Shambala Festival returns on August 23rd – 26th with a line up featuring fresh acts from all over the world.
The festival has now already sold out, before a single act was announced – a true testament to the faith that Shambalans have in the festival and its curation.
The secret location in Northamptonshire will be hosting the Gentleman’s Dub Club, The Nextmen, DJ Krust, Dynamite MC, Ozomatli ft. Chali 2Na, This is the Kit and Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – the youngest son of Fela and baton bearer of his father’s legacy.
Letting your ears lead the way and dipping into the array of big and tiny venues is part of the Shambala magic. Expect everything from afro-funk infusions to punk brass and from contemporary folk, cutting-edge jazz and plenty of blues.
Highlights include the Last Poets- true Godfathers of rap. Back in the late 1960s, they performed poetry over jazz on the streets of Harlem. Their politically-charged raps are just as relevant now as they were then.
Twenty years ago, LA-based, Ozomatli alongside Jurassic 5 rapper, Chali 2na, released their first, eponymous, album. This year they celebrate the anniversary of this seminal work performing classics alongside new, as yet unreleased, material. A hip-hop infused Latin party!
If it’s head-down hedonism you’re after, then look no further than legendary DJ Krust, whose first album in over a decade is due for imminent release. His deep drum and bass will be complemented by the pioneering productions of Commercial Suicide label boss, Klute who will be performing alongside mic man Visionobi. And then there are The Nextmen ft. Dynamite MC whose party starting skills show no limits!
This is the Kit’s mesmerising, illuminating and full-of-wonder songs can be the perfect foil to the frenetic pace of the night before. Their performance will soothe and absorb- the sonic equivalent of stroking a cat after an energetic evening of extreme fun. A similar effect will come from the timeless vocals of Susan Cadogan’s classic roots reggae.
Shambala is the place to discover new music and this year some of the rising stars on the bill include: My Baby, returning for the third year with their swampy, trance-infused blues and funk-inflected beats, only this time they’re on the main stage. First time at Shambala, mash-up skankers Cockney Nutjob & MC Kurnel are bringing their own brand of party tunes and good vibes. And not forgetting the three sweet old gals that are Boudica Boogalo with their dirty harmonies and stomping strings.
For something unusual, check out the House Gospel Choir who will perform 90’s covers, choral style! Zeal & Ardor, a stunning chain gang blues death metal band. Yes, you heard right. Plus The Brass Rave Unit will bring their in-your-face-punk brass all the way from Amsterdam.
Continuing with some further treats, King Ayisoba will perform traditional Ghanaian music with a twist of trance, Michael Messer’s Mitra is a fusion of slide guitar and sitar based blues alongside tabla rhythms. Lowkey is an English-Iraqi hip-hop artist. And expanding the traditional boundaries of kora, here comes Jally Kebba Susso.
Berlin’s electronic dub masterminds Tikiman and Scion will perform classic tracks from Rhythm and Sound’s legendary ‘Showcase’ album. Although Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald chose not to play these live, they gave their blessing to Scion to build a set from their original tracks to do just that.
For more mellow moments, check out singer-songwriters such as the award-winning folk quartet, Stick in the Wheel; Night, a Nepalese band who are going strength to strength and soothing our souls on the way or the sweet, melodic electronica from the Japanese producer, Anchorsong.
The jazz offering is also exciting, featuring the reggae-infused vibes of Zara McFarlan, the Afrojazz of London based Nubiyan Twist and not forgetting the echoes of hip-hop found in the music of hot young pianist – Ashley Henry. Also requiring a mention are the stunning Kora Jazz Trio who, as the name suggests, meld traditional West African music with jazz. As well as a unique sound, their authenticity shines through.
Dan Raffety, Music Director, says: “This is a line up of discovery and we’re delighted with the range of music that will be at Shambala this year. There are sounds from almost every part of the world and to sell out before a single act is announced is incredibly humbling!”
From funk to folk, punk to rock, Afrobeat to jazz, dance to drum and bass, dreamscapes and new discoveries, there is a world of music to explore and find.