Working at Shambhala

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All Shambhala workers are called Crew

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 2014 Crew

Invites to re-register for crew positions will be distributed via email beginning January 23rd, 2015. 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 NEW location for Crew Camping – see “Camping” below.
      • One meal per 8.5 hr working shift, two meals per 12 hr working shift.
      • Sense of being a part of something special and playing a big part in everyone’s great time.
      • Memories to last a lifetime!

What are past crew members saying about working at Shambhala?

Being able to see the farm come to life and meeting all the remarkable people that make it happen is an amazing experience that keeps you coming back for more, year after year. (Trust me, this will be my third year, can’t get enough)
After 6 years I still get just as excited as a child on Christmas morning to come home to the farm those faithful August days.
Working at Shambhala Music Festival has helped me realize my dreams, meet my extended family and grow in ways I didn’t know possible. Giving back to the festival by being involved is a gift in itself. When you work here, you get to know that when someone has their Shambhamoment, you helped make it possible. It is the largest, most wonderful group of people I have ever had the honour of working with.
Enhance your sense of community and belonging by giving back to a place that gives so much to so many! Volunteering changed my festival experience.


For all first-time crew members, there is a deposit of $350 as well as an additional non refundable $25 fee to be paid via paypal at the time of your application. Upon completion of the required number of hours we refund the $350 deposit. 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. Be sure you have signed in and out for all of your shifts with your Supervisor! Once you complete all your shifts you must go to HR to sign off on your hours so we can return your deposit via paypal. Deposits will be refunded post-festival. Incomplete information will cause delays in your deposit being returned. If you are not eligible 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 human resources at 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 13th 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.



Our crew are our most valuable resource, we understand the need for comfortable camp spots and quiet! A new crew camping area has been created along the river near the gate.  Shaded forest spots.  QUIET ZONE.  Private Beach.  Crew only showers.  THESE SPOTS ARE IDEAL FOR THOSE WORKING FULL TIME SHIFTS AND/OR AT NIGHT. 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. THESE SPOTS ARE IN FULL SUN AND IDEAL FOR THOSE WORKING THE DAY SHIFT. The old crew camping up by Shambhalodging is now out of service. NO CREW ARE ALLOWED TO SET UP CAMPING ON THE MOUNTAIN SIDE 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 new 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). There will be no crew RV’s or vehicles allowed anywhere else on the festival grounds.


It is imperative that you arrive to your shift well rested, on time, and sober.  You must be prepared for the work situation and the weather, wearing any personal protective equipment that is assigned to you. 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. Shambhala Music Festival is a 24 hour festival, there will be day and night shifts available.


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.  We feed workers 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, additional needs or are just plain picky, 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. You should start your shift with snacks and a full water bottle to take to your post. 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. 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 4th.   Typically one food vendor is open on Tuesday August 3rd.


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. IMPORTANT NOTES – All crew must wear closed toe shoes at all times while on shift. All preshow crew must wear closed toe shoes whether on shift or not as the farm is a worksite. Dress in layers. The start of your shift might be much hotter or colder than the end of your shift. For more info on what to pack, check out Britz’s Guide to Festival Essentials.


We cannot accept workers who:
      • Are under the age of 19
      • Are not legally allowed to work in Canada*
*Non-Canadian citizens who are in Canada with a valid Canadian work visa, or have permanent resident status may work with us. Documentation must be provided in these cases.  Some countries have a reciprocal agreement with Canada.  If you are between the ages of 18-35 please visit to see if your country of origin has an agreement with Canada and to determine if you are eligible to apply for a working holiday permit.

