Natural high

Source:AFP Published: 2017/4/11 18:08:39

Paul Oakenfold hikes to Mount Qomolangma's base camp on Saturday ahead of a concert billed as the "highest party on Earth." Photo: AFP

Paul Oakenfold Photo: IC

Influential British DJ Paul Oakenfold has reached the base camp of Mount Qomolangma, commonly known in the West as Mount Everest, where he plans to host the "highest party on Earth," performing a set at 5,380 meters.

As climbing season in Nepal kicks into gear, few of the mountaineers heading to the world's highest peak were likely expecting to be joined by the three-time Grammy nominated artist and his dance beats.

Oakenfold - whose three-decade long career has included collaborations with Madonna and U2 - was due to perform a set at base camp on Tuesday morning.

"We are here now doing sound checks. We are really looking forward to the show tomorrow. Everyone is really excited here," Oakenfold told AFP by phone from base camp on Monday.

The 53-year-old artist said he had no trekking experience before he set out on the 10-day walk with a team of yaks and porters hauling the audio equipment needed for the event.

Oakenfold trained for four months before arriving in Nepal in between a hectic schedule of late night gigs, he said.

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

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

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

The gig is the first in the record producer's SoundTrek series, aimed at drawing attention to the effects of global warming and raising money for charities.

Oakenfold is also raising funds to help survivors of Nepal's devastating 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.

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