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360 degrees, The Future of Concert or A Fleeting Pandemic Trend?

By: Rachel Silverman

As VR technology continues to advance its uses do too. While most focus on the potential of the visual aspects of VR, virtual reality would not be all-encompassing without the high-quality audio it includes. Concert production teams have recognized this. Now more and more are turning to VR as a way to bring concerts to the audience in their own home.

VR concerts have been a growing trend. With the high price of concert tickets and the inclusion of 3rd party scalpers, it has become harder and harder for the average person to secure tickets to mainstream shows. The pandemic only made it worse.

But what are the real benefits of VR? Surely it can’t be as good as being at an actual concert. Concertgoers want to feel the heat of the bodies next to them, the taste of the air, and the vibrations of the bass running through their entire body. These are not qualities we get through VR, so what do we get in return?

Well, the pros come in the mixing. The benefit of VR is having your own personal mixing board for the performance. Want to only hear the singer? Isolate the vocals. Want to pick apart that bass line? Isolate the bass. VR gives the concert viewer the ability to customize the performance. Moving around is a lot easier, too. You can view the stage from just about anywhere, even on it. Say goodbye to the nose bleeds.

Many mainstream artists are dipping their toes into the VR experience. In 2021 Justin Bieber held an interactive Virtual Experience where he was projected as an avatar of himself.

This is a form of VR that skips the actual concert entirely and goes straight to the virtual platform. These types of concerts have been extremely popular among mainstream artists. Ariana Grande, Travis Scott, and Marshmello partnered with Fortnite to create similar experiences for their players.

Concertgoers are still apprehensive about VR experiences. Taking away the atmosphere of a concert- that shared anticipation as you wait together for your favorite band to come on stage, the cheers and the yelling, the sound of the audience singing together. These are experiences that are not the same through VR. During lockdowns VR concerts were essential for concertgoers, but will they continue to hold up now that virtually all restrictions have been lifted? We'll have to wait and see.


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