UPDATE: We have finally established with Immigration Canada that our international volunteer applicants do not need a work Visa to be accepted as a volunteer providing that they are from a country that does not need a visitor visa for Canada – most of our international inquiries come from the US, Australia and Europe which are all accepted! We have also registered SMF as an event with Canadian Border Services and they have provided a letter to us that can be passed on to volunteers, which we will pass on once the interested party is confirmed as a volunteer.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) – International Events and Convention Services Program (IECSP) officially recognizes the following event: Shambhala Music Festival August 5-10, 2015 Salmo River Ranch Salmo, BC  

Time Commitments


All positions scheduled during the festival between Monday Aug. 3rd and Wednesday Aug. 12th are considered “Showtime” positions. All Showtime work takes place on the Salmo River Ranch (festival site). Shambhala Music Festival runs 24hrs a day during public showtime and schedules reflect this. Volunteer shifts are broken down into morning, afternoon and overnight for shifts 8-9 hours in length, and day/night for those shifts 12 hours in length.

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.
      • 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 Job List 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 Job List for available staff positions.


There are a few crews that work in the weeks leading up the the festival (July 13 – Aug 2). 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. For crew who are committed to returning the farm to it’s 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. Preshow teams – Site, Kitchen, Reception, HR. Pre/Postshow teams – Environment Crew

Orientation and Training

All workers are required to attend our group orientation session on Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 at noon 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.

Arrival to the Farm

Please arrive onsite before 8am on Tuesday 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 3rd, 2015 (but NOT BEFORE 8 am) to set up your camp and settle in. Only people scheduled to work on Monday, August 3rd 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 safety orientation and confirm your schedule. 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.

Applications Are Closed

Thank you for your interest in joining the crew for 2015. Our applications are now closed. Please apply for next year in early 2016


    • Profile photo of Andy


      January 19, 2015

      Yes, there are limited positions available for pre-show setup and post-show takedown. The conditions of these positions are a little different. If you check out the “PRE AND POST SHOW CREW” setup section above, it details a bit more of the specifics.

    • Profile photo of teaganw


      August 3, 2015

      Hi ,
      I’m just wondering , someone told me that if you drive in with a volunteer you can skip the line. Is that true?

  1. Profile photo of carsok


    February 3, 2015

    Hello? Would it be possible to work in the setup crew and then volunteer at the festival later?

    • Profile photo of Andy


      February 4, 2015

      I unfortunately don’t have an exact answer for you in this regard. I would suggest contacting our HR department at They will likely have a few more questions in regards to finding the right position for you.

  2. Profile photo of Sheila


    February 6, 2015

    Hello! Just wondering if the crew camping area (where it’s been the past few years, “above” Sunshine Lot) will still be around? We camp with our vehicle. Thank you, Sheila

    • Profile photo of Andy


      February 6, 2015

      Hi Sheila, due to our waste water treatment plant expansion we have needed to move our staff vehicle camping option. The new location will be with our new crew camping zone. If you sleep in your vehicle, it is allowed in the new camping zone.

    • Profile photo of Andy


      February 10, 2015

      You are allowed to volunteer provided that you have a valid visa allowing you to work in Canada.

        • Profile photo of Andy


          June 25, 2015

          Thank you Sarah, yes, this has now changed. Shambhala Music Festival is now recognized as an event by the CBSA and US Citizens are now allowed to volunteer without a work visa.

          A work visa is only required if they are applying for a paid position.

  3. Profile photo of sashab


    February 9, 2015

    Hi there, I am just wondering what I should expect if I have applied for the work crew? can I apply for the volunteer crew at the same time in case I don’t make it on to the work crew? Thank you for your time:)

    • Profile photo of Andy


      February 10, 2015

      Hey Sasha,

      There is no need to double register. Our HR crew will start interviewing registrants over the coming month or two. Once you have had a chance to talk with them, just mention that you might also be interested in volunteering, but your preference is to be on a paid crew. They will make note of your request and let you know of any options that might be available.

  4. Profile photo of Clarke


    February 11, 2015

    the FAQ sheet says that shifts are Aug 4 – 12…. does that mean we should set aside that whole time, or can we do our mandated shifts in the early part of the festival to depart on the 10th/11th?

    Also, what are the in/out privileges of the festival (to restock on food, if needed)?

    thx thx!

