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Glastonbury’s Shangri-La team launches virtual reality festival

Shangri-La is one of the Somerset event’s most popular after-hours areas.

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Lost Horizon will have four virtual stages (Lost Horizon/Sansar/PA)

Lost Horizon will have four virtual stages (Lost Horizon/Sansar/PA)

Lost Horizon will have four virtual stages (Lost Horizon/Sansar/PA)

A virtual reality festival from the team behind Glastonbury’s night-time area, Shangri-La, will aim to unify festival-goers from their own homes during lockdown.

Prompted by the cancellation of the Somerset event’s 50th anniversary edition, Lost Horizon will feature a line-up of international DJs and art exhibits.

Punters will be able to visit the four-stage festival – modelled after Shangri-La – through a computer, mobile app or virtual reality headset via the Sansar platform.

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(Lost Horizon/PA)

(Lost Horizon/PA)

(Lost Horizon/PA)

More than 50 music acts including DJs Peggy Gou, Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox and Pete Tong will play across July 3 and 4, with money raised going to The Big Issue and Amnesty International.

The festival will also feature more than 200 visual art pieces, curated by the ShangrilART group on the theme of human connection.

Creative director Kaye Dunnings conceived the idea for Lost Horizon shortly after Glastonbury was cancelled in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

She told the PA news agency: “Activism being so important to us, we wanted people to come and rave and interact and party and have a really great time.

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Crowds at Glastonbury’s Shangri-La (Lost Horizon/Sansar/PA)

Crowds at Glastonbury’s Shangri-La (Lost Horizon/Sansar/PA)

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Crowds at Glastonbury’s Shangri-La (Lost Horizon/Sansar/PA)

“But we are also really passionate about being conscious, while you are doing that, of the world around you and how you can get involved in things.

“We want people to take action now more than ever.

“We want people to get involved in stuff outside the festival, so they come and have a great time but actually do something meaningful afterwards.

“We want to inspire people to actually take it that step further themselves.

“Empowering people, because a lot of people feel like there isn’t a lot they can do help causes.”

Dunnings added: “It’s about unifying people and giving them a shared experience. That’s what people are desperate for.

“And now, there are no live events. The whole industry, everyone we know, is out of a job.

“By doing this we are really hoping to spark of the next generation of interaction and bring people together in a different way.”

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(Lost Horizon/PA)

(Lost Horizon/PA)

(Lost Horizon/PA)

Shangri-La launched at Glastonbury in 2008 and has evolved year-on-year, featuring a combination of after-hours music and art with an activist slant.

Talking about the effect of Glastonbury’s cancellation, Dunnings said: “It’s massive, there are hundreds and hundreds of us.

“And that’s just Shangri-La at Glastonbury, let alone any of the other gigs we work on.

“It’s been devastating. It’s not even really about the money.

“Obviously, we are all completely broke and don’t really know what’s going to happen in the future.

“But it’s about the community mostly.

“We are going to be so sad not to be spending that time together, especially coming from where we have come from.”

The billboards that surround the event’s Freedom Stage will feature an exhibition co-curated by graphic designer Malcolm Garrett.

Sheri Bryant, president of Sansar, said: “Now more than ever, fans are looking beyond traditional live shows to connect with the artists they love.

“They’re online, they’re savvy about streaming, they’re eager to experience music unconstrained by where they live, and there’s a clear demand for events that transcend old boundaries.

“With Shangri-La presents: Lost Horizon, we’re delivering the music festival of the future: deeply immersive, fully online, accessible to anyone and anywhere with a PC or phone at their disposal.

“Shangri-La presents: Lost Horizon exists at the vanguard of something truly incredible, and we couldn’t be more excited to turn this page.

“The future of live events is virtual and we’re incredibly excited to be bringing it to fruition.”

The event will be also be streamed live via Beatport and Twitch, and via partner and artist Facebook, YouTube and Twitch accounts.

Sign up at sansar.com/losthorizon

PA