Shambala 2004

The mood at this weekends Shambala festival at Newnham park in Plymouth was that of happy and friendly party . The sun shone down all the fancy dress on Saturday which added to the relaxed family orientated atmosphere already in place.

This was different from most other festivals I’ve been to both in size, about 3000 ticket holders, and its proper lack of commercialism. There was not a single advert anywhere to be seen, even the little bar in the red and yellow striped tent was not sponsored by beer pretending to be, ‘At one with music’. This makes everyone at the festival feel like they’re not objects in the Ikea lifestyle game. Fantastic.

Late Saturday night saw the woods filled with all sorts of multimedia installation stuff, from light and sounds emerging from the undergrowth, to obscure Cine films being broadcast on to logs and rocks. One film included some washed out footage of New York from the World Trade Center in the 70s, really well thought out.

Also, it was great to see so many men dancing in dresses, something we definitely don’t see enough of in this country. I’m going in fancy dress next year, as a spaceman.

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