Meet the team

Poppy Craigan

Event Manager

Introducing Poppy, Shambala’s new Festival Manager, who joined us in January 2017.

Poppy has over 15 years experience in the festival industry working for some of the industry’s biggest and best. After cutting her teeth stewarding at Big Chill Festivals, she spent over 10 years running the fast-paced Glastonbury Festival Site Office and was Infrastructure Manager for Reading & Leeds, Big Chill Festival and Boomtown Fair, as well as further-flung festivals on the other side of the globe. Poppy has also spent the last 7 years as Festival Manager for the luscious Port Eliot Festival, growing it into a small-to-medium sized event.

Her qualifications include a degree in Arts & Event Management from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth; and no less impressive, she’s co-Founder of Kings of Ping and winner of the ‘Halloween Dark Lady of Pong’ trophy.

Poppy’s passion for festivals is driven by a love for the philosophy: the collective effervescence of happiness, creativity, ideas, fun and freedom that flow freely at festivals. Poppy feels she has spent an entire whole career dancing on the peripherals of the Shambala family, so we’re thrilled to finally have her on the team. She says; ‘joining the team feels like a home-coming’.

Dan Raffety

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Dan has been the principal booker for Shambala Festival and Reggae City since their inceptions and has produced numerous promotions in Birmingham and Bristol. Over the years he has developed extensive and valuable relationships with many agents and musicians. He knows what is needed to produce shows to a very high standard and his meticulous planning means that his stages run without a hitch and with minimal fuss.

Kate Dean

Event Coordinator

Kate joined the Kambe team in 2010 after graduating from Birmingham City University with a first class degree in Media and Communications (Music Industries). Whilst studying, Kate also won the Brian Travers Achievement Award.

Kate’s organisational role within Kambe includes important elements of procurement, finance and management for our major events, alongside essential day to day administrative tasks.

As manager of our Birmingham office, Kate is also responsible for developing new business and links in the city. She is event co-ordinator for the Swingamajig festival and makes significant contributions to the management,  coordination and marketing of Reggae City and other projects.

Kate has developed new partnerships with various Birmingham institutions, including a new relationship with Birmingham City University. This link is designed to provide vocational opportunities for students and communities to work alongside Kambe Events in a positive, valuable and symbiotic long term framework.

Jon Walsh

Co-Founder & Finance Director

The extensive and diverse experience Jon has underpins his equally varied skill sets. Jon strives to create and stimulate sustainable positive outcomes. His background ranges from overseas work in the charity, non-governmental and education sectors, to running successful commercial enterprises in fields as diverse as the retail and construction industries.

Jon has a wealth of specialist experience in the music and events industry. He has been instrumental in many successful start ups, is an event coordinator, has sold vinyl records across a shop counter, developed management software and managed multi million pound budgets.

Jon has always been driven to explore and understand the dynamics of the arts, its economics, sustainability and social change. Jon has been a speaker, panelist and DJ at events across Europe and regularly provides consultancy in the creative sector.

 

Sidharth Sharma

Co-Founder & Creative Director

Sidharth has combined his two lifelong passions, food and music, by setting up and establishing multiple, award-winning businesses in those sectors. He has spent the last 20 years creating strong, resilient brands and developing winning strategies.

The common theme that runs through all his various projects, past and present, are the concepts of: sustainability, innovation and social benefit. Sidharth believes that the most difficult and pressing issues that we face as a society, can be tackled by using creativity to reframe the problems and deliver solutions.

Outside of his work for Kambe, Sidharth sits on the board for the Association of Independent Festivals and the Bristol Food Policy Council – both as a founder member. He acts as a strategic consultant for various commercial and charitable organisations, to create campaigns that encourage behaviour change. Currently he advises: FareShare Southwest – the food charity, Bristol City Council and the BBC.

Sidharth is a Honours graduate of the Visual Arts, a Fellow of The Royal Society of The Arts and is regularly invited to speak at events both at nationally and internationally. In 2011 he was the first person to be awarded the title of ‘Local Food Champion’ by the City of Bristol in recognition for his work in promoting sustainable food.

Becka Whiteley

Marketing & Communications Manager

Becka joined Kambe Events in 2015, and is responsible for Marketing for Shambala and Starry Skies. From social media, through to print, website, press, photography and video, if you can read it, look at it, or watch it, she’ll have had a creative hand in it.

Becka’s background is in sustainable marketing, from electric car clubs to organic community farms and green energy initiatives, as well as moonlighting in illustration. She’s passionate about the environment, music, art, dodgy puns and that warm, fuzzy sleep-deprived feeling you get after living in a field for weeks with a bunch of likeminded heroes.

Chris Johnson

Co-Founder & Operations Director

Chris is co-founder, Operations Director and Sustainability lead for Shambala Festival, and a Director of the parent company Kambe Events.

Chris is a passionate advocate and highly experienced consultant of sustainability at events; He is co-founder and chair of Powerful Thinking – the UK’s think-do tank on sustainable energy, co-founder and trustee of The Energy Revolution, regular conference speaker and content programmer, and the Associate for Festivals and Events with Julies Bicycle.

