Shambhala Music Festival is right around the corner and anticipation levels are through the treetops. Yet the legendary weekend in August is not the only thing that local Shambhalovlies have to look forward to. Recently, Shambhala Music Festival LTD, the organization apart of the Western Canadian music festival, has also launched a new multilevel establishment in downtown Nelson, BC.
The project began in 2013 when Jimmy Bundschuh, the founder and owner of Shambhala, bought the Savoy Hotel, a building on Baker Street in Nelson. The building has a decades-old history in the area but was was condemned six years ago due to a fire. Under Bundschuh and his partner Jenna Arpita, it will now operate as a four-part business geared to Nelson's thriving tourism and nightlife industry. Budnschuh envisions the final product as a "mini-resort," which will include a fully functioning hotel, a health-oriented casual diner called The Farm Fresh Café, a live music and entertainment space called The Falls Music Lounge, and the highly anticipated Bloom Nightclub.
The Boom Nightclub is the first operation now open to the public. Just as Shambhala is renowned for its creative and elaborate on-site aesthetics, the same can be said of its new sister establishments. "The sound, the lighting, and all that stuff is taken from elements and things we've learned by doing the festival," says Bundschuh of the 300-person capacity venue. "We've got a PK sound system and we're doing a big LED screen on the roof. So yeah, the club is going to have a very Shambhala feel." One of the unique features of Bloom Nightclub will be the Living Wall—an eye-watering green 30-foot long wall covered by real exotic plants and flowers. Get it? The Bloom Nightclub.
As the Shambhala Music Festival is fast approaching, Bundschuh says he has focused the club's bookings on local acts, leaving major artists to headline the festival. However, after 2015's Shams shenanigans come to a close, there are plans to book larger national and international acts as they make their way through the rocky BC terrain. "We've got a great scene here," says Bundschuh, "people come out and support the shows. Geography is also on our side. When acts are driving through BC, it becomes that halfway point between Vancouver and Calgary. So we often get big shows on a weeknight."
Additionally, just as Shambhala has been successful in employing hundreds for the event annually, the new Savoy Hotel will offer additional gigs to those who live within the Kootenay region throughout Shamb's off-season. "It allows me to build more staff employees year round," says Bundschuh. "I can offer more employment to people. Because the festival is seasonal work for most of the staff, this is a great way to keep the crew on and apply their skills throughout the year. Plus, it deepens our relationships with artists. Rather than booking people for one event, we can book people throughout the year."
Nelson has a rich electronic music and nightlife history with other establishments outside of Shambhala's reign. The Spiritbar, which books an eclectic lineup of acts, is one club that helps hold the Kootenay scene down. Not only that, but a number of Canadian talents within the electronic music pool have also originated from the area, including Adam Shaikh, Mooves, Naasko, the Philthkids, and D. Tiffany. "People in Nelson like to party," adds Bundschuh with a chuckle. "That's for sure."
The Shambhala Music Festival has been and continues to hold significance for many people throughout Canada and the rest of the world. Let's see what The Savoy Hotel and The Bloom Nightclub will bring us throughout the other 360 days of the year.
To add to your excitement, watch the official Shambhala 2015 teaser below.
Tickets for Shambhala Music Festival 2015 are now sold out.
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