Live Concerts Could Be A Big Use of VR
Much content has been written about what will be the killer use of virtual reality other than gaming. E-commerce, professional sports, and Armchair tourism are regularly coming out as possibilities. But one of a fascinating choice could be the big-name concerts.
NextVR, virtual reality producer has done a deal with the concert promoter Live Nation to broadcast its hundreds of upcoming concerts in virtual reality. The five-year deal will start with the announcement of an event this summer that has not been announced yet.
Dave Cole, the co-founder of NextVR told Recode, “This agreement actually spans from what you might consider an intimate performance to very large music festivals.” The struggle will start with the free events, with the possibility that some will pay-per-view as the technology matures and the audience grows.
The promise of virtual reality is taking people to places where they want to be but are not physically able to do so, either for logistic, cost or other reasons. And concerts would seem to be perfect.
Clay Bavor, the head of Google VR said in an interview with Popular Science, “If we had started recording Prince’s concerts in virtual reality a few years ago, you would be able to go to a Prince concert and feel as if you were actually there. We missed the window with him, but I hope we don’t miss the window on a thousand other artists, musicians, beautiful places, events, moments in history and so on.” (NextVR recorded a Coldplay concert back in 2014 and make the clips available for the Gear VR of Samsung.)
Concerts are a strong candidate for virtual reality for another reason: There is only one key spot available where you want to be.
Another plus of virtual reality for concerts is the sound play. It is easier to send good quality sound then bringing high-definition sound. Sound can also be captured and play in 360-degrees, allowing you to enjoy the sound in all directions as you turn you head, increasing the feeling of being in the virtual world.
Of course, concerts still face a few challenges such as you have to put on a headset to view any event in virtual reality, making the event potentially both solitary and costly. Cole also said that some concerts are hard to produce than the sports events, especially the large, multi-stage events that Live Nation has in mind.
He said, “You want crowd ambiance and multiple locations. You can get a sense of the venue, sort of be part of the crowd and be part of the throng in the mosh pit, but very quickly you tend to want to be as close to the artist as you can get.”
One of the benefits of the long-term Live Nation contract is that NextVR will be able to work with musicians ahead of time, scheming the camera locations into their staging. The company with 55 workers is also working to hire some staff and further improve its audio capabilities to allow the best possible sound to go with the stage view.
Cole said, there is nothing anything like when an artist gazes straight into the virtual reality camera. “It feels very much like you are the one right up against the security line or pressed up against the stage. Those are really precious moments.”
It sounds pretty appealing. A concert in virtual reality could possibly be a very cool way to experience concerts that we couldn’t otherwise experience due to cost, location or other factors.