Virtual Reality Concerts
Concern about what the killer-use-case-beyond-gaming will be for virtual reality has prompt lots of writings. Often, armchair tourism, e-commerce and professional sports are tossed out as potentials. However, taken in big-game concerts could be one of the most intriguing options.
NextVR Wins Contract To Televise Concerts
NextVR, a virtual reality producer, has won a contract with concert promoter Live Nation to televise hundreds of upcoming concerts in virtual reality. It is a five-year deal that will kick off this summer along with a yet-to-be-announced event.
“This agreement actually spans from what you might consider from an intimate performance to very large music festivals,” said co-founder of NextVR, Dave Cole addressing Re/code. Concerts begin with free events, but as the audience grows and technology matures, there is the possibility of introducing some pay-per-view.
These are places people wish to be but couldn’t be physically due to cost, logistics or other reasons, virtual reality promise to take them there, while concerts seem to take care of the bill.
Google VR head Clay Bavor said in an interview with Popular Science that, “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”. He says further, “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 made clips available for Samsung’s Gear VR.)
Another reason why concerts are a good contender for VR is that it put you in your desired key spot.
One more advantage of concerts is the role sound plays in virtual reality. First, it allows for high-quality sound be sent easily than to bring high-definition, persistently refreshing immersive video and evidently the sound is a big part of a concert. Secondly, sound can also be achieved in 360 degrees, giving you great feelings as you turn your head, adding to the sensation.
No doubt, concerts are as challenging as viewing any event in virtual reality today — you need to strap on a headset, making the experience potentially both costly and lonely. Thus, Cole points out that some concerts could be tougher to produce compare to sports, particularly the kind of large, multi-stage events that Live Nation is planning.
“You want crowd ambience and multiple locations,” said Cole. “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.”
The long-term Live Nation contract with NextVR includes opportunity to be able to work with the musicians ahead of time in order to designing camera positions into their staging. Also, 55-person Company is working to increase staff to further improve its audio facilities which enables great sound with the right-next-to-the-stage sensation.
Nothing comes near the sensation when an artist stairs directly into the VR camera. Cole says “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.”
Surely tempting, this is really worth looking forward to, without necessarily being there.