If reading about this campaign inspires you to make a donation, even if you can only spare 50p, or £1 it really adds up – you can make a donation of any amount, at any time, here. 100% of funds raised go towards opening up our festivals and events to those on low incomes.

Whilst currently only in it’s second year, we intend to run and develop this campaign annually, allowing us to open up our events and festivals to heaps more people who have never been able to experience them before due to financial barriers – watch this space!

The Brief

To find a way to open up our events to those who have never been able to attend before, due to financial pressures.

Why? Because festivals aren’t cheap – especially weekend camping ones. They certainly aren’t cheap to produce and they aren’t cheap to attend. It’s not as simple as offering cut price tickets for folks 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.


The Process

Since 2022, we’ve been giving our Shambala festival attendees the option to make a ‘Pay It Forward’ donation, in various ways:

1. My making additional donations of any amount whilst purchasing their festival tickets

2. By making additional donations whilst getting their drinks in at the festival bars

3. We also gathered donations from the guests of the artists performing at the festival.

We then identified some fantastic charity organisations in the areas very local to Shambala’s festival site, who, using the funds raised, would be able to bring some of their clients along to join the party in 2023, on full ‘festival access packages’ – covering their entry tickets, food, drink, travel and accommodation.



The Result

With £10,000 raised for the campaign in it’s first year (2022) we were able to get the ball rolling in 2023. We partnered with the following organisations, to bring some their clients and service users along to join the party:

The Leaving Care Service: Part of The Northamptonshire Children’s Trust. They support Care Experienced Young People, aged 16 – 25 who were children in care, for example in foster care, children’s homes, semi-independent accommodation and so forth.

Harborough Eco Village: This fantastic organisation (known locally as The Village) is a non profit CIC, set up 3 years ago to work with and feed the local community, alongside promoting environmental sustainability. Their ‘Community Fridge’ has saved tonnes of food from landfill and their community café works on a pay-it-forward system. Their school outreach programme has reached more than 2,000 local school children.

Here are some beautiful words from Chris, the Leaving Care Services CEO:

“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.”

And here’s what one of Harborough Eco-Village’s service users, a local mum, had to say about her family’s experience:

“I really need to thank absolutely everyone. Whether you paid it forward 50p or £50 last year, this has been life altering for me. As a self employed, single parent to four 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 all of the music and workshops etc etc and like I said, absolutely and completely life altering. I’ve cried tears of joy frequently this weekend (constantly embarrassing my poor kids!).”

Funds raised in 2023: 2023 was our second year of raising funds to Pay It Forward, and the generous souls of the Shambala community raised another £12,000 through donations at the bar and whilst buying their tickets, meaning we’ll be able to grant full festival access packages for even more people to come along and share the love, at Shambala 2024.