Industry News

Live Nation broadcasts first NextVR gig

Live Nation last night launched its virtual reality partnership with NextVR through the broadcast of a concert by music act Thievery Corporation.

The event was made available for free through NextVR’s app, with the performance delivered to users from multiple vantage points throughout the Atlanta, Georgia venue.

Live Nation and NextVR announced in May that they would collaborate to broadcast hundreds of live performances in VR to music fans worldwide.

NextVR has already broadcast a number of sporting events, and are running a full schedule of NBA basketball games during the 2016-17 season.

Next VR described the Thievery Corporation broadcast as “amazing” via Twitter, while a spokesperson said: “Through NextVR’s partnership with Live Nation, fans can experience concerts in a compelling, as-if-you-are-there environment, immersed in every nuance of the show with backstage access, front-row seats and on-stage-privileges.”

Virtual reality headsets, such as Samsung GearVR and Oculus Rift, shut out the real world in order to create a 360-environment for the user.

“The time is right to experiment (with VR) in the music space,” Darin Wolf, executive vice-president of Live Nation media and sponsorships, said in a statement earlier this year. “Together we will be able to provide unparalleled access for fans to enjoy live music and see first-hand the emotion and adrenaline rush from artists as they prepare to perform live.”

The Thievery Corporation show was welcomed by fans, with Reddit user hippityhoppitous saying: “Seems to be working well, I only wish the resolution was a bit higher and that we could individually control which camera we are viewing from.”

The opportunities afforded to music fans and the live events industry by VR are numerous according to NextVR’s Helen Situ, who described three major positives.

She said: “Easy access to concert venues: I no longer live in a metropolitan hub such as San Francisco, ripe with live music and concerts every day of the week. Seeing my favourite artists is no longer as easy as a $5 Uber ride to The Independent afterwork.

“Convenience: I’m vertically challenged. Standing at 5’3″ does not help me whether I am in the front or the back of the audience, I guarantee you that there is someone taller bobbing their head to the beat right in front of me.

“Super powers: Have you ever been at a concert and wished you could teleport from the balcony view down to the standing section without missing any of the performance? Yes! Sometimes your feet just get tired.”

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