Working at Shambhala



Shambhala volunteers and staff are the backbone of the festival and the driving force behind its success. Many thanks to the fantastic people who give their time and passion to make Shambhala a great place to be. If you are interested in joining our team, please read all the information on this page carefully before proceeding to the application.

Attention: Returning 2017 Crew

Invites to re-register for crew positions will be distributed via email in early January 2018. Please email if you haven’t received an email from us by January 30th. If you proceed through the public application form via the link on this page, you will be asked for a deposit fee.

Benefits of being on the Crew

      • Free Admittance to festival (upon completion of scheduled shifts, your crew deposit is returned).
      • Arrive early and watch the festival come to life.
      • Great location for Crew Camping – see “Camping” below.
      • One meal per 8.5 hr working shift, two meals per 12 hr working shift.
      • Being a part of something special and playing a big part in everyone’s great time.
      • Memories to last a lifetime!

What do crew members say about working at Shambhala?

Shambhala is, without a doubt, the most fun place I’ve ever worked! It’s a really special feeling to be on the farm early, seeing the pieces come together and watching the festival come to life. I love being a part of the crew that makes this all happen and to be able to have a positive impact on the lives of so many people!  
Every year I get to meet so many great people who all have the same goal in mind: making this year’s Shambhala the best that it can be. It inspires me to be the very best that I can be, and to continue each coming year as part of the crew.
I travel every year from Northern Ontario for my “Workvacation”. I meet energetic young people every year which makes me feel young in return. The environment is the most accepting and positive experience anyone could have. The Crew you are with make you better and it happens every year. Every year I arrive I feel a new energy, I always sleep better, eat better, and feel better at Shambhala.
I applied a lot of skills from previous jobs, but the amount of skills I learned from my time at SMF was outrageous, from planting and harvesting vegetables to setting rebar and pouring concrete to managing a bunch of volunteers.
I am constantly impressed how well the crew works together…I have developed friendships and contacts that I meet every year, and we catch up on our lives, like family.


For all first-time crew members, there is a deposit of $420 CAD as well as an additional non-refundable $25 CAD fee to be paid via PayPal at the time of your application. Upon completion of all your shifts, you will need to report to the HR office to verify your hours. Deposits will be refunded to your PayPal account as quickly as possible after the festival. We aren’t able to process refunds by the time you leave the farm, so please keep this in mind when budgeting for your travels home. This deposit is in place to ensure that crew members complete the required number of hours. As a thank you, we waive both fees for all returning crew that are in good standing. If you don’t already have a PayPal account and want more info, please CLICK HERE. Sorry, we don’t accept deposits via mail.This deposit is not a ticket. If you are not eligible or not hired for a position, we will refund the total amount back to your account within 60 days of applying. IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING CANCELLATIONS: We hope this won’t apply but if you do have to cancel PLEASE email as soon as you can. The more notice you can give us, the better. We appreciate your consideration since we’ll need to find someone else to take your place.  The fee of $25 is non-refundable.  Any cancellations made after July 11th are not eligible for a deposit refund, except in extenuating circumstances, and at the discretion of Shambhala. For those that cancel after this date, deposits are kept to cover administrative costs associated with last minute changes to hiring and scheduling.



Shambhala Music Festival is a 24-hour festival, there are day and night shifts available. It is imperative that you arrive at your shift well rested, on time, sober and prepared for the weather. You are responsible for maintaining enough rest, food and water to complete all of your shifts.  You must work in a safe manner and abide by all WorkSafe regulations.  You must attend a safety orientation during your intake at the HR building onsite and a tailgate meeting at the beginning of each shift. Be sure you have signed in and out for all of your shifts with your Supervisor.


Our crew is our most valuable resource, we understand the need for comfortable camp spots and quiet! The crew camping area is located along the river near the gate.  This is a quiet zone with shaded forest spots, a private beach & crew only showers. Only crew will be allowed in this area and security will be checking wristbands. Starlight Lot on the river side of the road is once again available for crew camping but does fill up quickly.  NO CREW ARE ALLOWED TO SET UP CAMPING ON THE MOUNTAINSIDE OF THE ROAD. If your friends have set up a spot you are welcome to join them 24 hours after the gate has opened but crew are not permitted to save campsites for guests. If you wish to camp with your RV, or trailer, you are welcome to camp in the crew camping area free of charge. If you wish to camp in the Starlight zone (on the left/river side of the road) with your RV, trailer etc you will need to purchase a Starlight parking decal (regular or oversize).


Pack camp friendly food! Make sure you eat regularly, especially before the start of a shift. Arrive to work fed and caffeinated. It is very important to leave a positive impression on everyone we interact with throughout the festival and keeping yourself fueled helps! Remember: THERE IS NO POWER for refrigerators or hot-plates and campfires are banned (propane stoves at campsites are OK). Our Crew Kitchen is cafeteria style and for those working in remote locations, we have a food truck that will deliver meals. The crew receives one meal per 8-hour shift or two meals per 12-hour shift. Coffee will be served in the Kitchen at meal times. If you have allergies, sensitivities or additional needs we recommend that you plan to provide most meals for yourself. We can only accommodate standard meat or vegetarian meals, without variation and our kitchen cannot guarantee vegan or wheat/gluten free meals.The farm is large and there won’t be enough time for you to go back to your camp, even when you’re on a break so you should be sure to bring snacks and a full water bottle to your shift. If you have a “bottomless stomach”, make sure you plan for extra snacks and meals, i.e. power-bars, nuts, fruit leather, etc. Above all, please think ahead to make sure you have the nourishment your body needs while you’re on shift. Be prepared to provide meals for yourself before the vendors and ATMs are open on Wednesday, August 8, 2018. There will be limited food vendors open on Tuesday, August 7, 2018.