    • Profile photo of Andy


      February 12, 2015

      Hey Clarke, thanks for the questions. Your shifts will depend on which team you are scheduled for, as well as where HR has the need. Scheduling is usually solidified sometime in June / July, so you will know your shifts before coming on-site. If you are applying for a paid staff position, you will likely want to set aside the whole time as staff generally work through the entire show.

      Understanding that our crew will likely be on-site for a longer period of time, we allow our crew to leave the site and come back without being subject to any re-entry fees, provided they are working during the show. If you finish your volunteer shifts before the show begins, HR will provide you with a physical ticket instead of a crew wristband and you will be subject to re-entry fees if you want to leave and come back.

      Hope this answers your questions, if you have any specific questions for your situation, you may want to email

  5. Profile photo of ianmetz


    March 4, 2015

    I’m a little sad I won’t be getting a hardcopy ticket to add to my collection since I’m volunteering this year. I’m guessing theres no way to buy one after the festival?

    • Profile photo of Andy


      March 5, 2015

      Hey Ian, this is a request we do get a lot. This year, I’ll be sure to try to drop off any remaining blanks at HR after we close up the gate. Perhaps checking in on Monday afternoon or Tuesday after the show (if you’re still around). Sometimes we run really short on tickets as we usually don’t order too many more than what we sell. If there are leftovers, I’ll be sure to leave them there.

  6. Profile photo of Jaskaran nagra

    Jaskaran nagra

    March 18, 2015

    HI I am a paramedic and was thinking of volunteering after a coworker recommended it saying it’s a great experience. Just had a question, if I volunteer I get in for free but my friend said something about getting another ticket for a friend for free also if I work two 12 hour shifts as a medic? Is that still the case this year?

  7. Profile photo of Steve


    March 18, 2015

    I was interested in volunteering for the medical volunteers, but might have to take the coach bus (on the Thursday) to get to the site. Is it mandatory to be there on the Tuesday or are there exceptions for certain crew teams? Thanks in advance for any help

    • Profile photo of Andy


      March 20, 2015

      Hi Steve, you will need to arrange with your team manager if you are unable to make it on-site for orientation. Many teams have different rules surrounding orientation. Once your application has been approved, your team leader will reach out to you and you will have the opportunity to ask them your questions.

    • Profile photo of Andy


      April 10, 2015

      Although there is no firm deadline, teams become unavailable as they are filled. If you want to have a better chance for getting on your desired team, you will need to apply earlier.

  8. Profile photo of Martin Olson

    Martin Olson

    April 10, 2015

    Hey, I was just wondering if there is a deadline for applying to be part of the crew. I just want to figure out my at-home job situation before applying.

    • Profile photo of Andy


      April 10, 2015

      Hey Martin, our applications remain open as long as we have open positions, but our teams are starting to fill up. You likely have some time, but may not get a position on your desired team as they are filled.

  9. Profile photo of James Gillespie

    James Gillespie

    April 10, 2015

    Hey I’m a qualified carpenter with years of experience are there any pre show set up positions left?

  10. Profile photo of Martin Szczepanski

    Martin Szczepanski

    May 6, 2015

    I want to volunteer for medical or fire but work till the 5th of august and am wondering when the volunteers for these specific positions have to be there. Cause the only information i can find is be there on the 3rd or the 4th , im just wondering if that applies to the crew or both the crews and the volunteers

    • Profile photo of Andy


      May 7, 2015

      Hey Martin, we refer to all of our volunteers and staff members as our crew. If you need to make special arrangements for a later arrival, I would suggest emailing to let them know. They will be able to inform you whether it is possible to arrive later.

  11. Profile photo of Alexis


    May 27, 2015

    I saw that you are able to camp with your RV in the crew camping area (with shade) and I was wondering if this also includes small vehicles? I have a small car I would like to camp in at the shaded crew camp area.

    • Profile photo of Andy


      June 1, 2015

      Hey Alexis,

      If you are camping IN your vehicle, you are allowed to park it in crew camping. You need to sleep in your vehicle in order to park in crew camping though.

