Shambala 2013 Going Back to My Roots!

Shambala festival photo by Louise Roberts

Shambala festival photo by Louise Roberts

Landed back home safely from planet Shambala and reviewing another weekend of top-notch ‘Ecotainment’, art, activism and community led shenanigans. This was our 3rd appearance in as many years and in the past words have failed how best to describe this sublime festival. This time I have had a few ideas and feel qualified to explain a bit better so let’s begin BUT firstly a BIG shout-out to my family, crew, the disco dancers and all at Sham HQ without whom none of this would be possible. So without further ado let’s Keep it Wheel…

The first thing that strikes you is the sheer diversity of acts, arts, workshops, venues, areas, facilities and fancy dress. Let’s summarise and call this magic ingredient Participation or You! Sham is fiercely independent and it shows through the line-up by booking alternative acts and less big names but equally talented musicians & DJs from around the globe. It is the place to see those artists breaking boundaries, up-and-coming acts alongside more established critically acclaimed performances. This attitude fosters creativity, nurtures new talent and creates a very fertile playground for your imagination. This ethos reminded me of Boscombe Community Fair back in 2001 when I was that ‘arts guy’ who also wrote press-releases and went to endless meetings hence the title ‘back to my roots’.

Shambala is billed as ‘Adventures in Utopia’ and it pretty much delivers. It’s more than just a music festival, it’s not mainstream but soul food and it sustains me along with many other Shambalans throughout the year. Each year is full of surprises and there seems to be more and more to discover. Daytime shenanigans are upbeat, tongue-in-cheek and family friendly e.g. the fancy dress roller disco or table tennis tournament hosted in the dance tent. Crazy golf on the lawn and Pirates versus Gangsters flash-mob on the pirate ship. If this doesn’t grab your attention consider the new Play House a 400 all-seater big-top which was playing to full houses most if not the entire weekend. Complete with foyer, bar and ushers this multi-purpose venue was packed with plays, comedy, puppetry and circus throughout the festival.

The Play House foyer was a decent enough size to double up as a dance club to rival the numerous other late night party venues. If you want to rave the night away there are many many secret themed bars and venues for you to explore. So let’s mention a few of those hidden venues too there was the dancefloor that was accessed through the tardis style police box! Another that looked like a Chinese laundry, the Swingamagig a speakeasy style joint playing late into the night and the waiting room a 1940′s style live lounge.

Leading nicely into… another area where Shambala seem to excel is that it’s full of surprises and appeals to the child in all of us. You can expect the unexpected as it is full of hidden gems tucked-away and not in the programme nor timetabled – just like Tip of the Pops! Now let’s introduce the costumes and fancy dress as I have never been anywhere where people have put so much thought and effort into their costumes you cannot tell if they are an act or not. The costumes are outrageous, hilarious, make-up glamorous and glittery visit the Jazzification Station if you don’t know what look you want and if you need a haircut or beard trim try the Shambarber!

This article was originally written in 2013 but has not been published until now.To see whether or not we are returning to Shambala 2014 visit the Events page. Thanx x x

Ecotainment Film maker volunteer role description

Creative Dynamo Ecotainmnet

As a small independent creative community project we would like to involve as many talented individuals as possible. Applicants please make contact using the details shown on this page, students and staff of Bournemouth University and the Arts University can apply on-line here SUBU Volunteering

What we do

We advocate sustainability and environmental awareness at local events, schools and festivals using a wacky mobile disco and renewable / recycling themed ‘ecotainment’. Tip of the Pops solar powered wheelbarrow disco is our flagship project

Role Description

This is flexible role in a creative non-profit organisation based in Blandford, Dorset. The following activities are examples of possible outcomes.

Ecotainment Film maker

  1. Produce a short film or series communicating our project aims, ideals and philosophy.
  2.  a documentary
  3. rock-umentary
  4. comedy
  5. music video
  6. study aid
  7. The finished film will be uploaded to you tube for use on social media and our website

Skills

  • Approachable
  • Good communication skills
  • Enthusiastic
  • Good sense of humour

Selection

You will be required to take part in an informal telephone interview and provide at least one reference (person not related to you). It is possible to arrange a follow-up meeting in Blandford, Wimborne or Bournemouth if you prefer.

