Meet the team

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.

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.

Oli Grassi

Co-Founder & Non Exec Director

Oli’s passions are the arts, food and people. He’s promoted music and art since the late 90’s and has extensive experience coordinating a variety of events from greenfield festivals and venue gigs to art exhibitions, food shows and charity fundraisers.

Oli’s tireless energy has also seen him run a record shop, art gallery and café, developed food and business for a Michelin star chef and consulted for many Food & Beverage enterprises.

His love for people and the ever growing Kambe community is his biggest focus and he fights passionately to maintain our cultural values.

Oh, and when he retires, he’ll be burning food on a fire and feeding people – he’s well known round these parts as being “The Feeder”.

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.

Melissa Inman

Head of Operations

Melissa is Head of Operations at Kambe Events, she is responsible for the planning and implementation of events from an operational and logistical perspective.

Before joining the Kambe team, Melissa had organised and delivered over 150 festivals and innovative events across multiple locations in Bristol, welcoming over a million visitors from diverse communities. Her passion for bringing people together through the power of events was born when she graduated from an Arts and Event Production Degree in 2006 and ever since she has thrived working in such a vibrant and inclusive cultural sector.

Even outside of work you’ll always find Melissa immersed in all things arts and culture, finding joy in yoga, dancing, good food and exploring the great outdoors!

Christine Dent

Site Office, Resources & Event Manager

Christine is Shambala’s Site Office Manager as well as playing a key role in site managing Kambe’s smaller events. Over the past five years, she’s co-ordinated events from start to finish; booking and managing site crew, creating site maps on Vectorworks, booking infrastructure and managing contracters.

Christine has bags of experience in thinking on her feet, problem solving and building a safe and functional event site from the (literal) nuts and bolts upward. From quantification to build and break plans, she is not afraid to get her hands dirty.

Becka Whiteley

Marketing & Communications Director

Head of all things MarComms and one of our board of directors, Becka has been with Kambe since 2015. From website to video, photography, design, app development, podcasts, print or social media, if you can look at it, read it or watch it, she’ll have had a creative hand in it.

Prior to joining the Kambe team, Becka specialised in sustainable marketing, from electric car clubs to community farms and green energy initiatives – as well as moonlighting in illustration.

Becka is fuelled by copious amounts of caffeine, bizarre knitwear and crap puns. She feels very lucky to have whittled out a career that marries her environmental interests with her love of a good knees up.

Karen Vigers

Finance Assistant

Karen is Kambe’s Finance Assistant. Her main focus is paying the invoices of all the wonderful people who work at our events and analysis of data post event. She has over 10 years experience in Finance, after graduating from Bristol University with an Economics degree she worked in residential and commercial property companies in Bristol. Needless to say, she has always loved numbers.

Karen loves being part of a community and is passionate about sustainable practices, so feels very much at home in the Shambala Team.

Sarah Mason

Production & Concessions Manager

Sarah is responsible for production management and production procurement for Shambala Festival. She also supports the Operations Director and Operations Manager. In addition Sarah books and manages all concessions operating at the event.
Sarah‘s background includes international touring and live TV supply, concert promotion and community festival management. Notable productions Sarah has worked with include, Katy Perry, Take That, Muse and Robbie Williams world tours, London 2012 Olympic Opening and Paralympic Opening Ceremonies and the MTV Awards in LA & Belfast.

Janine Bennett

Finance Manager

Joining the team in 2018, Janine works as Finance Manager across the full Kambe Events portfolio; a busy role with peaks and troughs throughout the year. Janine comes from a background in health and social well-being. After graduating from Birmingham University with a degree in Psychology, she then embarked on a 10-year career within the charity sector, managing charity helplines and eventually heading up the Information and Support services for Marie Curie.

Janine is passionate about people, health, diversity, accessibility and taking care of our beautiful planet. Naturally she feels completely at home here.

Amia Watling

Marketing and Admin Assistant

Amia assists with marketing and communications for Shambala festival and Kambe events, as well as lending a helping hand to everyone around the office. After finishing a degree in Fashion Communication she’s developed her marketing and social media skills working with sustainable fashion brands, events companies and music journalism platforms.

Outside the office Amia volunteers for FUZE UK, a non-profit organisation which supports upcoming creative talent and raises money for selected charities by putting on experiential events, while reconnecting young people with charity in accessible ways. You’ll often find her behind a camera at a gig and shooting for independent artists or designers around Bristol.

Tash Simmons

Booking Assistant

Tash helps our Music Director with everything artist related after the initial booking. She manages all artist logistics behind the scenes to make sure they make it to the stage smoothly.

Outside of the Shambala world, Tash has her fingers in lots of other event related pies, working in various roles both on and off site. Her love of the outdoors means spending her summer on festival sites is her idea of heaven (even with the inevitable bad weather!).

Abi Moores

Production Coordinator

As an events all-rounder Abi has had a variety of roles at Kambe. She can currently be found production co-ordinating both Shambala and Starry Skies, with a focus on the creative content side of things.

When she’s not adding some sparkle and silliness to Kambe’s portfolio, Abi runs Ecolibrium, a charity which helps to tackle carbon emissions from travel in the live events sector.

With a background in environmental campaigning and now firmly rooted as a freelancer in the Bristol events industry, Abi brings with her a love of working and playing outdoors and in the water! (She recently added ‘swimming teacher’ to her extensive repertoire).

Damien Doherty

Branding & Design

Tom Diffey

Web Developer