Shambala Festival Review Blog

Now that the festival dust has more than settled, it’s actually probably decomposed by now! but thats how long it's taken me to find the words to describe the magic of this festival, a shambolic ask but i'll give it a crack!

Shambala Festival is like jumping into a adult sized box of festival & dress up curiosities, a circus aesthetic jack in the box pop up of venues and vendors made into mini islands, the place is an absolute maze! 🤡

Set in the rolling hills of north hampshire i believe! By this point (august bank holiday) AKA last festival weekend of the season, I had no idea where in the UK i was.

This theme seemed to continue because we couldn't get our bearings of the site the whole time and we're still finding lil tents and stages we hadn't been in hidden away on the last night.

So you felt like a child lost in a huge circus playground, excited every time you left camp for what next there was instore to explore. Like kids in a candy store experiencing the childhoods we were denied of by the system, healing the inner child.

The only route i needed to remember anyway was to the way back to the van, where we’re we pitched up in our in the my cause uk private campsite in our vw camper as i was working with my cause doing content & yoga & jack and i also both helped out on blue gate, doing v. light searches!! AKA next to the family campsite… 

Slightly unnerving the thought of  waking up to screaming kids, turns out kids are happy at festivals, I mean of course they are! everyones happy at festivals! 

Shambala Festival takes main stage as the most sustainable UK festival, they've won many outstanding greener festival awards and are paving the way for the future, a model for the rest of society who show how we can co live and open eyes to cheaper and more environmentally friendly ways of living....

There's no meat sold onsite so if you love a BBQ or can't live without bacon in the morning this festival is not for you. There are no cups on site, you cannot get a drink if you do not bring your own and in crew camp you physically can't get a meal if you don't bring your own reusable plate. There's recycling checks on site, compost loos, sustainability talks galore, fully solar powered stages, and not one but of rubbish left behind, a different planet to compared to reading festival!

But who’s going to take note from of a bunch of raving hippies??

I was volunteering on blue gate and one thing shambala is really strict on is NO GLASS ON SITE, so this lady rocked up with bottle beers, like why?! so we had to take them off her, only to realise she had a cycling helemt and had cycled all the way from Brighton! They were bud lights as well 😳

Im not going to lie shambala is hands down is THE best place for a psychedelic visual trip. Everywhere was glitzing, sparkling, so colourful maybe it was the mushrooms but the place is mesmerising, from reggae roots corner, to miami nights in reflex, the stunning imaginarium, squatters tights to smokey tentacles all full on attention sequin stand outs for me. One night i even locked eyes mesmerized for some time with a smurf land circus aesthetic bar and that was just the woodland bar. From the top of the ferris wheel this circus playground came to life shining for miles to see! Not forgetting norty mortys the secret gin bar at the back of green camping ... honestly the most beautiful festival woodland have ever seen, like who ever curated norty mortys must live rent free inside my imagination.


Me & the fiance love a forest festival so were instantly drawn to the woodlands but my fave corner of shambala has to be Rebel Soul, Shambalas beating political heart by day with activists and experts, sharing skills and knowledge on the fight for justice and change. by night punk, electro & the only venue playing heavy tekno . Where i got a new found appreciation for the mosh pit when i realised it’s a controlled anger release! Amongst this madness is a radical bookshop cafe where you can rest post rebellion for book dive & slice of cake 📚🍰☕️

It's safe to say shambala isn't afraid to step into the genreverse, its a absolute shambles of different music cultures and is why they call it a journey through utopia. I have to say though as a electronic music lover the music just wasn't quite there, we found ourselves bouncing between a few vendors that we knew were a vibe - norty mortys, squaters tights and rebel soul.


One thing I was not expecting was the shambalan punters to be born entertainers, like paid actors that know how to trip out the crowd, we people watched a couple set up a disco ball pigeon on a selfie stick stand and light for around a hour so that a massive pigeon shadow shinned on the set 😅, and the cutest man who spent half his festival on his knees to spread ultimate 90's nostalgia vibes with his lightning shock top hat, and we were so here for the randomness.

It's not the kind of festival where you see people fucked i mean people are definitely doing drugs but you can’t really tell, everyone is super respectful in that sense of where they are taking things ect because there are alot of kids sharing the space. It is a drinking festival! When it got dark there were quite alot of drunk people pushing into tents and being annoying drunk crowd. Shamala is like one of those festivals where your always on the move, best to go a smaller group of 2-5, the sets/ performances most around 45mins so if you run late you’ve missed it. I think when i revisit il pre book a day on a craft workshop in the craft field we kept walking past the all day workshops that looked so inspiring, back to our roots kind of traditional heart warming workshops where you could make copper spoons, weave wooden baskets, drums making, it looked so therapeutic and would be the perfect day of rest before a energy filled magical night or a day in the sauna for some space to relax & zone out amidst shambolical chaos. 

Oh and apparently sauna vibes are a thing on sundays at shambala! everyone was in there! there's 2 sauna areas and you don't have to book in advance like hot tubs. It's actually inspired me, it's a good idea to relax before coming home especially if you've worked the festival so am planning on more sauna sundays. 🌞👌🏻

For more festival reviews like this pitch up on my instagram. ⛺️

Lucy xxx