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Are VR and live streaming metal concerts a thing of the future?

Posted by on June 5, 2018

Photo: Ceek via Facebook

New technology is opening up wholly original ways to enjoy things, and it is now even bringing about a different method of experiencing music. While attending concerts is an awesome way to get a metal fix, it’s not easy to go and see every band you love on stage. And for some people, such as those with disabilities, watching a live band in a packed crowd just isn’t feasible. Some massive acts, including Slipknot, Megadeth, and Eagles of Death Metal have already dabbled with VR. Could this be a thing of the future?

Virtual reality is already beginning to have a major impact on the world, even though it cannot yet be considered mainstream. The potential of the platform is there for all to see, though, and it is set to revolutionise socialising, gaming, and music in the next five years. The gaming industry is perhaps ahead of the curve with things like PlayStation VR already taking off, but other industries are following close behind.

In December 2017, metal fans were able to put on their Samsung Gear VR headsets and enjoy the Wacken Open Air Music Festival. This event, which has taken place in Schleswig-Holstein in the northwest of Germany since 1990, attracts roughly 80,000 visitors each year, but for some overseas fans, it can be hard to get to. The Welcome to Wacken app from Banger Films and Secret Location solved this problem and brought the world-renowned festival to the homes of people all over the world.

Live streaming technology has been put to good use for years in the online casino industry, where the same objective is being achieved. Just like with metal bands wanting fans to feel like they are at the shows, online casinos want players to feel like they are gambling with their chips on the casino floor. At Voodoo Dreams, for instance, there are live dealer games with real croupiers. Players can play games like blackjack and roulette, and also interact with humans as they would in the casino. This brings the fun to those who may not live near a casino, or may feel that walking into one is a daunting experience.

A lot of individual metal acts have decided to give their fans an opportunity to get close to them in VR. In 2016 Megadeth released a VR concert experience which allowed viewers to watch the band live from the side of the stage and also see the crowd reactions. Killswitch Engage broadcast their performance at the House of Blues in Texas live in VR in 2017. These VR offerings were met with strong approval in the metal community.

After the popularity of the VR Wacken festival and individual bands giving VR tours of their concerts, there look set to be even more metal bands offering VR tickets to their gigs in the near future. This new platform will certainly open up a world of new opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the biggest metal acts in the world.

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