Shambhala 2012

As featured on HUSH Magazine

Shambhala is a four-day electronic music festival in the Salmo Valley of Eastern British Columbia. The 19+ event draws spectators and musicians from across America. The festival site is 20km from the highway down a dirt road, on a farm with a river running through it. The festival boasts 6 different stages, each with its own decorative theme and individual style of music. The Living Room is a chill stage on the beach that plays mellower electronic sounds and funky reggae vibes. It is the perfect place to hang out when during the day by the river.

The Rock Pit almost doesn’t fit in at this primarily electronic music based festival. But the curators do their best to find new and undiscovered live groups and djs to mix and comingle without too much womp womp and bleep bloop. DJ KatO is seen here spinning up some catnip treats for his crew of Project Party Cat people at the Rock Pit.

Erica Dee and her band mix digital technology with old school soul.

The Fractal Forest is on of the favorite stages at the Shambhala farm. It combines the natural beauty of an enchanted forest with the latest in psychedelic lights, lasers and 3D video mapping to create a truly out-of-this-world experience. Sunday night Smalltown DJs hosted a 6-hour Fractal Funk Jam featuring their favorite DJs from the lineup and dropping all of your favorite 80s dance hits.

The Victoria, BC electro trio, Celebrity Traffic, put on an upbeat rock-infused set at the Rock Pit just before the big names of the night were about to hit the stages.

Meanwhile at the Village, things were heating up for a stacked lineup of dubstep daddies on one of the most elaborate stages anywhere. The Village is built like giant tree fort with stairs and bridges spanning above the crowd to bring you to various spectator levels to take in all of the show. Self-proclaimed dub ninja, Slim Pickins from Calgary, AB, put together a raucous rasta-inspired dub set for an under-packed village crowd.

Next to perform at the Village was San Francisco-based producer, ill.Gates. His set started to really push the limits of the wall of speakers that line the front row of the dance floor with a one dirty dubstep track after another.

Dub Fx & Flower Fairy hit the stage next. Using beat boxing and vocal loops, while not being shadowed behind mix boards and laptop screens, the married dub-duo excited the crowd with a highly interactive set.

Dub Fx and Fairy Flower kept it exciting with a surprise visit from the care bears, an accepted fan’s onstage marriage proposal and an audience-assisted version of Happy Birthday, but not before giving the soundman a hard time about the level of bass in his monitors. Dub Fx closed his set with a great remix of Sublime’s ‘What I Got’.

Pretty Lights played his second performance of the festival at the Village stage on Sunday night. His second performance was vastly different from Saturday night’s almost sleepy set at the Pagoda Stage. There wasn’t an empty spot anywhere within 300 yards of the stage; every level and every platform was jam packed with colorfully costumed party animals trying to catch a glimpse of the towering, electronic wizard. He pulled from his huge library of tracks to give the crowd a spellbound experience they would not soon forget.

The young Porter Robinson was performing congruently with Pretty Lights, and it’s hard to perceive there was a single person at one of the other 4 stages during that 2-hour timeframe. Porter is a legend in his own right. After touring with Avicii, he now sells out huge shows and headlines major electronic festivals such as Shambhala. You can tell he loves what he does; he is always singing along and getting the crowd hyped with a smile never leaving his face.

The crowd went absolutely bananas while Porter delivered hit after hit to the extra crowded Pagoda stage on Sunday evening.

More photos here.

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