Hopeful forecast: Sun with sunny intervals, warm sunny breezes, gusts of sunshine in hearts & souls!!!
At Shambala, festival life centres on active, communal participation where music (beats, boogie, dub, electro, reggae, folk – you get the picture) serves as an occasional distraction from all the other fun of the cabaret fayre.
For nine years, the same five friends behind Shambala have notoriously avoided pre-announcing their entertainment line-up. But for 2008, we can relay rumours of midnight 'Shambala Wilderness' woodland antics, crazy carnivals, roaming theatrics, psychedelic 60s/70s psych cult films, strange goings on in the Social Club (where Phoenix nights meets Cirque Du Soleil), plus, super sonic sound and laser installations. Basically, much the same as last year except with a greater, better, brighter choice.
To get you in the mood, here is a selection of the top picks for the first day, Friday:
After Thursday's launch of Tokyo Nights at the Kamikaze Kabaret big top, the homage to all that is classic and modern in Japan continues with the return of the Roller Disco. Have a Geisha Makeover, take in Fat Suit Sumo Wrestling or bag your own private karaoke booth. Enjoy a sake cocktail from a traditional cherry blossom bar watching contemporary circus performances (tightrope walking, stunning swinging trapeze, pole dancing). Across 5 music stages Friday includes ska legends The Beat at the Shambala Stage as The Dome dance tent plys drum'nbass among electro, house and hip hop (still to come, The Nextmen and Kid Kanevil). At the Lakeside Stage (powered by the sun, or if Shambala isn't bathed in glorious sunshine, by a back-up bio-diesel generator) feel the Desert Groove Band's Saharan groove. Get involved in any one of Friday's dance workshops (creative and samba are among Friday's menu), lounge at the Beach Shack Bar, visit the mammouth Kids Area or the Talent Show Cabaret (barn dancing, cabaret, comedy), immerse yourselves in the continual poetry or spoken word or get to the Craft Area to make silver jewellery, a lantern, or a hobbyhorse anyone?
Reasons why you should spend the August Bank Holiday weekend at Shambala:
There are genuinely only a few hundred tickets left, the 2008 festival will sell out so be quick, sign up for what many people say is the best weekend of their life. Families, students, locals, internationalists, young kids and big kids, all are welcomed at the UK's original boutique festival.
"Shambala is an anti corporate utopian experiment"
The Guardian, 2007