrong line to check-in- which added an extra nine hours! But that’s actually fairly normal, as Shambhala veterans told them it can take anywhere between 2-18 hours to get in.

On the plus side, the delay meant the duo got to experience the Shambhala line-up party.

As Kass described it:

“Bass thumps from cars and people walk around hugging, welcoming each other home, sharing joints and describing their favourites from past Shambhala adventures.”

For Honey, one of the biggest stand-outs of Shambhala was the no-alcohol policy, which she called “mind-boggling” but in a good way because she often prefers weed over wine saying, “For a baked beaver (/stoner) like me, the freedom to spark a joint on the dance floor, or get your harder drugs tested right in front of a security guard with confidence, instead of being able to crack a ($10 & gross IMO) beer like usual, is nothing short of revolutionary.

And majorly harm reducing, I might add. ”

From the looks and sounds of it, Kass and Honey had an amazing weekend at Shambhala, and on top of all the trippy visuals, spontaneous dance parties, and amazing spirits, the Salmo River was the cherry on top. Kass called the river “a sight to behold” while Honey said the river was a big part of the “game-changing magic that Shambhala provides”.

It’s nice to know that even when we’re caught up in the feast of the senses that is Shambhala, the beauty of nature can still take our breath away.

Looking back at her first Shambhala experience, Kass said:

“Shambhala is a festival like no other, a magical unparalleled world of love, acceptance, freedom and music nestled in the heart of the Kootenays on the beautiful Salmo River. There is something for everyone to discover there.”

Meanwhile, Honey had the experience of a lifetime, saying: 

“I’ve heard Shambhala called ’the Burning Man of BC’ with a similar cult following, but whatever the case, you always remember your first Shambhala.”

Photos courtesy of the Shambhala Music Festival.