Live Nation and Melody VR announce a new virtual event at the Brixton Academy in London, while Merlin Entertainment has donated 30,000 tickets to essential workers…

Live from O2 Academy Brixton

Live Nation UK has teamed up with Melody VR to launch a new virtual reality live experience called Live From O2 Academy Brixton.

The iconic London venue, operated by Academy Music Group, will host a series of 360-degree VR gigs on the MelodyVR app for anyone with a smartphone or Oculus VR device.

Anthony Matchett, chief executive of MelodyVR, said: “MelodyVR’s mission is to use our innovative technology to make sure artists can keep staging amazing shows and fans can continue to experience and enjoy the live music that they love.”

Melody VR recently delivered Wireless Festival’s virtual event, Wireless Connect, a three-day 360° event featuring exclusive performances from London and LA from 70 artists.

The event welcomed 132,000 fans from over 34 countries, and the audience interacted with the performance more than a million times over the weekend, according to Melody VR.

Matchett continued: “We’ve helped to take Wireless virtual this weekend, co-creating the successful Wireless Connect, and Live From O2 Academy Brixton is another exciting venture in partnership with Live Nation. Virtual shows are here to complement and support live entertainment, and we are proud to be working with the rest of the industry to ensure that live music doesn’t stop.”

Merlin Entertainment

Merlin Entertainment, which runs attractions such as Alton Towers and LEGOLAND, has announced it will donate 30,000 tickets to emergency service and frontline essential workers.

The passes are part of the firm’s reopening plan and will go to workers in the UK, Asia, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

In addition, tickets will be donated by venues, stadiums, clubs, promoters and event industry experts across the UK as part of the initiative, which was launched by Blue Light Card, a UK discount service for emergency services, social care workers, armed forces and the NHS.

The majority of 10,000 tickets will be made available in the UK via the free platform Blue Light Tickets, where frontline workers can register for free tickets to venues and events.

Will Campbell-Lamerton, partnerships and operations manager at Blue Light Tickets, said: “In these difficult times, we have been blown away by Merlin’s generosity.

“We know that free tickets to leisure days out will spread the message of ‘thank you’ to NHS, healthcare and emergency service workers, who’ve shown superhero strength and dedication in recent months.

“For those who haven’t been able to spend much time with their families during the COVID-19 lockdown, either as a result of long working hours or social distancing, we hope that a free day out at a Merlin resort/attraction will give some respite to those who need it most.”

Image: Ewan Munro