Lost Horizon was founded in March 2020 by the team that create the Shangri-La area at Glastonbury Festival . The tragic news that the festival was cancelled in March 2020 spurred an incredible chain of events that lead us to working in an entirely new industry almost overnight - using social VR as a way to bring what we've been producing for 20 years to light without the need to come together in person. We staged the world’s first VR festival in a digital version of Shangri-La - our 2 day, music and art multi-stage immersive experience attracted 4.36 million streaming views, 10K VR headset attendees and won Best Digital Festival at the Digital Event Awards 2020.
With subsequent seasons of headline dj events alongside underground acts from all musical genres, we’ve since cemented our position as the leading producers of Virtual Festivals in the UK,
Our vision is to continue in this vein, developing our skills and knowledge as storytellers, event producers, music programmers, art curators and theatre makers in VR, and lead an emerging industry, to a virtual environment which connects global audiences through UK culture and music
Using a Createch/VR approach we will soon launch another world first in the form of a new arts centre venue in Bristol, which will share a digital twin (an exact replica) online. This will enable us to produce shows in real life that automatically get broadcasted live into a virtual venue. It will connect venues and productions with new audiences physically and digitally, meaning any UK or global show can be created in a VR format, making live performances accessible for those on low incomes, younger demographics, and those with disabilities who might not be able to or want to attend live performances. It will also permit mass entertainment experiences without continuing to disrupt the fragile ecology of our planet - something we've focussed heavily on for the past 6 years through our shows at Glastonbury.
Our venue will also be home to creative practitioners who can collaborate internationally, and reach new global audiences via innovative VR technology Our ambition is for this project to future proof our creative sectors from global threats like the Covid 19 pandemic showing work in progress in the space as its being created.
Our ongoing project will blur the boundaries of virtual reality, gaming and real life performance, enabling us to share and explore the creative potential of immersive technology. What also excites us is VR’s power to overcome all preconceptions around the body, cultural background, gender and aesthetics, opening up the world of performance to people who may not have realised they could access it.
By making it possible for people to attend in VR or by computer, we’re increasing accessibility to include more people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate or attend for reasons of geography, physical disability, social discomfort (or any one of many other reasons). It also means that performers and audience members can manifest in whatever gender, shape or attire they feel most comfortable, which completely aligns with our ethos.
Our theatre and production networks are majority women and LGBTQ+ led which is already unusual in both VR and theatre
We want our experience and creativity to be valued in this field. The accolade of “one to watch 2021” will support our growth, and potential to collaborate and expand our business
We wish to develop partnerships with people outside of our networks, afford training and support the larger number of LGBTQ+ and female creatives in our community to thrive and dissolve barriers to involvement in the arts and creative industries.
Putting on innovative shows in fields that disappear after a few days is unsustainable. Building things we can return to and improve on, creating virtual and real life spaces people want to spend time in, we hope will build a wider audience base for VR performance and contribute to the development of UK talent in international virtual and real-time settings. True hybridity!