What are we Offering

  • on the job training
  • Cake
  • Tea/ coffee/ cold drinks
  • Packed lunch (vegetarian options available)
  • T-shirt
  • Networking with local environmental groups and campaigns
  • Fun
  • Travel (possible expenses available)

Further Information

Please contact us info@creativedynamo.net or phone 07789 865934 / 01258 268706

Ecotainment Games Designer / Animator volunteer role description

Creative Dynamo Ecotainmnet

As a small independent creative community project we would like to involve as many talented individuals as possible. Applicants please make contact using the details shown on this page, students and staff of Bournemouth University and the Arts University can apply on-line here SUBU Volunteering

What we do

We advocate sustainability and environmental awareness at local events, schools and festivals using a wacky mobile disco and renewable / recycling themed ‘ecotainment’. Tip of the Pops solar powered wheelbarrow disco is our flagship project.

Role Description

This is flexible role in a creative non-profit organisation based in Blandford, Dorset. The following activities are examples of possible outcomes.

Ecotainment Games Designer / Animator

  1. We are creative recyclers with a wacky educational road show that tours local events. We would like some more interactive / e-learning content for our website and social media. Can you help us reduce reuse recycle boogie?

Skills

  • Approachable
  • Good communication skills
  • Enthusiastic
  • Good sense of humour

Selection

You will be required to take part in an informal telephone interview and provide at least one reference (person not related to you). It is possible to arrange a follow-up meeting in Blandford, Wimborne or Bournemouth if you prefer.

What are we Offering

  • on the job training
  • Cake
  • Tea/ coffee/ cold drinks
  • Packed lunch (vegetarian options available)
  • T-shirt
  • Networking with local environmental groups and campaigns
  • Fun
  • Travel (possible expenses available)

Further Information

Please contact us info@creativedynamo.net or phone 07789 865934 / 01258 268706

Ecotainment Marketing / Publicity Assistants volunteer role description

Creative Dynamo Ecotainmnet

As a small independent creative community project we would like to involve as many talented individuals as possible. Applicants please make contact using the details shown on this page, students and staff of Bournemouth University and the Arts University can apply on-line here SUBU Volunteering.

What we do

We advocate sustainability and environmental awareness at local events, schools and festivals using a wacky mobile disco and renewable / recycling themed ‘ecotainment’. Can you help us promote the project and publicise our ‘reduce reuse recycle boogie!’ philosophy. Our motto ‘One Life One World Don’t Waste-it!’

Role Description

This is flexible role in a creative non-profit organisation based in Blandford, Dorset. The following activities are examples of possible outcomes.

Ecotainment Marketing / Publicity Assistants

  1. Obtain feedback from clients
  2. contact festivals/fairs/schools
  3. manage mailing list
  4. Compare advertising e.g google vs facebook
  5. Write press releases
  6. Create newsletter
  7. Organise campaigns
  8. Fund-raise / events
  9. Update social media sites

Skills

  • Approachable
  • Good communication skills
  • Enthusiastic
  • Good sense of humour

Selection

You will be required to take part in an informal telephone interview and provide at least one reference (person not related to you). It is possible to arrange a follow-up meeting in Blandford, Wimborne or Bournemouth if you prefer.

What are we Offering

  • on the job training
  • Cake
  • Tea/ coffee/ cold drinks
  • Packed lunch (vegetarian options available)
  • T-shirt
  • Networking with local environmental groups and campaigns
  • Fun
  • Travel (possible expenses available)

Further Information

Please contact us info@creativedynamo.net or phone 07789 865934 / 01258 268706

Ecotainment Graphic Designer / Illustrator volunteer role description

Creative Dynamo Ecotainment

As a small independent creative community project we would like to involve as many talented individuals as possible. Applicants please make contact using the details shown on this page, students and staff of Bournemouth University and the Arts University can apply on-line here using SUBU Volunteering.

What we do

We advocate sustainability and environmental awareness at local events, schools and festivals using a wacky mobile disco and renewable / recycling themed ‘ecotainment’.

Role Description

This is flexible role in a creative non-profit organisation based in Blandford, Dorset. The following activities are examples of possible outcomes.

Ecotainment Graphic Designer / Illustrator

  1. Design a logo for our project for use on line and as a website banner
  2. Design for T-Shirts
  3. Posters
  4. Vehicle graphics
  5. Printed media
  6. Images for book or Cartoons communicating our ‘ecotainment’ ethos

Skills

  • Approachable
  • Good communication skills
  • Enthusiastic
  • Good sense of humour

Selection

You will be required to take part in an informal telephone interview and provide at least one reference (person not related to you). It is possible to arrange a follow-up meeting in Blandford, Wimborne or Bournemouth if you prefer.

