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*EDIT: Check the date – we’re just fooling around 😉 thank you to everyone who kept our chat bots entertained this morning with your responses – from the amused to the outraged. For clarity… we would never.*

“Jeepers, Creepers! Let us scan your peepers!”

As we’re sure you all know (..we bang on about it enough) we’re constantly looking at pioneering ways to reduce waste on site. Having already forbidden all manner of items from single use plastic bottles, to disposable coffee cups, to bacon, cow’s milk and disposable bar cups, we’re running out of things to banish!

Or so we thought…

Why waste precious resources by manufacturing thousands of public, crew and artist wristbands, when cutting edge biometric technology offers us a greener, quicker and more security-conscious solution?

Which is why, at Shambala 2023, as a UK festival first, we’re waving goodbye to wristbands and waving a big HELLO to Biometric Retinal Scanning™

That sounds scary, what is it?!

It’s actually very simple. A retinal scan is a biometric technique that maps the unique patterns of a person’s retina using a low-intensity light source. Through a delicate sensor, a retinal scan examines the pattern of retina blood vessels, which remains unchanged from birth until death – meaning even baby Shambalans can get involved!

What does this mean for you?!

We promise you, it really couldn’t be easier, and if you’ve never put a foot wrong, there’s really nothing to worry about.

All you need to do is show up at the gates, let our new team (on loan from GCHQ, so you know they know their stuff) scan your retinas, wait a few minutes whilst they cheerfully cross check you with a government database (just so we know you’re a good egg) and then (providing you’ve got no outstanding pesky issues with car tax, antisocial behaviour, activism, driving license points or independent thought) in you pop, and your adventures in utopia can begin.

Why this is definitely a good idea (so calm down):

1. Less waste. Hurray.
2. Less chance of losses. You almost always know where your eyes are.
3. Better security. It’s very hard to steal eyes.
4. Keeping Shambala a nice place for nice people, whilst giving our pals in the authorities a chance to pick up any rascals or scamps who are trying to weasel in.
5. Paving the way for a brand new payment system, also launching at Shambala this year…..


Cash is proper grubby and can get nicked. Card payments are okay but you can forgot your pin, or lose your card… if only there was a better way, that literally nobody asked for.

Proudly introducing SHAM SPECS, a new, wearable, pioneering ‘smart payment system’. These biodegradable bad boys not only look wicked but allow you to pay for items simply by blinking! No more queues! No more wasting time making boring old human small talk with our traders! Instead, a sleek, streamlined, contact-free shopping experience. 

We’ll be handing these out at the gates on arrival (you may not opt out) where we’ll be linking them to your bank account FOR FREE as part of the retina scanning set up (you may not opt out). Pop ‘em on, and at the festival bars and our food and non food traders, if you like the look of something, blink, decisively, three times, and payment will be taken from your bank account in a matter of seconds.

Most excitingly at all, these beauts also link automatically to all and any social media accounts you may be signed up to, as standard (you may not opt out) meaning anything you’ve pointed your eyes at for a while, be it a band, a poster, some merchandise or even a person, can be niftily and usefully retargeted to you post-event, giving you another chance to purchase that item, or connect with that person, and keep that festival magic alive year round.

We’d love to hear your feedback*!

*Providing it’s positive. Please drop our chatbots a line, here, and let us know what you think.

Big love,

Sham HQ x