For the first time in the 19-year history of the Shambhala Music Festival, tickets have sold out in less than a day. On September 1st, 2016, at exactly 12 noon PST, Shambhala launched ticket sales for its 20th Anniversary Event, scheduled for August 11-14, 2017. By about 5:00AM the next day, each of the 12,000 tickets had been sold.
“We knew that we had a lot of momentum after a very successful 2016 event,” explains Shambhala’s Mitchell Scott (who also happens to be the editor-in-chief of Mountain Culture Group’s print publications, KMC and CMC. “We were thinking two months, maybe one month to sell out, but no one at the festival ever thought they would all go in one day. Not in our wildest dreams.”
Last year Shambhala sold out in early March, four months after tickets went on sale November 1st, and a full month before it announced its headliners in early April.
The sheer volume of visitors to Shambhala’s website on September 1st caused some technical difficulties but, ultimately, the one day sell-out is big news for one of North America’s longest running, and more celebrated festivals. “A fast sell-out is something we’ve always strived for,” says owner Jimmy Bundschuh. “It puts us in the same league as festivals like Glastonbury and Coachella, both of which sell out in less than an hour.”
Unlike Coachella, Shambhala does not allow any corporate sponsorship presence on site so the marketing is more of a grassroots nature and it’s located off the beaten path on a farm in the BC wilderness, which makes its popularity, and the fast sale of tickets, that much more incredible.
“It’s a nuanced and cultured experience, thanks to its permanent location and the many people who have been incredibly committed to putting on an amazing show year after year,” continues Bundschuh. “It’s a special gathering on so many levels. Our job now is to ensure that the 20th Anniversary of the festival is a celebration for the ages.”