Shambala Festival part one: Adventures in Utopia

I’ve had such a busy weekend performing at this years Shambala! A playground for dreamers, thinkers, radicals and romantics Shambala festival provided me the perfect opportunity to showcase Tip of the Pops – Thanks to all involved in such a wonderful weekend. This is the first of 3 posts from Shambala, which is no way long enough to explain all the wonderful things we got up to and great people we met….


What’s more this was a really BIG GIG a world festival exclusive that we have been preparing for nearly 6 months and I was going to work my socks off much to the dismay of 2/5 my family and crew who I feel were more focussed on me getting married in 3 weeks time. I’m sure by the end they were a little bit fed up and tired and wanted to take me to Moss Bros although I could’ve gone on for days longer. Fortunately for me and Shambalans the weather was ideal and I got a lot more sleep than last year meaning we could also get a lot more done.. hallelujah ! BUT before I dive off into de rigueur descriptions of my DJ’ing sets I must first set the scene of ‘otherworldlyness’ that for me keeps the Shambala community coming back for more and experiencing the unexpected

Shambala 2012 – Adventures In Utopia from Shambala Festival on Vimeo.


On Thursday evening the Ska’d for Life band who sang on last years Celebration video were opening the festival on one of the stages. We were of course there unwinding with a pint and a bit of a boogie when all of a sudden 2 gigantic hot air balloons appeared as if from no where. One was so close my best man Dan, who is an experienced para-glider thought it must be tethered to the ground but he was wrong. Much to my amazement it looked as if the balloon was dropping into the festival main arena Big Top Kamikaze style. The pilot was pumping the thing full of gas but because of the air temperature and atmospheric conditions the balloon was definitely coming down and looked like it was about to crash into the big tent/ tree tops. All this of course whilst the band played on blissfully unaware of the drama unfolding outside. Of course it never crashed and eventually shot up into the sky never the less this was definitely a close shave later tweeted by @ShambalaFest on twitter ‘organised chaos…all part of the plan! x


My second snippet comes from Sunday night and a performance by folk singer Bella Hardy who does not normally do ‘raves or roller discos’ (ah-bless) in Sankofa’s lakeside venue. This gig coincided with with the Big Burn a fireworks and bonfire spectacular that effectively ends the festival nicely. Although Bella was very talented she could not compete with the draw of the Big Burn and well over half her audience left to watch the spectacular outside until there was barely 20 of us left inside Sankofa’s. Bella even changed the order of her set to help overcome the disturbance of fireworks overhead.

Eventually curiosity got the better of me, when I heard what I thought was rain pouring down outside I had to go and investigate. Imagine my surprise when I was confronted by firemen hosing down Sankofa’s tent as burning embers were raining down on the venue and all around. Bella was still blissfully unaware and so were the rest of her audience. Although there was no immediate danger my instinct was to get the family together and leave but no sooner did we get outside then it was obvious embers were falling on both sides of the tent and I quickly decided to head back inside where it was comparatively ‘safe’ as we were surrounded by firemen with big hoses. By now Bella had realised something was up and had been told ‘the tent was on fire‘ which was not strictly true but had to be taken seriously none the less, I mean where else was all the water coming from if it was not raining outside? A few more people started coming into the tent for shelter which I guess calmed Bella down a bit as there was obviously no real danger but nonetheless it was rather exciting and bewildering at the same time.

stay tuned for part two Keep it wheel…

or go straight to part three Lovely Day !

Keep it Wheel...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: