In less than a week, over 11,000 people from all walks of life will make the pilgrimage to Salmo, British Columbia for the 18th annual Shambhala Music Festival. In anticipation of this year’s festival, we had the opportunity to interview Shambhala’s Social Media Manager, Britz Robins.
Since joining the team in 2007, Britz has become an indispensable part of the Shambhafamily, playing a major role in the festival’s growth into what we enjoy today. For her contributions to Shambhala, she’s been honored with Gold & Silver Pinnacle Awards by International Festival & Events Association, and using her “communicorn” expertise, Britz also offers social media coaching and management to help entrepreneurs “Rock Their Social” via her website. When she isn’t busy working to make Shambhala the most incredible festival you may ever experience, Britz spends her time laughing with friends, drinking good wine, and dancing under the stars.
Despite having a thousand and one things to do before gates open next week, Britz was kind enough to chat with us about her favorite festival. Read on to hear her thoughts on what keeps Shambhala at the forefront of the industry, the positive influence of festival culture, and her tips for Shambhavirgins.
(Photo by Charlotte Dobre)
You’ve been the Social Media Manager since 2010, and been on the team for 9 years. That’s quite a lengthy time for anyone to be in that position. What contribution are you most proud of/what has been your favorite part of working with Shambhala?
Britz: I’ve been a part of a lot of the different projects that we’ve got up and running. I was kinda the person that came up with the idea of the Shambhassador Team, basically “vibe patrol.” They’re a pretty fun team, you know, they just give people information about the festival and help out if people need to connect with someone from any department. Basically, they’re like roaming customer service!
I was like “hey, there is a big gap here and our people that are at the festival aren’t feeling satisfied with certain things.” So Ricardo kind of took that idea and ran and really developed it into what it is today, which is super cool. And then, back when – I can’t remember when we first started doing Shambhalodging, but that was also one of my ideas. I saw festivals in the UK offering services like that, and I said to myself, “That’s such a cool idea! People that are coming from other countries that can’t necessarily bring camping gear with them, we can offer this service.” And obviously it takes a team to execute these ideas, but it’s so fun to go from “hey, this is a really great idea,” to then – sometimes it takes 3 or 5 years for it to be implemented, but you watch things come to life and become their own thing – it’s really cool.
When did the Shambassador team start? It sounds really similar to Insomniac’s Ground Control, have you had any experience with their team?
Britz: That would have been started in 2010, because the first half of 2010 I was still the Human Resources Director. And it was a very very small team that year, and like I said, Ricardo really made it what it is. But yeah, since 2010 we’ve had that.
And no, I went to EDC in 2012, but I wasn’t aware of that team, it would have been cool to see what they do with that. I did Electric Forest for the first time this year, which was super fun! I was actually working the graveyard shift doing their social media monitoring, so I was pretty much locked up in a hotel room while everyone was partying. But it was still pretty cool!
Right on! I’ve been going the past two years and that’s actually how I heard of Shambhala. Everyone calls it the Electric Forest of Canada or Electric Forest is the Shambhala of the U.S.
Britz: I’m kind of like a smaller festival girl, and I’m realizing this more and more as I go to other larger festivals. I mean Shambhala is pretty big, we have around 11,000 tickets sold, but it kind of feels small compared to some of the other festivals I go to. And at Electric Forest I thought, “if I was here partying I would probably just not leave the Sherwood Forest.” The other big stages were really cool and I thought they looked great, but I probably would just hang out in Sherwood Forest if I was just there to party. It’s pretty rad.