Lost Horizon

At Sundae, the summer is our favourite work season, we love music, art, sunshine (and rain), ice cream (clearly), but most of all, we love people. We love bringing people together for new experiences, challenges, and everything that goes along with being at a festival.

I absolutely LOVE working with Shangri-La at Glastonbury, and naturally was devastated when it was cancelled, whilst of course understanding that that loss was a fraction of what it meant to the people that create it. I think for me, that was the moment when I really realised how big an effect, from a work perspective, the coronavirus was going to have on us and our friends and our colleagues.

As you might have read, we’ve been working hard to make the best of a very difficult situation, and have been lucky (in a way) that the TV work we do is adaptable, we’ve launched shows that were already made, created  video content, and spent some time becoming the audience. It’s hard but the very medium means it’s possible to create new ways of making content to beam into people’s living rooms.

But what about live entertainment, specifically music festivals, and all the people that work tirelessly to create them? This was a problem that seemed insurmountable at first.

Then we got a phone call….

I was ecstatic, but in some ways not surprised , to hear what Kaye, Robin and Chris had in mind, as they are constantly listening, reacting, adapting and evolving. It seemed crazy, but most of the best ideas do, and no matter might ensue, I was 100% along for the ride. 

Fast forwarding through a massive learning curve, an emotional rollercoaster, a million zooms, and here we are, one week out from the launch of Lost Horizon and utterly delighted.

Set to be the world’s largest virtual reality music and arts festival, taking place on 3rd and 4th July, Lost Horizon has been created to support The Big Issue and Amnesty International in this time when they really really need it, and as an outlet and platform for all the creatives are spending the summer at home. We’ll be treated to four stages, (Freedom, Gas Tower, Nomad and SHITV), some of which Shangri-La regulars will recognise, more than 50 music acts, more than 100 artists, over 50 films, and over 250 artworks.

Lost Horizon fully interactive and multi-stage event to explore via PC, VR or mobile app (iOS and Android) and streamed live and direct to wherever you are on the planet via Beatport and Twitch, and via partner and artist Facebook, YouTube and Twitch accounts. The festival is a deep multi-layered experience, filled with wild dance-floors, secret headliners, a visual feast of art and performance, hidden venues and huge artists.

The line up is out of this world. On the Gas Tower alone, the brilliant Orca Sound Project has programmed Andy C, Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim, Jamie Jones, Noisia (DJ set), Peggy Gou and Seth Troxler among many more, whilst Global Local have A. Skillz, Alabama 3, Coldcut, Frank Turner, My Baby, My Bad Sister and Krafty Kuts on the Freedom Stage.

Nomad, programmed by Lost Horizon co-director Robin Collings, is a brand new stage for 2020 featuring underground artists from labels including 24 Hour Garage Girls, Kaotic Kartel and Run Tingz, whilst SHITV (Shangri-La International Television), Lost Horizon’s media centre will  broadcast everything from the absurd to the enlightened, from the sidelines, frontlines and backstages of alternative culture, all curated by creative director Kaye Dunnings.

We’re honoured to have contributed an amazing Design Manchester partnership, with our one and only Malcolm Garrett co-curating Yours Truthfully with Kaye, bringing in designers including Paula Scher, Morag Myerscough and Patrick Thomas, to contribute to a virtual exhibition that will appear on billboards towering around the Freedom Stage. IRL prints of their virtual work will be available to purchase in aid of The Big Issue and Amnesty UK.

The whole event is an epic undertaking, condensing what shoulda woulda coulda’ve been years of work into a couple of months. We’re looking after press, social media and marketing, plus working with our very good friends and superheroes Instruct Studio, who created the incredible brand and website faster than a speeding car.

Virtual reality is not a replacement for a real life festival, but it is a new way for people to share their art and music, be creative and most importantly interact and be part of a community. You can’t help but be amazed by what is possible as a result of the technology brought to the project by Sansar and VRJAM.

Kaye has transported the aesthetic she creates at a real life festival into an incredibly accurate and detailed virtual world. Robin has moved heaven and earth, along with partners Orca Sound Project, to arrange for some of world’s biggest DJs, and some of the best underground acts, to be transported into virtual reality via green screen, whilst their co-director Chris Tofu Macmeikan has magically brought the virtual vibes, with a Freedom stage line up that feels like a real life festival. 

The reaction across press and socials after just a week has been absolutely incredible with the news covered in nearly 250 titles (and counting) across the globe, from the The Guardian, BBC Radio 6 Music, Radio X Asian Image, Music Week, Campaign, Total Production International, Billboard, DJ Mag, Mixmag, Shortlist, Design Week, Time Out, Metro, Yahoo, MSN, EDM.com, BroadwayWorld, plus a very special partnership with long time Shangri-La fans NME.

Social media has been ablaze with the news, and the campaign has had nearly 2 million impressions in just over a week.

Lost Horizon is a real festival, in a virtual world. Come join the future.


Fiona x


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