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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Festival Review: Shambala 2010

That was Shambala, and I have been… um… a bumblebee, a charleston dancer, a crazy golf ace, a clown…

Written by Amy Hughes

Site and house

Shambala 2010

The costumes have been returned to their dressing up boxes; the mud has dried out and been brushed from the boots; newly-learned dance workshop moves have become vague; reality has crept back into view… The Shambala Festival has packed itself away for another year – and, cialis 40mg my oh my, health what an incredible time it was.

Shambala is a 3-day voyage of discovery. Yes, there’s a programme – and an impressive one at that – featuring acts and activities as diverse as chant-arousing Dizraeli & The Small Gods on the main Shambala stage, the jaw-dropping Cirque de Freq in the Kamikaze tent, min-beast safaris in the Permaculture garden and the Cock Drawing Club in the Random Workshop Tent. But the most magical Shambala experience is a haphazard one, in which the clocks stop and the concept of time is snubbed as punters follow their ears, noses and tapping toes into the most thrilling and unexpected of entertainments.

The Compass House of Lunacy
Noémie Ducimetière creeps out The Compass House of Lunacy

Wandering Word
Poet Rosie Carrick in the Wandering Word yurt

Bewitching bewilderment was the lifeblood of the Compass House of Lunacy, in which the ghosts of French songstresses (Noémie Ducimetière) and high-kicking, be-corseted madams ruled the stage. Just around the corner, the Wandering Word yurt beckoned dazed punters into its cosy folds to have their ears tickled by pirate poets and their imaginations led through eerie worlds summoned by storytelling eccentrics.

Shambala parade

Shambala parade_Picture Frames

Shambala Parade_Gorilla

After Friday’s inaugural explorations and familiarisations, on Saturday Shambala donned its gladrags and revelled in magnificent peculiarities and with newfound friends. For Saturday was the festival’s official fancy dress day (not that that prevented costumes from coming out to play all weekend…), and was topped by the spectacular Shambala parade.

Permaculture Garden

Shambala crazy golf

Didgeridoo
Shambala blows: Getting down with the didgeridoo

Peeping over the debauched brow of Saturday night, Shambala’s Sunday air was thick with drowsiness as the festival rubbed the night before from its eyes, picking up lost wellies, rogue headdress feathers and the first few threads of the real world. It was on Sunday that the Healing Area really came into its own, offering to knead the weariness from revellers’ muscles, revive their vocal chords in the Music & Voice workshops and fix them a jolly good old cup of chai to nestle between their crossed legs as they flanked the crackling camp fire.

Shambala dragon

Site and house

So, there’s a whole year until Shambala returns. Will it be the same? Of course not, and that’s exactly why we’ll love it. Expect the unexpected – and in the meantime keep the Shambala spirit of discovery alive by forgetting your watch every once in a while…

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