The greatest ‘80s music fest that never actually happened in Hawkins, Indiana, will take place in the Upside Down to herald the return of Stranger Things for season 4. The Go-Go’s, Soft Cell, Corey Hart and special guest, pop hitmaker Charli XCX will take the stage in the creepy alt universe for a one-night virtual concert on June 23.
A fan of both the series and the music of the decade, Charli says she was immediately down for the performance and the accompanying storyline. As legend has it, back in 1986, a tour bus headed to Doritos Music Fest ‘86 crashed near Hawkins and the musicians got sucked into another dimension, never to perform their show… until now. While they were down there, they found Charli and invited her to join them.
“My new record Crash is heavily inspired by a lot of ‘80s aesthetic, so when I heard about the whole concept of Doritos Fest 86 and the fact that some really iconic ‘80s artists would also been involved, I was like, Yes,” she says.
That the concert was being filmed on the actual set of the hit Netflix
The artist will perform one song from Crash, and join one of the headliners for a song, though she’s keeping details a surprise for those who tune in.
As with everything in the Upside Down, the way for fans to experience “Live From the Upside Down” is unconventional in this clever collaboration. Tickets for the concert can only be had by picking up a bag of Doritos or Doritos 3D Crunch snacks that feature the limited-edition Stranger Things packaging or going to Snacks.com to reserve a ticket. A limited number of “golden” tickets are also hidden in bags of Three Cheese, Spicy Ranch and Chili Cheese Nacho 3D Crunch. Lucky snackers each will get an official replica of the guitar featured in the upcoming season.
“Doritos and Netflix Stranger Things are the perfect combination because we are truly taking it back to 1986 where it all started,” said Caio Correa, senior marketing director, Frito-Lay North America. “This is the year the original Doritos Cool Ranch flavor was brought to market and the year this season of Stranger Things takes place.”
“Partnering with Doritos on Stranger Things was a no-brainer for us,” said Magno Herran, director of marketing partnerships, Netflix. “We’re always looking for ways to give back to our fans and drive conversation in the real world, and Doritos is a bold brand partner who was willing to head into the Upside Down, face a demogorgon or two, and bring some of the best music of the ’80s to fans in a truly unexpected way.”
The other artists are equally stoked.
“Stranger Things is so well considered, it’s love of 80s nostalgia and culture. This isn’t just a horror story set in the past, it’s got everything from horror, science fiction, teenage angst, drama and intrigue. And it covers lots of genres so well, so who couldn’t—or doesn’t—love it,” says Marc Almond of Soft Cell.
“When I was asked to do it, my niece and nephews pressured me, they were so excited. I think the fans will know which song I am going to do but with a great twist.”
Hart is also a fan. “Stranger Things has something for everyone—a great cast, character development, comedy, drama, suspenseful cliffhangers and, yeah, the ‘80s music ain’t too shabby either,” says the artist, for whom this is his first virtual show.
“I’ve never participated in a virtual concert before so having my first staged from the perilous Stranger Things’ Upside Down is a fabulous way to start. I’m looking forward to finding out if predatory Demogorgons are even more rabid music fans than those of the human variety.”
As to whether he has plans to return to the stage, above ground, any time soon, Hart posits an idea. “Hmm… I’ve got nothing planned to date but maybe Doritos and Netflix have the right idea when they dreamed up the four of us together?! US Tour 2023?”