Shambala Festival steps up support for those on low incomes

Shambala Festival (22nd - 25th August 2024) opens nationwide applications today for those struggling to attend the event due to the cost-of-living crisis. Recipients of the Pay It Forwards: Share The Love initiative are not just given tickets, but have the entirety of their costs covered, from food to travel and accommodation.
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The scheme was piloted in 2022 with several organisations local to the festival’s Northamptonshire site and this year the offer is widening from local to national. To do this they are partnering with Tickets For Good – originally founded as a platform providing discounted tickets to NHS staff. But as the cost-of-living crisis has developed, so has the need to provide greater access to arts and culture for those on low incomes.

Since the pilot, Shambala Festival attendees, crew and artists have raised over £25,000, to open up the festival to those on low incomes who could not attend otherwise. In 2023, Shambala Festival worked with The Leaving Care Trust (part of The Northampton Children’s Trust) to welcome local care leavers to experience the festival, as well as working with Harborough Eco-Village and several local organisations including the Community Fridge scheme.

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Whilst the scheme will be open nationally, the Shambala team has ringfenced 50% of festival access packages for people local to the festival - specifically applicants with either a Leicester or Northants postcode (LE & NN). Full eligibility details can be found on the website and applications close on May 23rd 2024.

Shambala Festival GoersShambala Festival Goers
Shambala Festival Goers

Becka Whiteley, a spokesperson for Shambala Festival said:

“Festivals aren’t cheap – especially weekend camping ones. They aren’t cheap to produce and they aren’t cheap to attend. It’s not as simple as offering cut price tickets for people on low incomes – because saving for a festival ticket will never be a priority when you can’t pay your rent or put food on the table at home.

And it’s not just the tickets – there’s the travel, camping equipment, food and drink. It all adds up! This is why our ‘Pay It Forward’ access packages cover the whole shebang – the festival tickets, food and drink while you’re with us, a tent and camping equipment to stay in and even your travel to get there and back.”

Here’s what Chris, CEO of The Leaving Care Trust had to say about their experience with the scheme in 2023:

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Paying it forwardPaying it forward
Paying it forward

“I am blown away by the support you have given to enable our care leavers community to come along to such a meaningful, real and inspiring festival. This has created memories that will last a lifetime and I know they have opened a window of curiosity about how a truly caring, respectful and kind society could be.”

Some feedback from one of the fund’s “community fridge” beneficiaries who brought her four children along, on a full access package:

“I need to thank absolutely everyone. Whether you paid it forward 50p or £50 last year, this has been life altering. As a self employed, single parent to 4 children (3 of which are special needs) and working 2 jobs to make ends meet, there is no way I could have afforded to come to Shambala. We all had such an amazing time. I didn’t have to cook or wash up for 4 days. That in itself was completely mind blowing. Add on to that the music and workshops - absolutely and completely life altering. I cried tears of joy frequently (constantly embarrassing my poor kids!).”

Shambala’s tagline, ‘Adventures in Utopia’’ summarises their ethos - that festivals can be an alternate vision of society - places where interacting with your fellow humans isn’t a hassle, but a pleasure.

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Fireworks at Shambala FestivalFireworks at Shambala Festival
Fireworks at Shambala Festival

The festival is well known for its award-winning sustainability credentials, total lack of sponsorship or brand activations - and for the spectacularly kind, welcoming and friendly community it attracts. This Pay It Forwards: Share The Love initiative is one way in which the team hope to spread this ethos of radical kindness and creativity further afield.

Fully independent, this 23 year old music and arts festival takes place at a secret location near Market Harborough. Its line up features the likes of Sampa The Great, Bob Vylan, The Congos and Leyla McCalla, with much more to follow.

Tickets for Shambala 2024 are still available and can be purchased at

Prices start at £239 (plus booking fee) for a range of sustainable travel packages - with the remaining general entry adult tickets priced at £289 for the final tier.

How to apply:

Details can be found on this page:

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