Is Virtual Reality Live Music The Future of Gigs?

POSTED BY   Will Darbyshire
25th January 2017

Today’s post is bound to raise a few eyebrows! Anyone who enjoys a beer and a good gig may find this news a bit dubious… after all, nothing can beat the feeling of a live show amidst a sweaty crowd of fellow music fans, right? Well, either way, today Jon takes a look at how virtual reality live music could replace your local venue for the best music in town.

Is Virtual Reality Live Music The Future of Gigs?


Is Virtual Reality Live Music The Future of Gigs?

We’ve all seen the benefits of  VR, particularly the impact it’s having on the entertainment industry. Now, whether you’re a sports fan or a music lover, can virtual reality live music really replace the real thing…?

Founded in 2010, the online broadcasting platform, Boiler Room, has streamed hundreds of DJ sets and shows using VR.

It means that people don’t need to be physically inside a venue to watch their favourite artist. This all sounds really cool, but can VR actually be a substitute for seeing the real thing? As major labels and bands experiment with VR and gig streaming, people are beginning to look at whether it’s the format to shape live music in the near future.

For example, Glastonbury sells out in hours every year without fail. I wonder if the fans who weren’t lucky enough to obtain a ticket could choose to strap on a headset and get that sweet spot right by their favourite bands… I mean, would you still get all the excitement and electricity that comes from a live show?

For some, there is simply no substitute for experiencing live music, and I personally think that the loss of live music would be disastrous.

Some say VR can’t compete with reality. “There’s a real romance to travelling into town or going to the local venue,” says Sybil Bell, the founder of Independent Venue Week. “It’s about being out and about so when the band starts to play you get that excitement and that electricity which you can’t pick up from a screen”.

Being a techie, I think that, as VR becomes more and more powerful, the experiences the technology can deliver will become so realistic and sensational that it could, in theory, fool you into thinking you are there.

You will, of course, get those, like Bell, that think “you can’t get that atmosphere through a screen, and I agree in some respects that in an age where being on your screen has never been more prevalent, it’s nice to unplug and go see something live”. But it’s not always that easy nowadays to get to everywhere you want to go.

Could Virtual Reality Live Music Replace The Real Thing?

I don’t expect virtual reality live music gigs will ever fully take over from live face-to-face gigs but getting people through the doors into local venues is getting tougher, so VR is being seen as a new form of potential income.

I have watched a few of my favorite shows in VR and it’s cool. However, having not watched a live music event I can’t realistically say it’s 100% the right way forward, but I do believe though as technology continues to advance it is becoming inevitable that we will all at some point start having more virtual experiences like this. Indeed, as Michele looked at in her post on the metareality being proposed by Linden Labs and High Fidelity, there could be a real future in charging for virtual reality live gigs in such a space.

Imagine being able to experience Jimi Hendrix live at Woodstock, or The Beatles right from the audience of the Ed Sullivan show? Or even The Spice Girls at the Brit Awards? I’d certainly strap on the headset for that!

People will always love going to shows and dancing and having a good time. Personally, I am up for both.

If I am lucky enough to try this all out I will definitely let you guys know what I though. Headsets are going to get so much more realistic in the next year or two.

So, what do you think? If you can create a party at home and create a vibe, would you do it? Let us know via our Facebook and Google Plus pages. You can also tweet me about today’s topic, or get in touch via TDMB’s own Twitter directly.


Is Virtual Reality Live Music The Future of Gigs?

Will Darbyshire

Will is Content Strategist with The Digital Marketing Bureau, writing on all aspects of tech. Will specialises in writing interviews and profiles, as well as all things PropTech.

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