Create a Shangri-La Shack, win tickets

March 26, 2010


Shangri-La is one of the key night-time areas of Glastonbury Festival – where folks head to after the music stages shut down. Last year, they created a film-set and developed a storyline for the field, with a main stage, a central gathering area and a maze of alleys with many tiny nano-venues with much strangeness inside.

The Shacks ara a new project for Shangri-La 2010. And the Shangri-La team need your help. They want you to design and build your own palace from pallets.

You have until March 31st April 5th to submit your proposal to The best submissions will then be selected and their creators will be invited to build their Shack at the Festival.
Each Shack-builder that is selected will receive 2 tickets to the Festival, backstage access and camping, and their very own pitch at Glastonbury Festival in which to express their creativity.

The Shacks will form the frontage to the alleys and will be a key part of the overall look of the field. The Shack may be a dwelling – your home throughout the Festival in which to welcome guests, or it may simply be a space for other people to enjoy, or something for them to look at that adds character to the overall field. 

The guideline for a Shack’s footprint is between 2.5-5m square, but we will consider other sizes up to 7m. They’re looking for poetic eccentricity, colour and character, experimentalism and cheekiness. Be creative – and you must be resourceful!

There is a more serious aspect to the project – this is about a fight for survival when resources become scarce and resourcefulness becomes the name of the game. They welcome references to real-life situations and fears of the global future but not in a preachy or obvious way. They actually do want you to think about survival when resources become scarce. How are your children going to survive when there is no oil, water….?  However, it shouldn’t be limited to this – they’re also looking for a cheeky factor as well.

The Shangri-La field was formerly the Travellers field and is still very much aligned with and part of Traveller Culture and the personal liberation achieved by inhabiting portable or temporary structures.

The Shangri-La of yesteryear (2009) was a dystopian vision of a citadel ruled by a corrupt regime in its dying days which was dedicated to enforcing its vision of perfect utopia, but all the while trapped in an unwinnable battle with the rebels of the alleyways.  At the end of the year 2009, the rebels overthrew the regime, and the city was opened up for pleasure-givers from all corners of the known universe to flood in and carve out their own Utopia. 

Those with resources have taken over vast areas in flashy style, whilst others create tiny palaces from pallets and waste, but when resources become dangerously short everyone’s attention must shift from pleasure to survival.


Retro-futuristic, the look is inspired in part by fantasy dystopias such as Bladerunner, District 9 and Star Wars. It is under-set by the realism of current times and current fears but as much as possible it is also to a very fantastical environment, twisted and humorous, the sublime nestled next to the squalid.

Visually, there are two very different aspects in each the HUB and the Alleys. The look of the HUB is ultra-modern and digital-futuristic, with neon and projections as well as a piece of street art that evolves over the course of the Festival. The Alleys are the opposite – an overpopulated shanty-town nestled next-door cobbled together from waste and riddled with filth of all kinds.


See detailed guidelines and for any further queries about submissions please contact Cathy:

– Leave no trace – you will need to take away everything you bring or make arrangements for disposal with us.
– They will be able to help with transport from certain locations.
– Your Shack needs to pass H&S – fire retardant, structurally safe etc. We can assist with this and have detailed guidelines for it. If needed we can provide a scaffold frame for the structure
– No sound systems. At all. Not one. Really.


See the inspirations below to get an idea of what they’re looking for – think ramshackle, Bauhaus, favelas, used/found materials – give it colour and character and life!

Slumland frontage

Use of found materials – squares of billboard signs.

Cardboard, gels and tape!

Coloured clothing walls – like it!

Create your own Shack

Please could you let the Shangri-La team know a bit more about your plans so they know what to expect and can help if necessary. Email your designs to, along with your answers to these questions

1. What is your build schedule?  i.e. when will you arrive on site and how many days will it take you to erect it.

2. What kinds of materials do you plan to use?

3. How do plan to transport your materials?

4. Will you need us to provide you with a scaff frame structure?

5. What size is the footprint of your design?

6. Do you plan to incorporate lighting into your design, if so, how?

7. Do you plan to make your Shack weather-proof ?

8. Do you plan to live-in your Shack, open it for the public to use or just exhibit it?

9. Please also send us any other info you think might support your entry. Ie. Examples of past work etc.

Shack Health and Safety guidelines

You need to make sure that your Shack is safe for yourselves and our crew to work in and for the public to explore.