What are we Offering

  • on the job training
  • Cake
  • Tea/ coffee/ cold drinks
  • Packed lunch (vegetarian options available)
  • T-shirt
  • Networking with local environmental groups and campaigns
  • Fun
  • Travel (possible expenses available)

Further Information

Please contact us info@creativedynamo.net or phone 07789 865934 / 01258 268706

South Wessex Waste Minimisation Group demonstration

The following edited text is taken from the SWWMG website

DJ Dynamo works as the assistant manager at the Bulky Household Waste Site in Dorset and has over the last few years developed his ‘Tip of the Pops’ solar powered disco that is transported in a wheel barrow – called Earwig!

DJ Dynamo promotes recycling and energy recovery with his disco which operates using renewable energy and he plays old vinyl records collected from the CA site. DJ Dynamo covers many events for schools, weddings, green events, festivals and fundays. He is attending the Shambala festival, near Northampton, during the August bank holiday weekend which won the Greener Festival Award in 2011. He is also playing at an event at Moors Valley Country Park during Easter.

  •     DJ Dynamo summarised his background and experience and how he has developed his understanding of renewable technologies.
  •     In 2008 he secured £3000 funding from UNLTD – a charity that supports social entrepreneurs.
  •     In the 5 years since he has operated the disco he has had 10,000 website views.
  •     DJ Dynamo then gave a demonstration of his creation!

BIG shout out to staff at the South West Regional Assessment Centre & Environment Agency for giving me this gig at the Crown Hotel in Blandford. I managed to give a presentation, show a video and spin some tunes in 25 minutes to a group of 50 or more local business people.

Tip of the Pops is a lot of fun but it is also an opportunity to engage with topics such as waste, recycling and renewable energy. Given my background and experience I am equally at home in classrooms, lecture theatres and now business lunches talking to all ages about such issues. If you have an idea for an event or collaboration and want to discuss possible uses for Tip of the Pops please contact me info[at]creativedynamo.net

Creative Dynamo Network ‘ecotainment’

I have just returned from Respect Fest a free one-day family event in Poole. I was booked by Poole Housing Partnership to provide recycling and renewable energy themed activities or ‘ecotainment’. This included Tip of the Pops the only solar powered wheelbarrow disco made from waste in the world ever! PLUS a recycled solar oven made from card and aluminium foil, a guerilla garden (also in wheelbarrow), dynamo bike beat box cycle, solar powered PA for the event arena & one less car a bicycle & trailer housing a small scale solar system. This event was a technical, logistical & creative leap for the project as I am nearing the end of my UNLTD funding phase and wanted to showcase some of the achievements.

Respect Festival Poole

Firstly I was using three separate solar systems; one in the camper van that was providing a public address system (music and microphone) for the main arena. This included Scottish and Disco dancing from audio cassette and compact disc. Then there was the Tip of the Pops wheelbarrow disco which has been re-built after two years of touring. Earwig (the barrow) has benefited from a ‘hazard tape’ & paint make-over, Numark mixer, and reclaimed ‘window sill’ solar panel. The final solar system was housed in a cycle trailer and called One Less Car. The trailer has a perspex top clearly showing the layout / circuit of the battery and terminals making up the solar system. All three systems have the same basic components so I had the idea of using my everyday bike and trailer to show exactly how a basic solar system is built. What’s more one less car powered a red voice changing SFX microphone and Panasonic ghetto blaster for kids to play along with.

Respect Festival Poole

Renewable also meant using pedal power for the first time at Respect Fest. The Dynamo Bike Beat Box is a childs bicycle generating 12 volt electricity to power toys or anything else for that matter. I had found the toy (DJ Mix Me) and cycle trainer (Trax) a long time ago but lacked the experience necessary to adapt the generator. In the end I recruited volunteers (also from the recycling centre) to help me achieve this and it worked perfectly. Now that the cycle generator is built there are some improvements that I can do to make it easier to use – thank you so much to Frank for building this at such short notice!

Recycled Solar Oven Card & Alu Foil

The Recycled Solar Oven consists of cardboard and tin foil that is so simple to make that it can be done in an afternoon. The solar oven panels reflect sun rays into a cooking chamber which can reach temperatures up to 100 degrees centigrade. However the solar oven requires 2-3 hours of direct sunlight with no cloud cover to actually boil / cook food and can only be used effectively in the UK during summer months. The final demonstration was a guerilla garden wheelbarrow with plants in cereal boxes around a small greenhouse. This was showing that you do not need a lot of space to garden or need any special equipment to get started.

banner & design by sign machine

Next up I am visiting Turlin Moor, Poole on the 7th August and on the following day, Gaunts House, Wimborne, for their Summer Gathering (5th – 8th) August. Turlin Moor is free entry & at Gaunts you may purchase a ticket for more information see their website. For further information and bookings please do not hesitate to contact me on this site.

%d bloggers like this: