Shambala 2010

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At some festivals you will party like crazy, dress like a loony and possibly not remember too much of what you’ve been up to all weekend. Some of us with slightly more miles on the clock might prefer a more ‘craftsy’, relaxed affair in stunning surroundings. At Shambala, from 26th – 29th August, you can have both, all wrapped up into one family-friendly, eco-wellbeing package.

While you might choose to pass your days getting creative in arts and crafts workshops, with plenty specifically pitched to children, there are ample opportunities to bounce around the big selection of small stages (Compass Of Lunacy, Twist & Spout, Chai Wallahs, Qu Junctions) that keep the music varied and cosily intimate. Or you might progress from lounging in a hot tub by the lake to a bit of cabaret (Social Club), spoken word (Wandering Word) or film (Lost Picture Show) through to a sense-tickling rave up in the Recursive Function Immersive Dome, where 360˚ visuals spice up the electronic music. If you prefer to hang out deep in the woods, there’s a new surprise promised in addition to the usual laser and sound installations, but there’s also the secret glitter-ball disco if you’re still on the party tip.

It’s this mix of chilled creativity and happy party vibes that makes Shambala the special, friendly event that it is. The site, on the grounds of a Northamptonshire stately home, has a capacity of just 7,000, with the whole weekend powered 100% by wind, sun and local waste vegetable oil. The line-up is never revealed in advance, though it has slipped out that US funksters Breakestra and our own hip-hopping party starters Nextmen will be on the bill, along with energetic festival favourites Dizraeli & the Small Gods and Gabby Young & Other Animals.

The theme for Saturday’s carnival procession sums up the party mix: elemental. The sustainability, creativity and beauty of the site may put you in touch with the natural elements of earth, wind and fire by day; and whatever time you stay up till at night, fun awaits.

Tickets still available at £109 for the weekend, £59 for teens and £25 for 5-14yr olds, see the website for more details.

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