“I’m not sure where to begin this post, so I guess I’ll just come out and say it: I will be hanging up my Shambhala hat this year after 15 incredible years, 11 as crew.
Due to life and family circumstances, I’m not able to return to the farm this summer. After much thought and soul-searching, I’ve made the decision to step back from the festival entirely at the end of May.
I know this will come as a shock to many of you. In truth, I didn’t come into this year thinking this was even a remote possibility. But this has been a year of major shifts, and sometimes life puts obstacles in your way because it’s urging you to forge a new path.
I have such deep love for Shambhala, and I always will. From the first moment my feet touched the soil of the Salmo River Ranch, I was in love. In fact, Shambhala was my first love. Even most of my partners over the years knew that my love for her came first. I’ve always felt a strong dedication and commitment to the Shambhala community—the wild, carefree beauties who gave me a place to call Home and made me feel like I belonged for the first time in my life.
Like many of us, I came into this community as an outcast. Young, lonely and misunderstood. And in this cacophony of friendly freaks and weirdos, I found my tribe. It wasn’t long before my passion for it lead me to become a part of the core team who work so hard to create this unbelievable world of imagination each year.
In many ways, I grew up alongside the festival. It formed me, shaped me into who I am. When I joined the year-round crew, I was barely 20 and Shambhala was like a bow-legged baby deer, just learning to walk. It was such an honor to be part of the team that helped establish so many of the standards and procedures, on-site services, and relationships within the Nelson community and beyond that are still in place today and have helped Shambhala grow into the incredible cultural force it has become within the North American electronic music scene.
Like anything you stick with for such a length of time, there were challenges and hardships, just as there were triumphs, love and indescribable beauty. The hard stuff has made me stronger. The good stuff opened my heart in ways I never could have imagined.
It has been such a pleasure to be in service to this community. A community that I’ve held so dear for over a decade. I became “Rave Mom” for thousands of people who’ve brightened my life with their infectious enthusiasm, energy, love and positivity. I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many inspiring, creative people. I’ve created bonds of friendship so deep, I consider them family. I’ve watched friends rise to amazing success within the industry. I’ve had the opportunity to create countless fond memories at festivals and events all up and down the West Coast with those I hold dear. I’ve spoken at three industry conferences, won three awards for my work, and pioneered social media for festivals. I am so proud to have been a major contributor to the electronic music industry over the past decade. I’ve grown so much. Electronic music saved me in my youth, and the opportunity to give back has been deeply cherished. I would not be the woman I am today without Shambhala. I am so beyond grateful for all of it.
Thank you to every individual who has touched my life through this beautiful event. Words cannot express what you mean to me. While thanking every person individually would result in a novel of epic proportions, know that I love you all. I appreciate you. And I thank you for being a part of this spectacular chapter in the story of my life.
Special mention and thanks, of course, to the Bundschuh family. Rick and Sue, who have been crazy enough to let us live out this dream on their land and who have always treated me like a member of their family. Corrine, my first mentor and dear friend whom I learned so much from and will always hold close in my heart. Anna, who saw my spark of passion and chose to hire me all those years ago. And Jimmy, for creating and sustaining something truly magical all these years. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
To the team that continues on without me, you all rock my world. Every single one of you. I have so much love and respect for everything you do. You are creative, compassionate and capable. Keep the torch of Shambhalove shining bright.
Friends, Shambhalovelies, Rave Children, and all the rest—you have made my heart so incredibly big. It’s bursting with joy, reflecting back on everything. It’s up to you now, to be the change you want to see. Be the Festival Goer you want to be. Create the environment you want to party in. You have the power. You always have. It’s been my pleasure, as Rave Mom, to guide you. But now it’s time for you to take the lead. Thank you so, so, so much. Love, Rave Mom.
Until we meet again on the dancefloor.”