Glastonbury Festival 2014: Shangri-La stage steals the show for surrealism with art inferno

By Culture24 Reporter | 25 June 2014

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

An overhead photo of a packed festival with a stage illuminated by bright lights
Hell is round the corner at this year's Glastonbury© Paul Holmes
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.

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.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

A photo of an outdoor festival with the word sin lit up in red on one of the walls
© Simon Westgate
An overhead photo of a crowded outdoor festival with different colour lights emitting
© Paul Holmes
You might also like:

V&A and Glastonbury to create festival archive in "fascinating witness" to a phenomenon

Postcards from Pilton: Inside the V&A's Glastonbury Festival archive

Wowie Bowie: The V&A does blockbuster with David Bowie is...
Latest comment: >Make a comment
thank you i am flattered, but the original Gail Porter projection onto Parliament was projected in 1999....
>See all comments
  • Back to top
  • | Print this article
  • | Email this article
  • | Bookmark and Share
    Back to article
    Your comment:
    DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted at are the opinion of the comment writer, not Culture24. Culture24 reserves the right to withdraw or withhold from publication any comments that are deemed to be hearsay or potentially libellous, or make false or unsubstantiated allegations or are deemed to be spam or unrelated to the article at which they are posted.
    Museum Crush digest sign up ad