Two British Columbia events have been awarded best festivals by DJ Mag: Bass Coast in Merritt won “Best Boutique Festival” and Shambhala in Salmo won “Best Music Festival.”

The province of British Columbia has cornered the market on summer festivals with two marquee events beating out such iconic fetes as Coachella in California in a recent awarding by DJ Mag. Bass Coast, which celebrated its 10-year-anniversary in Merritt this past weekend won “Best Boutique Festival” and Shambhala, which has been held on a farm near Salmo for the past 22 years, was honoured with “Best Music Festival.”

“Having started as a dance party in the forest with 300 people in 1998 to being voted as the Best Festival in North America by DJ Mag 22 years later, we really are just blown away and honoured,” said Jimmy Bundshuh, founder and owner of Shambhala who oversees the festival that’s held on his family’s private farm every August. Shambhala now has six curated stages that host some of the biggest names in electronic dance music.

DJ Mag is an England-based monthly magazine, first printed in 1991, dedicated to dance music. Its other nominees for the 1991 Best Music Festival award included Coachella (CA, USA), Movement (MI, USA), Lightning In A Bottle (CA, USA) and Bonnaroo (TN, USA). “The production at Shambhala, which touts larger-than-life stages, climbable structures, state-of-the-art projection mapping and cutting-edge sound, is unlike anything else on the continent,” wrote DJ Mag about the event. This year’s festival takes place August 9-12, 2019.

The other BC event to be honoured this year is Bass Coast. The magazine writes, “With a focus on art, well-being and, of course, bass-heavy beats, Canadian getaway Bass Coast claims this year’s Best Boutique Festival crown…Its founders, Andrea Graham and Liz Thomson, have been at the helm of the art-focused gathering in beautiful Merritt, BC, Canada since 2009.”

“Many people speak about how special the vibe is at Bass Coast,” Graham and Thomson told DJ Mag. “We want to credit all of you who come, who build, who perform, who work, and who volunteer for creating the vibe that makes Bass Coast stand out. Every person onsite contributed to Bass Coast achieving this recognition. We are all Bass Coast.”

The diverse festival was just held this past weekend (July 12-15) and included such popular acts as Nightmares On Wax and Claude VonStroke, in addition to groundbreaking bass artists like G Jones, Alix Perez and Madam X.

For more about Shambhala, read our interview with the after-movie director, and Emmy award winner Nick Waggoner.

Feature photo by James Coletta.