Welcome back to our Crew Appreciation series. It takes a community of dedicated, passionate individuals to help create the magic of Shambhala. We are so fortunate to host talented crew members from across the globe as we all come together on the Farm to turn dreams into reality. Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring influential members from various teams on the Farm. Today features one of our personal favourite #Shambhalove stories, Jeff “Jive Turkey” Thorne & Erin Lang.
Jeff “Jive Turkey” Thorne
“Real World” job: Director of Cultivation at Sweet Valley Cannabis, Cultivation Manager at Sunniva Greenhouses
Shambhala Job: Production Dispatch Lead
Shambhala Spirit Animal: Gus the farm dog.
Favorite Snack on the Farm: Anything cold and wet.
“Real World” job: Full-time Mama Bear!
Shambhala Job: Shambhala 2012 Intern, HR Volunteer Coordinator in more recent years
Shambhala Spirit Animal: Tree frog, fo sho!
Favorite Snack on the Farm: Coconuts! Candy! Watermelon Slushies!
SMF: What made you join the crew? What keeps you coming back?
JT: I was a family friend of the Bundschuh’s and worked with their son-in-law in Kelowna. When I first started working with Shambhala over 10 years ago, I managed the on-boarding program at Reception. It seemed like a fun way to spend 6 weeks in the summer. I honestly love being a part of something much, much bigger than myself. The show brings a lot of people together that all share a commonality, and for 4 days is unlike anywhere else on earth.
EL: I loved the festival and wanted to help out. I had recently moved away from home and I saw volunteering as a great way to meet new people. I started off as a volunteer at Reception for 2 years (2011/12). I was the office intern in 2012 where I worked as the ‘Director of First Impressions’ aka the Receptionist, as well as working directly for Corrine in Production. From 2012-14 I worked HR at the show and in 2015 became the Volunteer Coordinator, which is the position I held until just prior to the 2017 festival.
SMF: What’s your favorite Shambhala Memory?
JT: There are a lot of stories I could tell from over the years, but proposing to my wife at the volunteer orientation is definitely a high point. I did it in front of the whole crew and it was very emotional for everyone. Amazing, I still remember the sound of the cheers like it was yesterday. Now we have a beautiful daughter together and an amazing life that I could not fathom doing alone. Not to mention that all of my best friends are connected to the show in some way. People come and go as crew members but I have a network of friends now that I wouldn’t have likely met anywhere else… and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
EL: It’s hard to pick my favourite memories! There have been so many incredible nights in the forest and days on the beach. I just remember the laughing. So much laughing. Looking back, the most important memory would be the night I decided to go find my Reception team leader, “Jive Turkey”. He was hilarious and I just had to hang out with him. Flash forward a few years and we’re engaged and have a beautiful baby girl, Flora.
SMF: What did you learn from being SMF crew that you apply to your daily life?
JT: I would like to say it has helped me keep an open mind. We all have a place to fit into society, and it is too easy to forget that as you judge people or say negative shit on social media etc. Its healthy to get out of your own skin every once in a while, and what better place to do so than beside a massive sounds system surrounded by Shamhalovelies?
EL: Creative problem solving. Compassion. Self-care.
SMF: What does Shambhala mean to you?
JT: Shambhala, to me, is not even a place, its a feeling, an energy, a group experience that will never be the same twice and anyone can come express themselves. We take a lot of pride in ensuring every ones safety so that we can continue to provide this life changing experience for all that want to open a door in their minds that will never be closed.
EL: People let go of their daily struggles when they get to the farm and it creates a really happy, accepting space. People are at their best and they’re having a great time. It’s uplifting and it’s impossible not to live in the moment. I think that’s the magic of Shambhala and I love being a part of that.
Interested in joining Jeff and Erin in Dispatch or HR?
Dispatch Crew have experience working with radios, have intimate knowledge of the the Salmo River Ranch and are extremely organized organized. You’re able to communicate clearly and can multitask easily. Previous dispatch experience is a bonus–you may be a candidate for our Production or Emergency dispatch.
HR crew welcome our staff and volunteers, help them fill out paperwork, file documents, give people info about their shifts and be part of the heart of our operations. You’ll be right at home working with the HR Crew! Excellent for those organized “people persons” with office experience.