4

Paul Oakenfold Plans to Deejay at Mount Everest's Base Camp

Paul Oakenfold is keeping it simple: two turntables plus two SC500 CD/USBs.
Paul Oakenfold is keeping it simple: two turntables plus two SC500 CD/USBs.
EDMTOR
^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

This month, 53-year-old Paul Oakenfold plans to be the first DJ to "party at the top of the world" and play Mount Everest. Tomorrow, March 16, he plays Denver.

Everest won't be the world-renowned DJ's first extreme trip. Over his thirty-year career, he's played everywhere from an Alaskan barn to the Antarctic Circle.

But when asked about his previous mountaineering experience, he responds with a long burst of laughter. "None! Talk about choose the hardest thing to do to start with."

He has spent a year planning with the national and local governments in Nepal, and assembled a team of capable mountaineers and a crew of audio engineers.

"This window of opportunity will not come again, and I know that," Oaklenfold says. "And if I don't take it, it will be something I personally regret."

After performing in Singapore, Oakenfold will make his way to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, to play a local New Year celebration.

"I want to share our music with their music, and I'm going to teach some kids to deejay," Oakenfold says. These shows will not only introduce locals to electronic music, but the entire trek will raise money for three charities — two in London and one in Kathmandu.

From there, he and his team will head for the Everest base camp, playing three villages en route and then the base camp itself, at more than 18,000 feet above sea level.

"We don't even know if the equipment is going to work at 18,000 feet, because no one's ever done it," says Oakenfold. After his journey, the artist will donate his equipment in Nepal to a DJ school that is opening soon.

To prepare, Oakenfold first hit the gym, strengthening his core with pilates. As his strength and stamina increased, he ramped up his cardio workouts. He has also traveled to Vermont, Whistler and Park City to hike at elevations higher than those of his Southern California home. While his physical prowess has developed, Oakenfold has been working on breathing techniques, eating right, cutting back on caffeine and recovering from workouts.

Paul Oakenfold has been playing electronic music for thirty years.EXPAND
Paul Oakenfold has been playing electronic music for thirty years.
Paul Oakenfold's Website

While the DJ is excited about Everest, when asked about his upcoming North American stops, including a stint at Miami Music Week, he says, "I'm actually dreading it.... I wish I could go [to Everest] today."

Staying up at night playing sets has taken a toll on Oakenfold, who has been waking up before sunrise to prepare for his trek. "I'm ready," he says. "I'm mentally and physically ready. I'd like to get going!"

Still, he spoke enthusiastically about his Denver date at Beta, where he'll be performing. "Listen, I'm coming Thursday [March 16] to play one of the best clubs in America," he says. "It's a great club. It really is. It's a wonderful sound system, a great booth. I'm sure if you speak to any of my colleagues, they'll say as I do, that it's one of the best clubs in America."

Oakenfold describes Denver's electronic-music scene as cutting-edge. "There's not a great deal of cities that really allow you to express yourself musically." He describes it as open-minded: "You know that. I don't need to tell you that. Look at it in terms of weed."

But before he spins at Beta, he has other plans: "I touch down, I check in, I put my boots on and see if I can get in a two-hour hike."

Oakenfold plays Beta Nightclub on Thursday, March 16, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available on Beta's website.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.