Consistently brilliant, Shambala ticks every box as the finest festival for families – here’s why…
1. The People
Undoubtedly the nicest selection of human beings you will come across in your entire life. Shambala guests are a real community. Thousands of beautiful souls come together to celebrate being alive and connect with each other while releasing their innermost child. We firmly believe that it’s the people who turn an event from just a festival into a community. The diversity and acceptance in the Shambala crowd is unbeatable. In fact, there’s a whole unofficial online community over on Facebook here where Shambalans help each other out and chat all year. Everyone is welcome at Shambala, young and old, big or small, pink or purple, plain or spicy!
2. Frolicking Fun
Shambala offers non-stop opportunities to play and be silly. Whatever your age, you are free to explore your inner child and encouraged to let yourself go by a huge warm team of fun and supportive Shambala crew. Even if dressing up and throwing yourself centre stage isn’t for you, we guarantee by the end of the weekend you’ll be releasing your hidden Kate Bush or busting out to drum n bass zumba with the kids.
Shambala really is one huge playground for all.
Kids will not want to leave… You have been warned!
All corners of Shambala are family-friendly (hence it being our all-time no.1 recommendation), but Playtopia is dedicated to those with kids. A festival within a festival, jam-packed all day with activities and entertainment specifically for little ones. The love all the crew in the kids field have for Shambala is clear. Big shout out to the inspiring Lucas and the circus crew who welcomed our big kids this year and got them juggling and unicycling. They’re still practising now!
It is easy to find yourself in Playtopia all weekend if you let the kids lead the way. Make monsters, get messy, design carnival costumes, draw dragons, and so many more free craft activities. Master the crazy bikes, learn an instrument, bounce on the trampolines, and then join the Space Pirates’ manic party games if you still have the energy.
Fully committed to being sustainable, circular, regenerative, net positive, and earth and life respecting, Shambala really does walk the walk rather than talk the talk. They’ve taken some super forward-thinking initiatives in the events industry, and we love them for it 🥰 Other festivals really need to follow the lead and learn from the success of Shambala and the respect they’ve gained from their loyal attendees. A true sign of this is the rubbish-free site all weekend and the spotless camping fields ticket holders leave.
Learning during the festival is offered in such a thoughtful way. Serious and silly subjects are addressed in the talks and workshops on offer with facilitators delivering some important messages in a positive and fun format suitable for all. Workshops are a big part of Shambala and you will always find something to delve into.
The calm and restorative craft fields provide a chance to connect with traditional methods. Take time out at Shambala to patiently create something wonderful in wood, leather, fabric, metals, waste materials or just your imagination.
As big fans of theatrical experiences, finding corners of complete escapism is what makes a festival for us. Rather than just music concert-style stages, Shambala’s gems are the hidden venues you might just stumble across. The efforts put into creating visually delightful mini playgrounds makes the difference in how long kids stay engaged. Every venue you enter at Shambala has something to entertain so take a look through the wardrobe and explore.
Firmly up there with one of our family’s core memory experiences is the 13-year-old being recruited as head chef at Le Bistrot de la Salle D’Attente (The Waiting Room 2023). This hilarious immersive theatre experience was so much fun she sneaked back in the back door to personally address an unsatisfied bistro guest who complained about the quality of the soup!
The epic carnival parade follows a random theme each year. Shambalans never fail to take the challenge and throw their families in head first. The finest homemade fancy dress you will ever see! You can of course choose to just observe but you will be in the minority. If dressing up isn’t for you, lose the afternoon building a shonky treehouse of your childhood dreams or lazing in a hammock in the hidden woodland playground.
Food for the soul! A reason to visit Shambala alone… The food is immense. Honestly. Having taken the bold move to go completely vegetarian, Shambala bring the finest plant-based eats from across the land. Mouthwater magic that’s guaranteed to convert even the most hardy carnivore from the dark site. Unbelievably good. You are also welcome to bring your own food and there are no unfriendly bag checks on entry which makes Shambala an affordable option for families budgeting.
There’s a family-friendly cafe open from early morning and a fantastic ‘Cake Hole’ over the little bridge in the healing area. A gorgeous spot to sit fire-side and enjoy cake and make new friends or just watch the world go by.
Everyone cares. There is a real sense of community and looking out for each other at Shambala. For a mid to large-sized festival it would be hard to find an event that felt so safe. It does get busy in some areas at times but our kids never feel intimidated. Shambala is a big celebration and there is definitely a late-night party vibe but people respect each other. It’s accepted that there might be little ravers up front during the headline gigs or at the late-night forest parties. This is a caring community and there is an excellent welfare area for anyone who needs help, a chat or even a check-in with their mental health. Shambala feel like they really care and that’s pretty unique these days.
Shambala embraces diversity in all areas, and musically you’ll find everything from swing dance and brass bands at Swingamajig to punk and political folk at Squatters Tights. Don’t worry about what’s on when or insist on headline viewing on the main stages if the kids aren’t feeling the crowds, you’ll discover something to suit as you amble about at your new Shambala pace.
7. Independently individual
Shunning sponsorship and remaining truly independent means Shambala allows you to escape the corporate crap of everyday life. You won’t find Starbucks or any other big business trying to brainwash the kids. Instead, introduce them to some pretty wonderful independent businesses doing some pretty wonderful things. A makers’ market full of delightful handmade masterpieces, crafters lovingly creating before your eyes and chefs cooking up delicious homemade eats.
Everyone is welcome and guests really do range from birth to 99. Those who need additional help to access the festival are thought about in a considerate and kind way and the accessible and family camping facilities are really thought through properly. There’s a campsite hub in both areas and a family yurt offers a safe and nurturing welcoming space any time of day.
OK, so we might have already mentioned this, but there are very few festivals that cut it in the same way as Shambala for sheer creativity. Much of that is down to the people it brings together. Providing a blank canvas and a twinkle of ideas for the most imaginative ideas to come to life is what Shambala do best. It’s not just the efforts put in by the thousands of crew, artists and volunteers involved, each and every guest is invited to be part of creating adventures in utopia.
Thousands of families return to Shambala each year. 25 years on there are now 2nd generations in attendance. We’ve kept this special place to ourselves long enough… come join the Shamfam this August!