Whether it’s the scorching heat of mid-day or the to-the-bone chilliness at night and the wee hours of the morning, temperatures are known to wildly fluctuate and changes in weather can happen quickly. Pack for all types of outdoor conditions including warm water-proof shoes, winter clothing, extra socks, sunscreen, bug spray, rain gear and a good hat for sun or rain. Comfort is the key to staying happy and healthy on the farm. Dress in layers as the start of your shift might be much hotter or colder than the end of your shift. IMPORTANT NOTES – All crew must wear closed toe shoes while on shift. All preshow crew must wear closed toe shoes at all times as the farm is a worksite. For more info on what to pack, check out Britz’s Guide to Festival Essentials.


We cannot accept applications from those who:
      • Are under the age of 19
      • Are not legally allowed to work in Canada*
We have confirmed with Immigration Canada our ability to have international volunteers and have registered Shambhala Music Festival with Canadian Border Services. Please refer to the following website to determine if you need a visitors visa (Temporary Residents Visa or TRV): As of March 2016 visitors from countries who do not need a TRV, will require an eTA – Electronic Travel Authorization in order to enter Canada. This can be applied for online here: We are unable to hire any international applicants for paid positions unless they already have a work visa in place with another employer due to the cost involved in the visa application process and the temporary nature of the positions.  

Time Commitments

All positions scheduled during the festival between Monday, August 6 and Tuesday, August 14, 2018, are considered “Showtime” positions. All Showtime work takes place at the Salmo River Ranch (festival site). Shambhala Music Festival runs 24hrs a day during public showtime and schedules reflect this.

Showtime Volunteers:

We aim to create shift schedules which are fair, fun, and provide enough time off during the festival for you to get out there, enjoy yourself and do some dancing! For this reason, we have established the following guidelines when creating volunteer schedules:
      • Most teams require a 34-hour time commitment of 4 x 8.5-hour shifts.
      • Medical Services, Harm Reduction, Fire and Parking crews have a 24-hour time commitment. (2×12 hour shifts or 3X8 hour shifts for Parking)
      • We stagger shifts so that they don’t all fall on the days that the stages are open.
      • Most shifts are as follows: Early Morning – 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Afternoon – 2 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Overnight – 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
      • See Team Descriptions for available volunteer positions.

Showtime Staff:

      • Staff shifts are between 8 and 12 hours DAILY for the duration of the festival.
      • These positions are filled by seasoned, dedicated staff who come to the festival for the work experience and the satisfaction of working hard and enjoying the festival with their crew.
      • Wages are position-based.
      • See Team Descriptions for available staff positions.


There are a few crews that work in the weeks leading up to the festival. Please refer to the Job List for more info on which teams have preshow positions. These positions require a time commitment of 40 hours and you are fed 3 meals a day. If your 40 hours are complete prior to Aug 6, 2018, you will be given a hard copy ticket to come back and enjoy the festival when the gates are open to the public (your early entry fees will be waived). For crew who are committed to returning the farm to its natural beauty, we also have a post-show clean-up team. When filling out the application please indicate if you are looking for pre/post show work but also let us know which showtime crew you would be interested in as we may not be able to fit you on a pre/post show crew.

Stage Crew:

Our stage production and technical positions are all provided by the production companies we hire to operate our stages. Stage set up crews are also hired by the individual stage production companies and not through our HR department. These crews have a high retention rate so there are limited spaces available.

Arrival to the Farm

Please arrive onsite before 8:00 AM on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, to give yourself ample time for check-in; depending on arrival volume, it may take a few hours. We highly recommend that you arrive on Monday, August 6, 2018 (but NOT BEFORE 8:00 AM) to set up your camp and settle in. Only people scheduled to work on Monday, August 6, 2018, or earlier may arrive prior to this, and only within 24 hrs of your first shift. All crew must check-in at Reception upon arrival where you will receive your credentials. You will then proceed to HR to fill out your paperwork, receive a safety orientation and confirm your schedule.

Orientation and Training

There will be a group orientation session on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, at 12:00 PM (PST) in the dining hall. Crew will be notified by email regarding team specific training times. Some teams also have training sessions prior to arrival at the farm. IMPORTANT: Your friend/partner/hitchhiker-you-picked-up cannot come on-site before the gates open to the public if they are regular ticket holders. For safety reasons, only registered crew may arrive in advance of our gates opening to the public, no exceptions. We do not accept new volunteers at the gate.

Still have questions? Check out the CREW FAQ PAGE and the CREW/JOB LIST.

Apply Here

Apply for the 2018 Crew

Thank you for your interest in joining the crew for 2018


Countdown to 2018



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Copyright 2018 - Shambhala Music Festival Ltd.