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ROW ERUPTS AS DJ PLAYS EVEREST BASE CAMP
Friday April 14, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

The Soundtrek Project crew plus British DJ Paul Oakenfold hosted the Highest Party on Earth. It has triggered criticism as some claim it showed disrespect for the mountain. NEW

British DJ, Paul Oakenfold, braved thinning air and freezing temperatures to host the "highest party on earth" at Everest Base camp.

He played to around 100 climbers, a Nepalese DJ and a group of Sherpas.

Paul and the Soundtrek crew trekked for 10 days to reach the camp at 5,380m.

The DJ and the crew had little trekking experience before setting out to Everest base camp with a team of yaks and porters hauling the audio equipment needed for the event.

The intention of the Soundtrek Project was to draw attention to the effects of global warming, and to raise money for the families of Nepalese Earthquake victims.

In the video below Paul Oakenfold said, "It's exciting, it's scary, it's worrying, it's difficult. You know I've never done nothing like this but I've been very fortunate through electronics music. I've gone to remote places. I never felt that you should just hear music in a nightclub."

But the event has sparked controversy with some claiming disrespect for the sacred area and the local community.

British Everest climber, Kenton Cool, defended the concert in a lengthy Facebook post.

One of the comments he made emphasised the bonding power of music, he said "On the day it was beautiful to see equal numbers of Sherpas standing shoulder to shoulder with Trekkers from around the world all with big smiles, all dancing.

There was none of the normal boundaries that can exist between trekkers and staff, it was everyone on an equal footing having fun through the power of music."

Kenton Cool commented further; "The Prime Minister asked to meet with Paul to thank him for show casing yet another strand of this beautiful yet desperately poor country, they talked about the plight that Nepal faces with its poverty and attempts to rebuild after the earthquake and how music can try to help bring people together."

Watch the videos below and read Kenton Cool's full statement at the end of this piece and make up your own mind on the Soundtrek Project.

Paul Oakenford - DJ set at Everest Basecamp (photo: Kenton Cool)Paul Oakenfold - DJ set at Everest Base camp (photo: Kenton Cool


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Oakenfold talks about his Soundtrek Project - below:

Soundtrek Project plays at Everest Basecamp - below:

British climber Kenton Cool comments on facebook:

Full Facebook comment from Kenton Cool:

"Everest 2017

The Soundtrek project seems to have upset a lot of people. I can fully understand why many of you are appalled by the events at Basecamp so I have decided to explain the fuller vision behind the project so that you can read and then you decide for yourself.

When I was first contacted about the project I found the whole concept of throwing a party somewhat vulgar and disrespectful.

However Paul was quite persistent and after a number of telephone calls and a meeting in the UK I finally understood his greater vision for the project.

Soundtrek was never simply about throwing a party at basecamp.

The concept was for Paul to try and get a much deeper understanding of the importance of music and dance to the Nepali people, and especially the Sherpas and to use this to promote the country in his own unique way.

On the trek Paul (and team) interacted with the Sherpa people at every opportunity, we visited homes in the villages as well as Monasteries where Paul could listen to local music in an attempt to try and understand what music means to the people, how they make the music and how they move to the music.

I was heartened by Paul’s enthusiasm once here, he threw himself into the local culture at every opportunity as much as anyone I have trekked with.

All this learning was then infused into his music at Basecamp to try and produce a set that had strong local influences.

The set was played during the day (11 until 13.00) so that trekkers coming to Basecamp could be part of the project as well as local people.

The ‘stage’ was shared with a local DJ that Paul had reached out to and had been mentoring along the trek.

The sound equipment and speakers are being donated to a School in Kathmandu as well as the Monastery in Thangbouche.

On the day it was beautiful to see equal numbers of Sherpas standing shoulder to shoulder with Trekkers from around the world all with big smiles, all dancing.

There was none of the normal boundaries that can exist between trekkers and staff, it was everyone on an equal footing having fun through the power of music.

Paul played gigs in Singapore and in Kathmandu and both times he personally donated his fee to local charities (www.supportingnepalschildren.org.uk..please do donate) and there is on going fundraising for children charities both here in Nepal and in London (Paul’s home town).

Yesterday the Prime Minister asked to meet with Paul to thank him for show casing yet another strand of this beautiful yet desperately poor country, they talked about the plight that Nepal faces with its poverty and attempts to rebuild after the earthquake and how music can try to help bring people together.

On a personal level I love this country, its people and its mountains, over the years they have been very kind to me and my family.

As such I’d never actively seek to do anything that I thought was disrespectful or demeaning.

I respect the thoughts of everyone who left comments on my page and if my actions and those of the team upset anyone then I am deeply sorry.

That said seeing the joy of both local people and visitors as they danced and celebrated this wonderful country in such a unique local will be with me for a very long time.

Ultimately if Paul’s (and the team’s) efforts and the documentary that is to come encourages people to travel to this amazing country and see the plight of Nepal and to spend their money as tourists then the project has been a success."

Paul Oakenford strides to Basecamp for Soundtrek Project (photo Kenton Cool)Paul Oakenfold strides to Base camp for Soundtrek Project (photo Kenton Cool)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proir to leaving for Everest, Paul Oakenfold comments on his intentions:

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