Live music gets immersive

February 14, 2017 in Music

Live music experiences are set to be much more immersive, as audience members increasingly become part of performances, making live events significantly more multidimensional. And virtual reality along with augmented reality, could well be the technologies that enable these richer show elements going foward, according to the Music Trends 2017 report from Eventbrite.

Last year, Universal Music allied with iHeartMedia to develop ‘fully immersive entertainment experiences’, with four shows featuring Universal artists distributed at the iHeartRadio VR Concert Series in LA. And in October, live music events broadcaster Boiler Room, announced it was developing a London venue dedicated to streaming performance music in high-quality VR.

“VR seems to be on a path to change everything,” says freelance event operator Michael Ilves. “With VR, every fan could feel like they’re on stage during the performance — whether they’re really at a sponsorship booth at a festival like Coachella or at home on the couch.”

And augmented reality can also make the onsite experience more interactive.

“I expect more gamification, similar to what we saw in 2016 with Pokemon Go,” says Shannon Schlappi, who works in music partnerships at Eventbrite. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see attendees walking around next year with their phones out, trying to find a sponsor’s hidden and branded items to earn increased access. Or artists could use the technology to guide fans to secret shows or locations within a festival to increase overall engagement.”

“There’s an interesting opportunity for brands to
utilise technology to create experiences within the festival,” says Jesse Kirshbaum,
co-founder of NUE Agency. He points to the 2016 Panorama Music Festival for where HP built a ‘lab’ full of interactive art, with the activation including a 360-degree virtual reality theatre and seven i-art installations by New York artists.

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