Shangri-La Glastonbury

Ten Days in the Life of the Shangri-Family at Worthy Farm

As we rolled onto the Shangri-La site, just a few days ahead of the opening of the most anticipated Glastonbury Festival of all time, it felt like we were arriving home after a long trip away.

The welcome from the whole team was as warm as the beaming June sun; we were instantly part of the production crew family and couldn’t wait to ditch our bags in our caravans, join the movement, and get to work. We hung our gold shimmer, gave our cabin a bit of Sundae zhuzh, plugged in our laptops, and our on site press and comms office was a-go-go.

Sundae last worked from the Farm in 2019 at the last Glasto before the ‘you-know-what’ came skulking into our lives and stole our fun in an unprecedented sneak attack, but, unbeknown to the unwanted and unwitting virus, that three year break only fuelled the creativity and increased the hunger of this unstoppable group of incredible people.

Kaye Dunnings, Robin Collings and Chris ‘Tofu’ Mackmeikan MBE are the collective driving force behind all things Shangri-La, and with the help of their powerhouse team, and some very special new recruits, we worked together to create Lost Horizon, a VR experience including digital twins of some of Shangri-La’s stages, and some brand new creations, that hosted some of the biggest artists on the planet and creating parties for the people while the real world was at a stand-still.

When real life began to re-emerge, we opened Lost Horizon HQ, a venue like no other, situated in the heart of Bristol, that blurs all kinds of lines between real life and virtual reality. Coined ‘Shangri-La’s creative den’, the place well and truly earns its moniker with every show, exhibition and fearless implementation of each boundary pushing idea.

The Lost Horizon concept is here to stay; an acceleration into the future that has quickly become our present, and its distinctive touches were an intrinsic part of the 2022 Shangri-La world, with advanced tech, VR crossover and even an AR robot artist populating the Shangriverse, alongside the art, music and community Shangri-La is infamous for.

This year’s theme was ‘We the People’, an adventure into possibility, exploring human connection in all its unique forms – past, present and future. From sitting around a fire-pit sharing past experiences to delving into emerging new technologies to connect globally, celebrating humanity – what makes us human, and how we can collectively make change.

Lost Horizon presents Party Nerds gave us the chance to come full circle and bring our VR project to the field, whilst elsewhere in the Shangriverse we met Ai-Da Robot, the world’s first ultra-realistic artist robot (a dab hand at painting portraits), and entered Condense Reality’s Holo-booth where holograms of us, created in real time via motion capture, were live streamed into a virtual world (we know, right!).

First seen in the metaverse, Nomad was a new-for-2022 radical area brought to you by a powerful collection of the UK’s most inspiring and subversive minds, while FLINT venue The Sistxrhood was back in the field empowering and showcasing womxn, non-binary and gender-nonconforming artists in the music, arts, culture and nightlife industries.

The mighty Truth Stage was shouting loud to unite the tribes! Yours Truthfully, the ground-breaking exhibition curated by our very own Design Manchester co-creative director Malcolm Garrett and Shangri-La creative director Kaye Dunnings for Lost Horizon Festival 2020 broke out from the multiverse and took over the Truth Stage’s IRL giant billboards.

This year’s eclectic music acts spanned from Fatboy Slim, to Goldie, to Kae Tempest, to DRS, to Grove, to Fumez the Engineer, to Mandidextrous, to Craig Charles, to Warmduscher, to K.O.G, to Los Dedos, plus WAY too many more to list, while Earache Records took over with acts including Brass Against, Bob Vylan, Nova Twins and Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs.

The force that is the Gas Tower returned with its renowned digital progression and 360° sound and exclusive screenings of Ai WeiWei’s film Yours Truly, as well as a BBC Essential mix Live feat. Bonobo & ABSOLUTE and a very special Sportsbanger x Shangri-La Megarave featuring headliners playing B2B with NHS and Care Workers, mad collaborations and serious high energy vibes.

As if that wasn’t enough, a surprise booking of Ukrainian Eurovision Song contest winners, Kalush Orchestra saw them take to the Truth Stage late on Friday night to produce a performance that induced pure love amongst an already delighted crowd, attracting news crews from all over the world.

All of this (and a helluva lot more!) piqued the interest of national and regional press across the board with features, interviews and reviews appearing in NME, DJ Mag, the Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian, METRO, iNews, Sky News, the Independent, Evening Standard, BBC News Online, ITV.com, Tech Register, BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music and Louder Sound amongst many others.

This year we worked with an amazing team, including the brilliant Dulcie at Chuffed Digital, to deliver the socials for Shangri-La, creating strategy, content and engagement for the festival and beyond. We’ve gained thousands of new followers, and are heading towards our goal of a million impressions. We’ve got content for days so follow us at @shangrilaglasto for insight and updates!

The last ten days living as part of the Shangri-La family have to be considered some of the best of our lives; the love, the creativity, the stories, the family feeling, the joy, the music and, above all: we, the people, made it what it was – something beautiful and unforgettable.

Thank you, Shangri-La…it is an honour to be part of you.

Sundae x

 

Photos by Jody Hartley, George Harrison and Nathan Roach

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