  12. Profile photo of Kerry Ann Bastien

    Kerry Ann Bastien

    June 17, 2015

    First time up, and wondering about a carpool list or post (if there’s one available.) I will have my own vehicle, but would like one other driver capable of splitting the driving time/distance from the Metro-Vancouver area. Catch is that I must head up early, driving up Saturday, August 1, returning approx. Wednesday, August 12. Thanks!

  13. Profile photo of Meigan Swanson

    Meigan Swanson

    June 27, 2015

    Is there post crew clean up still available? This is the first year I’ll be able to stick around and I would love to volunteer for this position :)

  14. Profile photo of Molly Ashlie

    Molly Ashlie

    July 12, 2015

    Hey! I saw your post on craigslist looking for paid staff for a few positions, are there any available still? Just curious before I pay my deposit because I know it’s late in the game. If you guys are still looking for night owl baristas (or really anything) I would love to shoot of my application.

    • Profile photo of Andy


      July 13, 2015

      Please do apply. We still have paid positions available.

  15. Profile photo of Christie Cunneyworth

    Christie Cunneyworth

    July 16, 2015

    Hey there! I’m only a few months away from finishing my nursing degree and becoming an RN – can I work on the medical team? Or, I would really love to be part of the harm reduction crew, if any volunteers were to cancel last minute! Does this ever happen?

    • Profile photo of Jake Dubconscious

      Jake Dubconscious

      August 1, 2015

      Sorry for the delay in getting to this, all you’d have to do is apply on our website listing your experience and qualifications.. Hope you got yours in before our crew maxed out, feel free to try for next year!

  16. Profile photo of Tara


    July 18, 2015

    I applied and paid the deposit through PayPal. Is there a chance I won’t be hired and if so, is my deposit returned at some point? Thanks! :)

  17. Profile photo of Joel Semczyszyn

    Joel Semczyszyn

    July 22, 2015

    I applied a few days ago and haven’t gotten word back, my girlfriend is also wanting to apply and has the 4th to the 10th off as well.

    I worked at Shambs back in 2013 at Blaze Burgers, it was a solid place to work :).

    I’m wondering if it’s too late to still find work? If I’m unable to find work, will the deposit be returned to me? If not, I won’t be signing up my girlfriend for work as well, as that’s not a very good use of $400.

    • Profile photo of Andy


      July 23, 2015

      Hi Joel, please be patient. The surge of last minute applications we have received is quite large and it is taking us a while to get through the pile. If your application is not accepted, your deposit will be refunded.

  18. Profile photo of Alethea


    July 23, 2015

    Eager beaver here, I sent in an application last week to work/volunteer with shambhala this year. I’ve yet to receive a reply. Wondering if anyone knows how long the application process takes this late in the game……

    Much love

    • Profile photo of Andy


      July 23, 2015

      Hey Alethea, we had an incredible amount of interest and have quite the pile of new applications we are still getting through. HR will send you an email if you are accepted, and will refund your deposit if you are not. Due to the volume of emails is receiving please be patient as we are trying to get to everybody.

  19. Profile photo of teaganw


    August 3, 2015

    Hi ,
    I’m just wondering , someone told me that if you drive in with a volunteer you can skip the line. Is that true?

  20. Profile photo of Sean


    September 28, 2015

    Hello lovelies at Shambhala!

    When can we expect Crew application for 2016 to come online? Super stoked for next year and I’d love to help provide for a festival that has provided me with so many good times and memories.

    • Profile photo of Andy


      September 28, 2015

      Hey Sean, thanks for your interest! We usually release our crew applications in late January / early February. Please follow us on our social channels or register for our mailing list at to be among the first to know when our crew applications are live.

      Thanks again, looking forward to working with you next year.

  21. Profile photo of Mitchell Bell

    Mitchell Bell

    November 5, 2015

    Is it an issue If I send in my volunteer application in February but don’t turn 19 until April?

    • Profile photo of Nicole Seaboyer

      Nicole Seaboyer

      November 5, 2015

      No, you are welcome to apply before you turn 19, as long as you turn 19 before you are scheduled to arrive on the farm. Just include that info in your application so it is clear. Looking forward to getting your application!

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