DJ Paul Oakenfold treks to Everest base camp for 'highest party on Earth'

Nadia Khomami
Paul Oakenfold performs a practice set at Pheriche village on his way to Mount Everest’s base camp. Photograph: Anton Nelson/AFP/Getty Images

British DJ Paul Oakenfold has reached Mount Everest’s base camp, where he plans to host the “highest party on Earth”, performing a set at 5,380 metres (17,600 feet).

The three-time Grammy nominated artist, 53, is marking the 30th anniversary of his famed trip to Ibiza that sparked the Second Summer of Love, one of the biggest revolutions in British youth culture since the original Summer of Love in 1967.

Oakenfold, whose career has included collaborations with Madonna and U2, is scheduled to perform a set at the base camp on Tuesday morning.

“We are here now doing sound checks,” Oakenfold told Agence France-Press on Monday. “We are really looking forward to the show tomorrow. Everyone is really excited here.”

The DJ said he had no trekking experience before he set out on the 10-day walk to Everest base camp with a team of yaks and porters hauling the audio equipment needed for the event. He trained for four months before arriving in Nepal, in between a hectic schedule of late night gigs.

“I’m not going to pretend it was easy to get here … but it has been a wonderful trek,” he said. “If you could see the view I’m looking at, it is very inspiring.”

The world’s highest peak will provide a very different kind of high to Oakenfold’s usual shows, which often draw thousands of revellers.

“It will be very moving … on our trip and journey up, we’re going to explore local music, sit with the locals, hang out with the locals, it will be interesting to see how we all are when we come back,” Oakenfold said in a video posted on YouTube.

“The audience will probably be sitting mostly. The air is so thin here, you will run out of breath quite quickly,” Ranzen Jha, a Nepali DJ accompanying Oakenfold, told AFP.

The gig is the first in the record producer’s SoundTrek series, which is aimed at “taking electronic dance music to many of the planet’s most remote and challenging locations, at the same time raising awareness of environment matters and interacting with local cultures and charities, raising funds along the way”.

Oakenfold is also raising funds to help survivors of Nepal’s 2015 earthquake, which killed nearly 9,000 people and left thousands homeless, many of whom are still living in temporary shelters.

“I want to support in the rebuilding and to shed light on the environment … I would like to do my bit,” he said. The Los Angeles-based DJ will stream the performance on Extreme as well as his Facebook page.

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