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Humans of Shambhala - A Photo Series [Pt. 1]

Note from the author:

This is a collection of encounters and experiences I was very fortunate to document at Shambhala. Everyone's got a story to share about this life-changing experience.

Thanks to everyone involved, enjoy!



"I’m probably one of the shyest people you’ll meet outside of Shambhala, but the second I put on a costume you’d think you were talking to a completely different person. I started cosplaying back in 2009 when I realized how much fun it was embodying a fictional character and creating the cosplays. Then one day, I met someone who introduced me to festivals and I saw all these people expressing themselves through their incredible costumes and realized this place was exactly what I was looking for. Rather than transforming into another character I transformed into what I truly wanted to be and it feels amazing."


"The moment that made my Shambhala would have to be the moment we got into the line up to get our camping spot. Seeing the amounts of people and good vibes floating around just boosted my excitement that much more. This was my very first Shambhala, and definitely not my last! It was amazing to stroll about talking with the neighboring parked festival folk; so many different people of all sorts. It made the whole intro to the weekend exhilarating. Day onesie was awesome just because I was like, "this is insane! It's so good!" Then my girlfriend, who's gone 6 years now, and a buddy also said "this is just 2 stages; it gets bigger and better." That blew my mind! I couldn't even begin to comprehend what was bound to happen next!

Seriously though: Shambhala was the best thing I've ever experienced in my life next to being a proud father of 2. An amazing new life experience and I couldn't have been happier being with people I love and meeting as well as making new friends. The atmosphere. So elaborate and welcoming. The sign "welcome home" was just perfect. It is home. A 2nd home to all us misfits and loving adoring people. I cannot wait for next year! More costumes planned and definitely more shenanigans to come! Thank you Shambhala for everything!"


"Ever since I was little, dress up has been my favorite activity. I crave the ability to express myself and clothing has always been that creative outlet for me. When I went to Shambhala in 2015, I was blown away by the freedom to let your true colors show and the seemingly limitless boundaries of what was acceptable attire. It was a breath of fresh air to know I could be 100% true to myself with no fear of judgement. So of course I had to express myself as my spirit animal! Calypso the Fox has been a year in the making, and I hope she only gets wackier each Shambhala."


"Shambhala was such an amazing and nourishing experience. It has everything you could ask for and more. I've been going to festivals and events for over ten years and the excitement I felt reminded me of when I first started out. The adventure to Shambhala was quite a journey. I road tripped up from Southern California with two of my best friends, so the trip took about 3 days to arrive which was full of adventures on its own. This was my first year attending with a friend who is one of the content creators / VJs for the Pagoda stage. Meeting and bonding with the Pagoda crew was instant family connection. Here we are, thousands of miles away in a new place with new people and I've never felt more at home. The amount of love and creativity that fills these woods are un paralleled. I am a music artist and costume designer and I created the outfit I am wearing in the picture. It is a black and gold horned hood and body wrap over a hand made shredded top. Getting to share your craft with others is what these events are all about. It is so fulfilling to be around so many other artists in such a magical space. Definitely an unforgettable time and I will be returning for many years to come."


The Hunter

"Shambhala is a place where I can truly embody my personal avatar, The Hunter. Every decision I made in my costume design was based on morphing my archetypal self into my everyday self. I am able to live my art to the fullest, and thereby I am able to live my life to the fullest. At Shambhala, The Hunter is born."

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