Where: Salmo, British Columbia, Canada
When: August 5th to August 8th
Why Go: Six stages, 10,000 attendees and 2,000 volunteers make Shambhala the largest EDM festival … in Western Canada. What makes it more than just another music festival, though, is the down-home atmosphere nurtured by the Bundschuh family, who's children founded the festival in 1998 and continue to host it on the family's 500 acre ranch. There's no corporate sponsorship and no booze or other illegal substances allowed on site. A sober transformational festival? "Yes, it exists with this well run, nurturing gathering," says Conley. "Less of the thump thump thump of a typical EDM festival, this event is more lyrical than driven, more dreamy than intense."
There are art installations, painted murals, yoga platforms, meditation nooks and ethical fair trade vendors spread throughout the venue. There's also an organic garden in the middle of the grounds. Shambhala’s trademark stage is Fractal Forest, where DJs play in burnt-out, old growth cedar stumps surrounded by fire breathers, hula-dancers, fairies, and other harder to categorize creatures. The Pagoda is Shambhala's main stage; part-temple, part spaceship, with insane visual effects, it attracts big name acts like Pretty Lights and Griz. This year's headliners include Questlove, Beats Antique, Cut Chemist, Felix da Housecat, Marshmello, Nightmares on Wax, Skratch Bastid, Grandtheft, The Upbeats, Z-Trip and hundreds more.
Official website: shambhalamusicfestival.com