There is a lot to be said about the tireless commitment it takes to grow a small get together into a globally recognized music festival. This year Shambhala music festival celebrates 20 years – a journey that has put western Canada on the map when it comes to end of summer destinations.

Through the major shift of dance music culture spanning two decades, Shambhala has remained firmly planted in the grassroots culture that they sprung from – weathering the storm of change to come out on top — other festivals emulate them and music enthusiasts and performers, worldwide, want to attend.

Although tickets for the 20th anniversary celebration sold out in minutes, there is still an opportunity to discover the new music that stage managers have spent the year meticulously putting together for your enjoyment. So as you eagerly prepare for your August weekend of fun (or comb the internet looking for that extra ticket), Freq has scoured the Internet highlighting artists from the line-up announcements.

So beers on you, music on us!

Kayla Graham -Music Editor

Fractal Forest


Fractal Forest has made a name for itself as the place where funk lives and old school vibes rule all. Leisure suits, 45s and DJ booth camaraderie are all common sights among the lasers and lit up trees of Fractal Forest (think Funk Jam). Despite being known for these things, there’s more to the Fractal roster when one digs a little deeper. For Shambhala 2017, my favourite act has gotta’ be Rob Garza.

This isn’t his first year at Sham, for good reason. As a founding member of the highly influential trip-hop group Thievery Corporation, Garza was among the first in the electronic movement combining sounds of world music with beats. The sound he champions is still unique, even in a predominantly house DJ set. His music feels deeper somehow, like there’s more there. Coupled with the atmosphere of Fractal, you can’t beat an early morning Rob Garza set.

Originally given as a free download, here’s a Rob Garza/Neighbour combo.


The Amphitheatre


I don’t know much about Shield. When you type Shield into Google, or even Shield music, not much pops up. What I do know is he’s from Copenhagen, and his My Flava EP on 20/20 is really good. His set will likely be packed with 20/20 type sounds, and that’s ok with me.



Magdalena Gorski – Culture Editor

The Living Room


Okay…the OBVIOUS choice here is The Orb. DO NOT MISS THE ORB. But for a more obscure 6-pack pick for the Living Room stage line-up, I chose Pedestrian for the sheer diversity he brings to his DJ sets. I always like a shape shifter, and Jack Sibley A.K.A. Pedestrian is anything but…pedestrian. His sound wandering, genre-hopping productions are warm and melodic, incorporating defined synths and permeating baselines. His DJ sets are known for running a spacious, all-encompassing electronic range — perfect for the Living Room.

“JNT” an original off of record label Circadian Rhythms features frequent collaborators and fellow Shambhala headliners, Maribou State.

Here’s a remix of Gang Colours “Dance Around the Subject” (Pedestrian’s Dusty Warehouse Remix)

The Pagoda

The Pagoda is undergoing a major reconstruction this year both in look and style. While in past year’s it may have been known as the “headliners” stage, times are a changin’ and there’s much potential for discovery with a focus on future sounds. The broad selection is poised to include the underground dark compositions of newcomers like Mad Zach to returning Shambhala favourite Rezz to vets like DESTRUCTO and a connect-the-dots like thread of collaborators woven throughout. Check mysterious Brazilian producer Rrotik, emerging in LA’s Garage/Bass/House scene and a brand new Pagoda near you.

Rrotik’s “Get up Everybody” is just the sort of track I want to hear at Shambhala.


Sheena Jardine-Olade – Managing Editor

The Grove


Shambhala’s newest stage is fast becoming a fan favourite with its exploration into the deeper sounds of the bass end of the music spectrum. With a focus on performance art and sweet bass vibrations trickling from a Funktion One system, a partygoer could stumble upon this hidden treasure buried deep in the forest and never leave.

One of the headliner’s taking Grove dancers on a journey over the weekend is headliner Nicola Cruz. Growing up in France, but strongly influenced by his Ecuadorian heritage, Cruz’s productions are heavily influenced by Afro and Indigenous music. Effortless drum programming and the unique use of samples and instruments add a depth and personal stamp to his music.

Grupo Naidy’s free track “El Botellon” with Cruz on the remix, nicely captures some of the musical magic you can expect to hear during his set.



The Village


Although many would say that it should go without saying, I feel that it is very important, hold on, let me state that again…VERY IMPORTANT that you make your way down to the Village to witness LTJ Bukem’s performance. This drum and bass legend took a young, sequenced based genre and brought it to the worldwide stage. The unassuming man behind the dark rimmed glasses is a musical renaissance man, having started record label Good Looking Records, club nights, sound systems and more. A true musician, fusing his classical piano training and love for jazz into much of his work, you won’t want to miss the legend who made drum and bass what it is today.

We were a bit hard pressed to find a free download on Soundcloud (when you are a don, what is Soundcloud though, really). So instead we have posted a mix from two months ago that is a mere treat of what is to come.


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