Glastonbury's Shangri-La goes virtual with Fatboy Slim and more

Chaotic rave zone of cancelled festival will be rendered in 3D online for two-day event in July

Glastonbury may be cancelled for 2020, but one of its most eye-catching areas will party on regardless: Shangri-La is to be recreated in a 3D digital form for a free two-day online festival in July featuring Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, Peggy Gou and more.

The area, an outdoor art gallery situated in the notoriously hedonistic south-east corner of the festival site, will be rendered in a videogame-like 3D landscape for the online Lost Horizon festival. It will be accessible on PC or via a mobile app, plus a virtual reality option via the Sansar platform, and feature “computer-generated avatars and green screen hologram performances”, according to organisers.

More than 50 music acts will perform on 3 and 4 July across four virtual stages. Among the DJs will be tech-house Ibiza favourites Jamie Jones and Seth Troxler, and more bass-leaning selectors like Eats Everything and Skream.

Performers on the second Freedom stage include Frank Turner, Alabama 3 and Coldcut, while films, documentaries, theatre, live art, comedy, animation and talks will be shown in the Shangri-La International Television area (dubbed Shitv).

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

Kaye Dunnings, the creative director of the much-loved, post-apocalyptically rendered area, said: “We need unity more than ever right now, in an industry that is falling away in front of us. By creating a digital platform to experience art and music in a new way, we are at the forefront of defining the next generation of live entertainment and creative communities as we know them.”

Tickets for Lost Horizon are free, but donations to Amnesty International and the Big Issue are encouraged.

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

Download, the UK’s biggest rock festival which was due to host 80,000 attendees this coming weekend, has announced details of its own virtual offering to be streamed on YouTube, beginning at 12pm on Friday. Each day will begin with activities like “doom yoga”, cookery classes and cocktail making, before performances from artists including Kiss, Iron Maiden and System of a Down.

Shangri-La launched at Glastonbury in 2008 as a successor to the Lost Vagueness area and has evolved every year. Dunnings said she came up with the idea for Lost Horizon shortly after Glastonbury was cancelled in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s planned 50th anniversary event had been due to be held from 24-28 June at its usual home of Worthy Farm in Somerset, with Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar booked as Pyramid Stage headliners. 

Others who had been booked to play included Diana Ross, Pet Shop Boys, Dua Lipa, Lana del Rey and Fatboy Slim.

In the festival’s absence, the BBC has announced extensive broadcast plans to celebrate it on the weekend it was due to take place, showing a greatest hits of best performances including broadcasting David Bowie’s 2000 headliner set in full for the first time.


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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