Heading to Glastonbury? Don't miss Shangri-La, where more than 20 artists from across the world are converging to create heaven and hell for this year's festival
The musicians might grab most of the attention at Glastonbury, but far from the main stages lies a maddening place full of street art, theatre, talks and performances with a distinctly utopian feel to them.
© Paul Holmes
Running as a kind of all-hours underworld, Shangri-La first appeared in 2009, and this year its themes are heaven (a place of permaculture experts and video installations) and hell, where giant artworks and mock-up boardrooms play out a corporate inferno with a naked Finance Department, an IT crowd powered by electro hedonism and a Department of Aesthetics based around riotous all-night cabaret and tattoos.
Backed by Arts Council funding, more than 20 audio-visual artists are braving fire and brimstone: Malcolm Litson, who is also a performer and musician, is the founder of AVTV and responsible for a rump-baring projection of Gail Porter onto the Houses of Parliament two years ago, while New York-based POPaganda creator Ron English named his concept according to the mash-up of high and low-brow cultural touchstones he visits, including MC Supersised, the obese mascot of fast food horror doc Supersize Me, and Abraham Obama, an image merging two American presidents to propaganda-style effect during the 2008 election.
Elsewhere there’s graffiti by Shaka – a member of 90s Paris artist crew DKP – joke takes on mass culture from Hayden Kays, totalitarian mixed media visualising Michael Eavis as the true world leader (a collaboration between Laura Little and Jack Short) and much more. As experienced Glastonbury visitors know, the best of the fest is often off the beaten track.
- See the full line-up.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.
© Simon Westgate
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