So, to say that it’s taken me the best part of this week to recover from the Bank Holiday weekend would be no understatement, as I was was lucky enough to spend the weekend at Shambala! A smaller, family-friendly festival, set in a beautiful (and I mean BEAUTIFUL) secret country house location in Northamptonshire, Shambala was the perfect size and most certainly perfectly formed festival. We’re talking over 200 diverse acts across 12 live stages, not to mention the awesome workshops, inspiring talks and debates, stand-up comedy, interactive theatre and nationally acclaimed poetry, oh and the circus and acrobatics… Because, why the hell not?!
In a very concise nutshell, Shambala was a haven; ticking both the ‘legendary party’ box and, in their own words, ‘perfectly blending creativity and participation’… Let’s call a spade of spades here, Festival Brides LOVED.
So, we thought we’d bring you the highlights from our brief visit (we were only there Saturday and part of Sunday, boo!) through the eyes of Instagram, from our own personal photos and those of the good Shambalians we shared it with! Please, click the images for credits and let’s do what we do best: let’s talk festivals!
Come on, it’s me we’re talking about, like I was gonna pass up the opportunity to plaster my face in glitter and get a hair braid from the lovely Face Box Boutique (FYI, the gal does weddings and has a photobooth too!)
Now, without disclosing the secret venue, let me tell you, this countryside spot is just GORGEOUS.
A lake, an enchanted woodland, oodles of green space (ok, so it was brown by Sunday, but hey!) and a stately home on the horizon, it’s just the perfect location for a bunch of festival-loving hippies to chill, admire the view and love on the music!
I gotta tell you, and my beau can testify to this, I pretty much lost my mind when I saw the main Shambala Stage… It was totally decked out in Tibetan Prayer Flag bunting (remember that post we wrote, back in September 2014?!) and looked so rad, I can’t even! Add to that a ridiculously awesome performance from Orkestra Del Sol and I was swoonin’ pretty dang hard!
Then there were the food vans. Out in full force, as you’d expect at any good festival, but we were next-level stoked to get to sample the Mac ‘n Cheese HEAVEN that is Anna-Mae’s. Three things about you should know about Anna-Mae’s
1. The Don Macaroni is the absolute BOMB. Their original mac ‘n cheese recipe, plus basil infused oil, plus fresh basil, PLUS crispy bacon! I MEAN.
2. It’s the raddest looking food van ever. The vintage US vibe is strong and we’re ALL over it. Hearts for eyes.
3. They. Cater. Weddings. #justsayin’
Prepare to drool…
…Oh, and then follow that little indulgence up with a trip to the beautiful Healing Meadows or one of the abundant yoga sessions…
No really, Ashtanga, Power Ballad, Laughter Yoga… There was a practice for everyone!
‘Like an open-air gallery’, everywhere you turned there was something beautiful to behold at Shambala! From giant tulips (which you better believe lit up at night)…
Or marvel at the giant (no really, they were huge!) willow-sculpted figures dotted around the site…
Not to mention the incredible umbrella installation (apologies, I’m not sure what it was officially called/who’d coordinated it), but in a happy coincidence we stumbled upon it: a mass of festival goers, all holding led lit umbrellas, which were gradually fading from colour to colour, and my goodness did it look beautiful as the group wandered around site…
It has to be said, that another highlight (I think probably for most Shambalians) was Mother Nature doing her thang! On Saturday night especially, the she really showed off with the most incredible sunset, which made for amazingly good vibes for the rest of the night.
Would you just look at that sunlight through the prayer flags at main stage, just gorgeous.
That shot really captures the warm feel of Saturday night.
CREATURES OF THE NIGHT
Ha, so Shambala comes to LIFE at night. Between the big lights of the ferris wheel, the nostalgic bass of Roni Size and grand finale of fireworks on Sunday night, the festival was a hub of activity at night, and everyone was out to play!
BRIGHT BOBS + GLITTERED FACES
And finally, it wouldn’t be Festival Brides if we didn’t talk about the insane festival fashion we saw at Shambala.
I’m talking all the glitter and the most brightly coloured hair you’ve ever seen. SWOON.
Ok ok, so there was a cosmic fancy dress carnival on the Saturday, so that *might* have had a little something to do with it, but we were head over heels for the scattering of sequin stars on everyone’s cheeks and the Leeloo Dallas style neon bob wigs.
And yes, of course I came away wishing I could rock this look every damn day!
That cosmic carnival parade I mentioned? Here are just a couple of highlights, but you really should check out the gallery on Shambala’s website, the level of ingenuity, humour and sheer effort was beyond!
Peace + Love