If required Shangri-La can provide you with……

– A simple framed scaffolding structure should you need it: A framed cube with diagonal roof bracing support…
– 1# 16a single phase outdoor power feed
– They may be able to supply a splitter to a 13a domestic 4 way IF there is a waterproof area for it to be mounted / positioned.

Structural Build

– All structures must be erected using good quality material.
– All wood should be inherently flame retardant or over 18mm wide timber
– Old foam based furniture must have a ‘flame retardant’ label… some foam furniture is highly toxic and cannot be used at public events.
– All other soft furnishings including and furniture, drapes, cushions etc should be sprayed with flame retardant spray. Not all shop-bought decorations will be fire proof so please check this.  Please let Shangri-La know if you will need extra flambar (the spray) before the event.
– All nails, joins etc must be finished in a tidy way with no protruding items which could cause a H & S risk to the general public.
– All Shacks must be structurally safe.  They will be inspected for this on site.
– All Shacks should be one story only unless previously agreed with the organisers
– All Shacks must leave adequate fire lanes at the back of their structure and not     block this fire lane at any point during the build or during the Festival itself.
– All fixings and decor must be firmly attached to the structure
– All signage and anything that protrudes from the front of the Shack must be of head height or over
– The Shack and any decorations will be exposed to the weather and they should still be safe and lookg good should it get wet.
– Not all shop-bought decorations will be fire proof so please check this.

Flambar can be purchased from the following outlets: 0207 703 9786 0207388 7488 0844 870 0077


You will not be allowed to have a PA system under any circumstances. All noise is carefully allocated throughout the field and we can not risk our field allocation so please try to work with us on this. If you do attempt to install a sound system it will be confiscated by the central sound monitoring team who will be looking at our new installations with interest.
Electrical Equipment 

All appliances need be guaranteed in safe working condition.   The guarantee of the safety of an electrical appliance is a PAT certificate (Portable Appliance Test). Only a qualified electrician can give an appliance a PAT test and issue a PAT certificate of safety.

– all electrical appliances must be PAT tested. A PAT certificate is required and must be on site.
– if the appliance is new, less than a year old it will be guaranteed and does not need a PAT certificate BUT we must see a receipt to prove that the appliance is new.
– Metal structures must be earthed (a copper or similarly conductive spike at least 6 inches into the ground connected to any metal structure.)

But do not worry, if in doubt please just contact Shangri-La and they can advise you or arrrange for it to be tested on site.

When to arrive:

You may arrive on site up to two weeks prior to the Festival. We strongly recommend that you arrive and start your build on or before Sunday 20th. We will try to offer at least moral support during your build process BUT in the last few days before the Festival we get impossibly busy. Building and being ready to go by Tuesday 22nd will leave you time to add the finishing touches and some contingency time.

The public will have access to the field on Wednesday 23rd so you need to be safe and ready to go by then.

Health and Safety paperwork

If selected, we will send you a template risk assessment and method statement for your Shack. We can help you with this paperwork if you need us to.

You will be asked to provide detailed plans of what you will install in Shangri la so we can look at any potential H & S problems before the event.


We will do a H & S inspection on Wednesday 23rd June starting at 10am. You will also be checked by Glastonbury H & S over the course of the set up. During the safety inspection, the Safety Manager will be looking for all the points made here in this guide. Your structure must pass this inspection.


We can light the outside of your structures. If you need us not to for artistic reasons make sure we know as soon as possible.

If you want / need to light the inside please consider the temperatures generated by your light source, and the materials around them… 

Remember, you only have until March 31st April 5th to submit your proposal to

Back to top