At Shambala, Kambe Events has been walking the talk for a while now with a series of ever-more progressive sustainable practices to reduce the environmental impact of the four-day event.

The festival has completely ditched disposable plastics, introduced sustainable travel initiatives, become 100 percent renewably-powered and helped its supply chain to join it on this environmental journey with templates, and even seed-funding in some cases.

In 2016, Shambala took the radical decision to remove meat and fish from its on-site food offering, for both the public and festival staff.

The Brief

For us, the decision was an environmental one. If we’re serious about being the most sustainable festival on the planet, we can’t ignore the indisputable evidence that a diet predominantly based on meat and fish is having a devastating effect on the world.

The Process

How we delivered the initiative

  • A debate, not a dogmatic stance
  • Promoting ‘delicious & healthy food’ and a dedicated and diverse food-related program
  • Well researched information online
  • Bold/clear launch across communication platforms

Making it happen on the ground  

  • Choosing the right traders from day one.
  • Making it easy for them. Wholesalers / Suppliers etc.
  • Garden O Feeden – A dedicated venue
  • Provocations – goats, kippers, insects!
  • Fun, tongue in cheek signage

The Result

When Shambala Festival announced that it was going to go meat and fish free for environmental reasons, the decision was met with both anger and praise amongst its audience. But research conducted has uncovered some remarkable findings – the bold and brave move has well and truly inspired people to significantly change their diets.

In the audience survey immediately after the 2016 event, 52% of festivalgoers, who said that they ate meat and fish, said they had changed their diet as a result of the festival experience. The follow-up survey results showed that in total 76% of the people making a change to their diet were still going strong. Of those, nearly 40% had sustained a ‘drastic reduction’ in their meat and fish intake and a further 36% had reduced meat and fish intake a little. The post-event survey showed 77 per cent of respondents wanted to keep Shambala meat and fish free.

Seven years in, Shambala is firmly cemented as a vegetarian paradise, with the vast majority of our audience and crew (approx 80% each year) voting to keep meat and fish firmly off the menu.

Our meat and fish free initiative removes an estimated 100 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from the festival’s carbon footprint, each year.