Top DJ jams at Everest for a cause

DJ Paul Oakenfold trekked for 10 days (above) to reach Everest base camp and performed on a makeshift stone stage (top) to draw attention to global warming and raise money for charities.
DJ Paul Oakenfold trekked for 10 days to reach Everest base camp and performed on a makeshift stone stage (above) to draw attention to global warming and raise money for charities.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
DJ Paul Oakenfold trekked for 10 days (above) to reach Everest base camp and performed on a makeshift stone stage (top) to draw attention to global warming and raise money for charities.
DJ Paul Oakenfold trekked for 10 days (above) to reach Everest base camp and performed on a makeshift stone stage to draw attention to global warming and raise money for charities.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

KATHMANDU • Top British DJ Paul Oakenfold braved thin air and freezing temperatures to host the "highest party on earth" at Everest base camp on Tuesday, playing to about 100 climbers - all in full mountain gear.

The 53-year-old artist, who trekked for 10 days to reach base camp, mixed his beats on a makeshift stone stage set against the spectacular backdrop of the world's highest mountains.

With brightly coloured Tibetan prayer flags fluttering overhead, climbers and trekkers danced as best as they could in their heavy hiking boots and thick down jackets.

"It was truly amazing. I feel very lucky to have played here. We did a wonderful event and had people from all over the world. I feel very blessed," Oakenfold told Agence France-Presse by telephone from base camp after the performance.

Base camp lies at an altitude of 5,380m and around 100 climbers and trekkers were there for the gig.

"It was pretty cool. I've been here many years, but never seen anything like that," 38-year-old American climber Ben Jones said.

The number of trekkers at the camp will swell in the coming weeks as climbing season gets into full swing.

Hundreds of climbers spend weeks acclimatising to the altitude before attempting to reach the summit during the brief spring window, when the weather is at its best.

It was a dramatic departure for Oakenfold, who admitted he was more used to playing at the world's top clubs and the beaches of Ibiza and Goa than the mountains of Nepal.

Oakenfold, who had never trekked before, trained for four months before arriving in Nepal, fitting it in between a hectic schedule of late-night gigs.

"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 told Agence France-Presse on Monday.

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, whose three-decade career has included collaborations with Madonna and U2, is also raising funds to help survivors of Nepal's 2015 earthquake, which killed nearly 9,000 people and left thousands homeless.

"I want to support the rebuilding and shed light on the environment... I would like to do my bit," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2017, with the headline 'Top DJ jams at Everest for a cause'. Print Edition | Subscribe