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Our favorite past PNW festival lineups: Shambhala 2015

Photo: Joffrey Photo/Joffrey Middleton-Hope

The landscape of what remains of the 2020 festival season is changing on a daily basis, and fans of a variety of genres are wondering when we’ll be able to enjoy a live show with our friends again. Those scenarios will play out over the coming months. Until then, we can always look back at the incredible memories we’ve made during festival seasons of the past.

A great avenue for such reminiscing is perusing past festival lineups. We’ve had no shortage of incredible artists and acts make their way through the Northwest over the years. From Paradiso and Shambhala to Treefort and Sasquatch, the PNW has been routinely spoiled year after year.

So, we’re taking a look back at some of our favorite festival lineups of the past in an effort to remember the good times during our current struggles.

Of course, the health and safety of everyone is far more important than whether or not we’ll be seeing our favorite artists at our favorite venues this summer. But doing what we can to stay positive is important, too.

We kicked off our series looking at one of the most stacked lineups in PNW EDM history: FreakNight 2013. Now, we’re going north of the border to an all-time great lineup from our favorite festival: Shambhala 2015.

Headliners

Even a quick glance at the Shambhala 2015 lineup is enough to make a dance music fan’s heart race. Shambhala is all about variety, something they provide year after year at their six stages. The group of major headliners the team brought to The Farm in 2015 is a testament to that fact.

At the Pagoda, the return of Pretty Lights, who performed at The Village in 2012, was the talk of the festival. That, and the Mystery Headliner (we’ll get to that). They were joined by Dirtybird Records boss Claude VonStroke, HARD Events founder Destructo, and GRiZ fresh off of the release of his fourth studio album, Say It Loud, on the festival’s de facto mainstage.

We were also treated to a snapshot into the trends of the time, with tropical house figureheads Kygo and Thomas Jack also performing at The Pagoda.

Skrillex’s return to the festival, following his 2011 set at The Pagoda, was big news. The fact that he was also playing The Village, a little more than a year on from the release of Recess, was icing on the cake.

Being able to put major names on stages other than The Pagoda is part of what makes Shambhala so great. Jauz taking over The Fractal Forest in his Shambhala debut is another example of that.

Festivals, especially those like Shambhala, are about much more than the big names on the lineup. But when an event can pull of both bringing the heavy hitters, while showcasing up-and-coming or unknown artists from a variety of genres, we’re not going to complain.

BassBassBass

Shambhala is never short on bass, and 2015 was no exception. Joining Skrillex, Excision, Zomboy, Downlink, Koan Sound, Terravita, and Camo & Krooked put together a well-rounded weekend of bass-heavy fun at The Village.

British Columbia’s Excision released new tunes in the form of Codename X earlier that year. Zomboy did too, releasing his Resurrected LP. This would also be the final time Terravita as a trio would perform at Shambhala.

Big Gigantic offered some live-act variety at The Village. Meanwhile, festival-favorites ill.Gates, Stylust, and Subvert reminded us what the stage is all about.

Liquid Stranger was there too. No, not at The Village. At the festival. But instead of The Village, he got all kinds of weird (read: awesome) at 2:30 a.m. at The Grove.

Special Attractions

Among the many things Shambhala does well, routinely bringing interesting names and performances to The Farm is near the top of the list. In 2015, The Fractal Forest hosted sets from DJ Jazzy Jeff (of Fresh Prince fame), Mix Master Mike (of the Beastie Boys), and Jillionaire (of Major Lazer).

The Living Room enjoyed a four-hour set from the legendary DJ Harvey, as well as one of two sets from electronic music mainstay Tipper over the weekend. The other Tipper set featured visuals from renowned artist Android Jones and was can’t miss stuff over at The Grove.

On top of the loaded list of artists mentioned previously, Lucent Dossier Experience returned to The Village in 2015, putting on their one-of-a-kind show at the bass haven.

And then there was the Mystery Headliner. By the time of the reveal of who the artist was, word had spread throughout the festival grounds that Zeds Dead would be playing at The Pagoda in the Mystery Headliner slot at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.

When it was indeed the duo taking the mainstage, The Pagoda stage grounds were as packed as they’d ever been. It was the duos first time playing at Shambhala since 2012.

Rising Stars

Shambhala 2015 was also host to a several up-and-coming artists making their way into the broader dance music landscape throughout that summer.

The Pagoda stage showcased two talented women they’d have back multiple times over the years when they had Mija and Whipped Cream perform, following Zeds Dead’s set. Time-slots at 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. may not sound appealing, but they put together a couple of the best sets of the weekend as the sun began to rise on Sunday morning.

Over at the AMPhitheatre, Space Jesus and Ekali got 7:30 p.m. sets on Thursday and Friday respectively, and gave us a glimpse into the wildly entertaining skillset the rest of the dance music community would soon come to appreciate as well.

Let us know what you think about the Shambhala Music Festival 2015 lineup, and what memories you have from the festival! There’s nothing quite like Shambhala, and we can’t wait until we can return to The Farm next summer. Share your thoughts with us by commenting below, on Facebook, or replying on Twitter!

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Written By

Born and raised in the Northwest, professionalized in Pullman. Enjoying the ride that dance music provides in our lovely corner of the country.

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