The VR Gig: A New Era of Venues

The VR Gig: A New Era of Venues

The worst part of going to any gig is probably the trip there. Your favorite band is having its last show ever at Madison Square Garden in New York and you NEED to make it. Unfortunately, you live in a small town in bum-fizzle-nowhere Oklahoma. You shell out a few hundred for the plane ticket, or you factor that into gas and wear-and-tear on the car.

If you’re hip with the times maybe you’ll grab an Airbnb room for $100/night rather than a hotel. The room and transport is eating into the bank a little bit.

Not to mention, ticket scalpers bought out the tickets before you had a chance to buy one, so you already spent $160 on a $80 ticket.

Now, instead of spending, say, $480 on a one time experience, what if you could spend the $400 towards the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift? Then, you would have $80 left over! And then still be able to experience the concert without ever needing to leave your house…

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This is MelodyVR’s idea. They want to bring affordable, live-streamed events to virtual reality, which people can view without any travel or life disruption necessary. They have already started doing this with archived gigs, but on Wednesday they featured their first ever live-streamed concert in London. Liam Payne of One Direction played in front of a group of select fans, as well as people from all over the world who were tuning in live on their headsets.

Here’s an older review of some MelodyVR archived content.

This idea has a lot of room to grow as well—consider how prominent light shows are for high profile gigs. Interestingly, AR filters could be applied to the live VR video stream to add some pretty neat effects to the viewing experience if the fans want to go that route. Or, through the use of haptics, perhaps the fans will be able to wear haptic suits to feel the vibrations of the music, resulting in an experience that’s almost indistinguishable from actually being at the concert yourself.

There are many ideas that can be explored, but they’re starting off simple. And the concept is a wonderful deviation from VR’s typical gaming niche.

But MelodyVR isn’t the only company with this idea. In fact, Oculus Venues, an application made by Facebook itself, featured Vance Joy in a live concert on May 30, 2018. They also streamed sports events and TV shows, with an emphasis on social. You can experience these events with your friends or with a crowd of strangers, and you can pick the seat of your choice.

While Melody focuses on getting you as close to the performer as possible, Oculus Venues focuses on the social experience—both platforms have their merits to be sure.

People can experience something vividly without ever having to spend time or money on travel and lodging—and that is incredibly useful. People will still probably want to attend the live concerts when they can, but this provides a cheaper, slightly inferior alternative to the real thing. And people sure like saving time and money when they can.

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