The Shambala festival takes place this weekend (23-27 August) boasting a mix of music, workshops, art and more up in Northamptonshire. With Roots Manuva, Billy Bragg and Toddla T all on the bill, we caught up with founder and creative director Sid Sharma for the inside track. Plus download The Q Festival App for the line-ups, the latest festival news and more.
How are the preparations for this year's festival currently going?
"Brilliantly, we are all on site getting it ready for all our lovely Shambalans to arrive. After so long being told that summer's on it's way, it looks like it's finally here and the excitement for next weekend is incredible. It looks like we're going to have our biggest year this summer, so there's so mucha lot to do between now and doors opening, but coming together brilliantly."
What acts on the bill are you most proud of booking this year?
"Vieux Farka Toure, Luke Vibert, John Cooper Clarke, Lau... we keep it eclectic! We like Shambalans on their toes, usually announcing our music bill quite late in the day, keeping it pretty secret, but we're so excited about this year's line-up we wanted to let everybody know about it as soon as we could."
Who else are you looking forward to this year?
"Not a who, more a what, but our Enchanted Woods full of spectacular AV art installations will be a good one to find. We fill the woods with surreal art installations, lighting, beautiful soundscapes and theatre, then see how people interact with it."
Have you managed to 'sneak' any personal favourites on to the bill (that's got to be a perk right?) if so who?
"Bez and Vince Vega - A guilty pleasure! It's nice being able to work with people we love and admire, and put something a bit special together with them."
Can you recommend us one non-musical thing from this year's event?
"Nipple Tassel Twirling Workshop. I could embellish, but there's utterly no need to. Look out for this."
Any site changes we should note?
"Watch out for special extra terrestrial guests! Sorry, that's all we can say at this point. We still like to play a few cards close to our chest, but that'll surprise a few Shambala veterans for sure."
What's the latest travel advice for this year's event?
"As long as the weather holds out as it is doing, we can't foresee any issues getting on site. A lot of people have spent a lot of time in mud this year and hopefully we'll be the end to all that. We've got shuttle busses and car share schemes as usual, and have bought back our bike rides from various towns in the UK. We'll take all your camping gear, and guide you on a bike ride to the festival. Always best to keep an eye on the website though for any travel updates."
What one act who you haven't booked yet are you still desperate to have on?
"Alt J, Jake Bugg, and Amon Tobin. They all feel right for Shambala, so maybe next year. Jake's had such a good year, and for such a young guy he's taking it all in his stride. Great to see him on Q's track of the day this week."
We see Tony Benn is 'playing', what's on his rider?
"The Guardian - that's it. His show with Roy Bailey has received massive praise across the UK, but until you see it it's hard to get your head around. It's a funny look at Benn's career in politics with songs and stories, so maybe think of it as "Guardian: The Stage Show", then throw that idea away."
Where did the festival's name come from?
"From lots of drinking with friends late at night. If you Google Shambhala you'll find references to Tibetan Buddism and meditation, which kind of makes sense when you've been to Shambala, but really it's a word we use to describe a certain kind of person at this stage - the "Shambalan". That kind of young, free-thinking, political minded party fan. It's about a sense of responsible hedonism."
10:41 AM | 22/08/2012
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