Every year a normally pastoral 500-acre farm near Salmo transforms into a city of nearly 10,000 people. And while the vast majority are there to dance and enjoy the world-class music the Shambhala Music Festival has become famous for, you can only imagine how many staff it takes to pull off the event.
“We’re basically creating a temporary city,” says Anna Bundschuh, who’s been with the festival since its inception. “Quite miraculously, we go from a staff of just over a dozen year-round employees to 2,500. For four days every August, we actually create one of the biggest cities in the West Kootenays.”
Many of what’s called “the Shambhala Crew” come from the local population in and around Nelson. In the past they’ve included professionals, contractors, students and retirees.
If you’ve wanted to check out the festival, but aren’t ready to dive in as a guest, working or volunteering at Shambhala is an incredible opportunity to participate in what has become one of the most well-respected and professionally run musical festivals in North America.
“I volunteered as a Shambhassador for Shambhala a few years ago and am volunteering again this year with another girlfriend who will also turn 60 this year,” said Karin Bagn, a Nelson-based attorney. “You may or may not like the music, but come and find out. Talk to young people, talk to old people. Meet and mingle and dance with people from all around the world.”
On May 2 and 3 from noon to 3 p.m. outside the Old World Bakery on Nelson’s historic Baker Street, Shambhala staff will be hosting a job fair in conjunction with the Bridge Radio Station, accepting applications for both paid and volunteer positions: everything from food and beverage to security, retail, environment, parking, medical care, and business admin. Basically, if you can think of the job, they’ve probably got it.
“We guarantee it will be one of the most fascinating work experiences of your life,” said Nicole Seaboyer of the Shambhala human resources team. “Feel free to pop down to the job fair to apply for a position, or simply find out more about the jobs and positions available at this year’s festival.”
Check out shambhalamusicfestival.com/working for more information, including job descriptions and application.
This year’s Shambhala Music Festival goes August 6 to 11.