Chris has unrivalled knowledge about how to design and implement initiatives on the ground at events, communicate difficult concepts, and has significant experience delivering industry-wide initiatives, managing working groups, advising companies, authoring guides and creating guidance.

Past clients include Northern Festivals Network, Julies Bicycle, BBC, Blue Dot Festival, Somersault, Arcadia, Showmans Show, Bristol 2015 (European Green Capital), RAW Foundation, and Resource Futures.

Sarah Mason

Concessions Manager & Event Administration

Sarah joined the Kambe team in April 2015. She is based at Kambe House in Bristol and provides valuable and varied administrative support to the directors and company.

Sarah has a history of producing and promoting concerts, managing charity events and providing worldwide tour support to international artists. The rich skill set that Sarah has developed, paired with her positive attitude towards projects and life, means that Sarah has quickly become a huge asset to the Kambe team.

Sarah is a musician and singing teacher in her own right. She loves to be involved with creative productions and relishes anything that brings communities together creatively.

Her personal career highlight so far, was securing and producing the iconic molten rings moment of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremonies, which saw her team’s work posted on over 70 newspaper’s front pages’ worldwide.

Damien Doherty

Branding & Design

Leah Dermody

Festival Manager

Leah joined the Shambala production team in 2012 and before long was working on a new Kambe Events concept: Starry Skies. Billed as an intimate family camping experience for 250 families, the camp has flourished into a much-loved sell-out event that’s now in its fifth year. As well as loving the chance to work outdoors in the beautiful Brecon Beacons, her favourite bit of the job is the people. It doesn’t get much better than roaming the countryside with a bunch of brilliant and resourceful crew, creating a fantastic space for families to relax and kids to roam free in nature. Every day is different, invigorating and totally golden – dream job!

Daria Valueva

Finance Manager & Sustainability Officer

Daria began working with Kambe in a freelance capacity and has since become a full time member of the team. She is based in our London office, providing business and administrative support to the company and all of our events.

Daria’s first experience with festivals was at the University of Birmingham where she studied and was a key member of the team organising the 5000 person Vale Festival. Through this experience she developed a passion for festivals, organising events and sustainability.

Her university course in Culture studies brought music, contemporary art forms and community together and Daria has become committed to the value and importance of inspirational capacity in events. She firmly believes that the best way to bring communities together and bring about positive change is through art, music and creativity.

Tom Diffey

Web Developer

Christine Dent

Production Assistant

Christine is an Events Management and Advertising graduate from the University of Northampton. Christine joined the Kambe team in January 2015 as an intern, supporting activities across the company’s portfolio.

Since joining the company her roles have developed and now Christine manages procurement and logistics of site resources for both Shambala Festival and Swingamajig Festival, as well as company commerce activities and aspects of marketing from the Birmingham office.

Before joining Kambe Christine has worked in various aspects of festivals and events; from event programming, marketing, décor, procurement and even performing herself at events. Christine loves everything out of the ordinary and injects colour and creativity into everything she does.

Livvy Drake

Sustainability Co-ordinator

Livvy Drake has worked on a wide variety of event contracts from corporate events, exhibitions and sponsorship to creative events and festivals.

Being torn between her green eco-roots and the buzz and adrenalin of events, she decided that compromising either was not an option and has been pursuing and advocating sustainable event practices through training, consultancy and implementation.

Shambala was one of the events she has always held as the industry standard so now being the sustainability co-ordinator for this event is a career highlight.

Last year, Livvy enjoyed training Bristol festivals as part of Bristol 2015 and Bristol City Council Green Event training. And in 2016 she has been spending a lot of time visiting and reviewing Northern Festivals, as part of a three year project with the Northern Festival Network.

Livvy is committed to ‘being the change’ which includes living a life with minimal single-use plastics, and travelling as far as possible with her bike on the train. She has even travelled to a few festivals on her bike, although this does limit the fancy-dress wardrobe options!

 

Sophie Chatz

Creative Production & Brand Development

Sophie joined the Kambe family in 2014 and provides marketing support, assists on production and works closely with the directors to develop new creative concepts.

Sophie cut her marketing teeth at Vice Magazine eleven years ago, and went on to head up design and print at renewable electricity company Good Energy before making the hop to events. As well as consulting for Shambala, she’s also Marketing Manager at Port Eliot Festival, and a founding member of events crew The Dance-Off, now in its tenth year.

Lucy Mead

Production Assistant

Lucy is the organisational maestro behind the Shambala bookings team: she organises all the logistics, travel arrangements and other assorted requests for Shambala’s music artists.

When she’s not in the Shambala office, Lucy works at Valleyfest as well as for a Bristol-based booking agency called Ear Trumpet. Over the years, she’s also worked for the likes of Shindig, Swingamajig, Farm Fest, Eat Drink Bristol Fashion, mostly stage managing or in the production office. 

Her favourite thing about working for Shambala is the lovely community of likeminded people that make up our team as well as our festival-goers.