By Michelle Swami
VANCOUVER — Shambhala Music Festival is not your average, run-of-the-mill music festival. You won’t see corporate-sponsored swag littered on the ground, nor will you see drunk frat dudes in tank tops or mass amounts of flower crowns (well, maybe a few). Shambhala is more than just a music festival. Nestled in a small town called Salmo, BC (population 1,139), it is one of the most anticipated events all summer, where 15,000 and some-odd people call “home.”
Known for its positive vibes and laid back atmosphere, Shambhala has seen a surge in popularity since its inception in 1997. Starting off as a small birthday party, the Salmo River Ranch has hosted a big party, one weekend every summer for nearly 20 years. That being said, the artists that play this festival every year get bigger and bigger, some even so legendary, you would be glad to see them in such a small setting.
2016 is by far the biggest year for the long running festival as it is the first year the festival sold out before any artists were announced. With many top tier international and local DJs/acts to see, there is something for everyone. If you would like to check out something new or to overall get hyped for the festival in general, here at BeatRoute we got you covered; here are our top ten must-see acts at Shambhala 2016!
10) The Gaslamp Killer
The man behind the legendary Low End Theory parties in LA, is headlining the newly renamed AMPhitheatre. Expect some bass heavy hip-hop from this man who always brings an incredible, hypnotic live show with him wherever he goes (with killer dance moves to boot!).
Friday, 12:00 a.m., AMPhitheatre
One of the bigger names on the bill, AlunaGeorge is one of the few non DJ headliners. Coming from London, you may have heard this duo on tracks from electronic artists Disclosure, Zhu, and DJ Snake. Aluna Francis’ sexy voice and George Reid’s garage/bass heavy production make the best combination and an live act not to miss.
Friday 11:30 p.m., Pagoda Stage
8) Nightmares on Wax
The Living Room is one of the most beautiful stages Shambhala has to offer. Located beside the river, the day time artists bring beach vibes to the stage, as you can hear the artists whether you’re swimming, floating down the river, soaking your feet, or getting wet as a shower substitute. But at night, the Living Room Stage turns into a full on beach party. Headliners of that stage this year are Warp records artists, Nightmares on Wax. Being in the game since before a lot of the Shambhala attendees have even been born, you know Nightmares on Wax know what they’re doing, bringing their old school hip-hop vibes to Shambhala.
Sunday, 4:00 p.m., The Living Room
7) The Funk Hunters
If you like funk music, then no doubt you have been to the one and only Fractal Forest stage at Shambhala. Unofficially dubbed as the “Funkiest place on earth,” there is no doubt it is just that, with many funky DJs gracing the forest throughout the entire weekend. Local boys, the Funk Hunters perform coming off of a double sold out show at the Commodore Ballroom late last year; the Shambhala favourites are one of the must-see acts year after year.
Friday, 2:00 a.m., Fractal Forest
6) Keys N Krates
Another Canadian group, Keys N Krates from Toronto, have been gaining notoriety in the past couple of years due to their infectious live show and songs you may recognize on certain movie soundtracks (Minions). From these music festival veterans, expect bass heavy trap beats that will no doubt get you literally moving thanks to the PK Sound speaker set up at the Village stage.
Sunday, 11:00 p.m., Village stage
Playing at the newest Shambhala stage, The Grove, this hidden stage is also one of the most beautiful, with a platform overlooking the stage and bright, yet subtle lights. Shigeto’s jazzy, low sub-bass, ambient music will no doubt add to the vibe of an already atmospheric stage.
Sunday, 2:00 a.m., The Grove
Not much is known about the mysterious masked DJ. Rumours have been flying around for years stating that this elusive DJ was none other than producer Dotcom. Others have come up with theories that he was Skrillex. Marshmello had us all trolled earlier in the year, as the mask finally came off and underneath that white mask was DJ Tiesto. Of course, he was trolling all of us with that unveiling, and his true identity is still unknown. With Shambhala being a small festival, will we find out who Marshmello really is? I guess we will have to see.
Sunday, 1:00 a.m., Pagoda
A name you may have heard of before, this Roots frontman and Jimmy Fallon mainstay has been crate digging for many years. He has an impeccable taste in music and knows how to play to a crowd. Expect to hear lots of hip-hop, neo-soul, and funk at the Fractal Forest when he graces the stage.
Saturday, 9:00 p.m., Fractal Forest
2) Caspa & Rusko
Anyone that was a fan of the heavy dubstep that dominated clubs in the early 2010s, has probably heard of Caspa and/or Rusko. The two behind the infamous FabricLive have joined forces for a string of tour dates and festivals this summer. Get ready to hear the same bass heavy dubstep from these two and lots of jams you haven’t heard since that “Brostep” invasion.
Friday, 12:30a.m., The Village
1) Destructo Sunrise Sermon
If you are a fan of electronic music, you would have heard of the wildly successful cruise, Holy Ship. The man behind the festival cruise is none other than Hard Events founder and CEO, Destructo. And if you have been on Holy Ship (also known as “home” to some people), you would have probably heard of the Sunrise Sermon: a two hour musical journey that takes place at Sunrise. This year, Destructo brings that sermon to Shambhala, where he will close off the festival. Expect to hear everything from house, techno, and hip-hop. And with the amount of DJs playing the festival, you never know who will show up during his set!
Shambhala happens August 5-8 at Salmo River Ranch.Alunageorge, BC, British Columbia, Caspa, Destructo, Destructo Sunrise Sermon, Keys N Krates, Marshmello, Nightmares on Wax, Questlove, Rusko, Shambhala, Shambhala 2016, Shigeto, The Funk Hunters, The Gaslamp Killer