Those were the two words spoken to us by every festival goer at Shambhala upon finding out 2014 was our very first year on what’s lovingly dubbed “the farm.” As the weekend went on, those words began to make more and more sense. Salmo River Ranch became a place where we were both completely at ease, and exhilaratingly lost at sea.
Unlike any festival we’ve ever seen, you’d be hard-pressed to find classic tent-poles that make up any of the name-brand experiences: No $12 beer, no undercover law enforcement, and no gargantuan big room mainstage drops. Add in their progressive approach to drug safety and harm reduction, and it’s immediately clear that Shambhala is not a festival afraid to be different. That philosophy was perhaps summed up best by the only rules they live by on the farm, outlined in the “Shamanifesto”:
You don’t have to be perfect, just really good. Every problem can be solved. Stay present. Be perfectly clear. Speak your truth. Love bomb the farm. Empower. Inspire. Everyday, Shambassador.
These rules came to define our weekend, as we came across some of the most loving, kind, and thoughtful vibes we’ve ever taken in at a festival. But why exactly was Shambhala our favorite festival of 2014 over all other challengers?