In 1973 John Lennon and Yoko Ono launched an imaginary country, Nutopia, and you can now become a citizen

John Lennon and Yoko Ono waving white flags at the press conference to launch Nutopia in 1973
John Lennon and Yoko Ono waving white flags at the press conference to launch Nutopia in 1973 (Image credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)

Back in 1973, John Lennon and Yoko Ono founded an imaginary country, Nutopia. Launched to great fanfare at a press conference held at the New York City Bar Association in Midtown Manhattan, it was a reaction to Lennon's ongoing problems with the US immigration service, who were threatening to deport the former Beatles man back to the UK.

In a video shot at the press conference, Lennon goes into further detail. 

"Citizenship of the country can be obtained by declaration of your awareness of Nutopia," he explains. "Nutopia has no land, no boundaries, no passports, only people. Nutopia has no laws other than cosmic. All people of Nutopia are ambassadors of the country. As two ambassadors of Nutopia, we ask for diplomatic immunity and recognition in the United Nations for our country and its people."

"Anybody could be a citizen of this country," says Yoko Ono today. "Anybody could be a citizen of this country. Citizens were automatically the country’s ambassadors. The country’s body was the airfield of our joint thoughts. Its constitution was our love, and its spirit our dreams. We produced a white handkerchief from our pockets and said, “This is a flag to Surrender to Peace.” Not 'Fight for Peace’, but 'Surrender to Peace’ was the important bit."

Well, now anyone can become a citizen of Nutopia. Last month the country was launched as a website, Once the "application process" (registering with your email address) has been completed, citizens receive a digital ID card while an animated globe on the website shows the locations of other Nutopia residents, with each represented by a dot. Nutopians can click on a citizen's dot to read messages from their fellow nationals, or choose to "spread love" by clicking the ♡ symbol next to a citizen's name. 

If this sounds like a data-gathering exercise on the part of Lennon's record company, well, welcome to 2024. On the other hand, citizens can enjoy "meditation affirmations" from John & Yoko every hour, on the hour, which is nice. And it all comes together at the Luminate App, which fans can download to "experience Mind Games by John Lennon like never before with a series of radically new Meditation Mixes, paired with deeply immersive light sequences." 

How all this fits with Lennon's "Imagine there's no countries" line in Imagine remains unclear. 


Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.