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Augmented Reality is future of live entertainment

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By Sheldon Angelo G. Cruz Jr.

The formula of concerts hasn’t changed much in the past few decades. We buy tickets, wait in line all day under the blazing sun to get into the venue, and then sing along with the artist/s at the top of our lungs.

This was an experience that can be shared by multiple generations. Chances are, your concert experiences are similar to what your parents have encountered.

With restrictions lifting as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, concerts are beginning to be a part of our lives again. However, there have been some changes to the formula.

Augmented formula

September has showcased some innovations for concertgoers. Earlier this month, Jack Harlow and Lil Nas X brought augmented reality (AR) stateside.

American rapper and 3x Grammy nominee Harlow kicked off his “Come Home, the Kids Miss You” Tour last September 5. Fans were treated to an AR experience via Snapchat.

American rapper and 3x Grammy nominee Jack Harlow kicked off his ‘Come Home, the Kids Miss You’ Tour last September 5, with fans being treated to an AR experience via Snapchat. Snapchat/Live Nation/VR Scout

During Harlow’s performance of “First Class”, attendees were able to point their phones upwards and see a digital jet flying overhead. Furthermore, they were able to buy concert merchandise directly from Snapchat.

A day after, Grammy award winner Lil Nas X also kicked off his “Long live Montero” Tour with a concert in Detroit, where attendees were given a playbill upon entry, which was scannable with Snapchat.

Once the concertgoers scanned the playbill with their phones, they received a voice message walking them through what they were about to experience. After that, they witnessed all three acts of augmented reality—act 1 featured cocoons, the second act showcased butterflies, and lastly, the 3rd act featured Nas himself.

The Evolution of Musical Story Telling

Musicians are storytellers, their music, music videos, and concerts all serve to tell a tale and entertain. AR is another tool for these musicians to convey the story they want to tell.

Nas and Harlow are not the first to bring AR stageside and they won’t be the last as by the looks of it, this trend is here to stay.

ABBA produced a concert performed by the holographic versions of them.

Earlier this year, Elton John and ABBA also held an AR concert with ABBA taking on a different approach and producing a concert performed by the holographic versions of them.

No longer will these artists’ visions be limited by budget constraints or logistical issues in concerts.

Like with the aforementioned performance of Harlow’s “First Class”, though it was possible for his team to organize for an actual jet to fly overhead during the song, it would have been a massive undertaking, not to mention expensive. AR made the task easier, though.

AR has the ability to realize the vision of many artists and allow them to give their fans the best experience possible.


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