This past April, electronic dance music pioneer Paul Oakenfold--with more than 300 hikers--made the 37-mile hike through Nepal's remote villages and the Himalayan Mountains for a groundbreaking live concert event, spinning a set at the base camp of Mount Everest to launch the SoundTrek series.
Set at an altitude of 18,800 feet above sea level (breaking a world record) on Mount Everest, the "highest concert on earth" was seen by a worldwide audience of more than three million. The three-hour concert marked the first SoundTrek event with each of the planned epic experiences around the globe to encompass aspects of music, travel, live performances, premium content and philanthropy, while also bringing attention to critical issues facing local communities. SoundTrek MOUNT EVEREST raised money for Supporting Nepal's Children and Youth Music. New charities will be chosen for each SoundTrek expedition based on the local relevance of each iconic location.
"The success of Soundtrek Mount Everest was just the beginning," Paul Oakenfold says. "Based on the amount of money raised for charity and the global success of the adventure, I plan to do many more Soundtreks around the globe."
As The Guardian (4-10-17) explained: "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.'" Of the event, Rolling Stone (4-11-17) noted: "Celebrated British DJ Paul Oakenfold hosted the 'highest party on Earth.'" Elsewhere, Billboard (4-11-17) said: "Surely, there have been some pretty high DJs in the past, but have any ever been so high as Paul Oakenfold performing a set of cold-ass beats to the folks at Mt. Everest's Base Camp a chill 17,600 feet above sea level?"
"Not only is Soundtrek an amazing concept to entertain people, but I really got behind it because I had the opportunity to directly help underprivileged people in numerous locations," SoundTrek Executive Producer Josh Heffler says.
For the expedition to Everest, Oakenfold was joined by a skilled team, each of whom had a critical role in the venture. The man behind SoundTrek is Executive Producer Josh Heffler, a well-known entrepreneur who organizes large-scale concert events with unique concepts and is also an avid philanthropist. World-renowned mountaineer and Everest guide, Kenton Cool led the pack up the mountain. Cool is an acclaimed British mountaineer and expedition leader who has reached the summit of Everest twelve times. He has appeared on the world's leading broadcast channels from the BBC to ITN, as well as been featured in a one-hour documentary for BBC 4 & The Discovery Channel.
"Of my 13 summits to Mount Everest, the day of the Soundtrek concert was easily the best day I have ever had on Everest Base Camp," Kenton Cool notes.
Also on board, Mark Brimblecombe, owner of Attica Nightclub in Singapore and co-creator of SoundTrek and Johannes Mahmood, a trainer representing Equinox Gym who attended the trip to ensure the SoundTrekkers were in top physical shape, leading stretching exercises and workouts as daily conditioning before and after each hike.
"Soundtrek is ultimately about people and the connections made with others in these experiences," says Matthew Walk, SoundTrek co-creator "For me, it is the pinnacle example of how relationships are forged and how the bonds made between individuals can resonate change and awareness in the world. I'm blessed to be a part of it and one day show my children what we can do when we work together with an open heart and a determined mind."
The epic event was captured by internationally recognized and award-winning cinematographer, Mark Fisher, of Fisher Creative for a SoundTrek documentary offering an inside look at the trials and tribulations of hosting a concert at the top of the world. Details on the documentary will be revealed in the coming months.
British-born Paul Oakenfold is one of the true superstars of dance music and remains one of the leading forces in the world music scene today as a three-time Grammy-nominated artist. Career highlights span from opening London's Ministry of Sound in the early '90s to selling over five million records across the world. As one of the world's most prolific producers, he has also worked with artists from Madonna to U2 and has produced soundtracks for several prominent film and TV concepts.
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