Coachella: How the Music Festival Magnate Utilizes Virtual Reality
Coachella, or the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for full, is an annual music and arts festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, located in the Inland Empire’s Coachella Valley, in the Colorado Desert.
Currently the biggest music festival in the world, the event was co-founded by Paul Tollett and Rick Van Santen in 1999, and is organized by Goldenvoice, a subsidiary of AEG Live.
Coachella takes place on two consecutive weekends in April each year, featuring musical artists from many genres of music, as well as art installations and sculptures. The main stages are the: Coachella Stage, Outdoor Theatre, Gobi Tent, Mojave Tent, and Sahara Tent; a smaller Oasis Dome was used in 2006 and 2011, while a new Yuma stage was introduced in 2013 and a Sonora stage in 2017.
Coachella's genres and line-up
Genres incorporated by Coachella mainly include Electronic, Dance/House, Hip-Hop, Alternative, Pop, Indie, Alternative, Rock and Punk.
A-listers that have performed at Coachella include the likes of Lana Del Rey, Lorde, Skrillex, Calvin Harris, Tiësto, Kanye West, The Cure, Arcade Fire, Madonna, Dr. Dre, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Prince, Daft Punk, Iggy Pop, The Roots, Björk, Oasis, Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Tool, Kings of Leon, Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, Muse, Gorillaz, OutKast, AC/DC, Drake, Guns N’ Roses, Kendrick Lamar, DJ Snake, Bon Iver, Florence and the Machine, ODESZA, etc.
According to Billboard, When Coachella began in 1999, the roster was initially dominated by electronic acts, which is still consistently receiving prominent representation. Starting in the early 2000s, indie and alternative music make up an increasing component of the festival, which saw a peak in 2006. Pop and hip-hop music tends to fluctuate more on the lineup.
Rumor says Beyoncé, Eminem and The Weeknd will be headlining Coachella 2018.
Alessandra Ambrosio, Alexander Skarsgard, Ariel Winter, Ashley Tisdale, Bella Hadid, Camila Mendes, Christina Milian, Cole Sprouse, Diane Kruger, Dove Cameron, Emily Ratajkowski, Emma Roberts, Freida Pinto, Gigi Hadid, Hailee Steinfeld, Jamie Chung, Jared Leto, Jasmine Tookes, Jeremy Scott, Lili Reinhart, Joe Jonas, Josh Hutcherson, Kate Bosworth, Katy Perry, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Lais Ribero, Lindsay Lohan, Martha Hunt, Nicole Richie, Nicole Scherzinger, Olivia Culpo, Paris Hilton, Rihanna, Robert Pattinson, Sofia Carson, Sophie Turner, Taylor Hill, Tyler Posey, Vanessa Hudgens, Victoria Justice, Yara Shahidi.
Note: This is by no means a complete list.
How to purchase passes for Coachella
You can purchase Coachella tickets on its official website, where they also provide a full guide on buying tickets. The webpage will automatically refresh when ticket sale is on. You can choose the passes you wish to purchase (VIP passes give you access to the front of stage, a separate bar and different food trucks, plus more toilets with less queues), and log in or sign up for an account after to proceed to checkout. In avoidance of fraud, we strongly advise that you purchase tickets on Coachella.com instead of third-party websites.
For people who don’t have tickets or forgot to purchase tickets to Coachella, they can still have fun by attending Nochella——after-parties that take place in Indio and Palm Springs during the festival.
How Coachella utilizes virtual reality
In 2014, vantage.tv recorded the first Coachella performance in 360. In 2016, Youtube and vantage.tv filmed and broadcast the first 360 livestream of Coachella alongside the release of the Coachella VR app and cardboard.
As shown above, you can choose from multiple AR patterns to apply to your Coachella Welcome Box to trigger different augmented reality effects (exampled below).
Besides, you can also enter the VR menu and insert your phone into a headset to click on everything through motion tracking.
If you look around you at the main menu, there’s this really cool set behind you:
When streaming an experience, you can toggle between 360 view and VR mode (for headsets). Look down for additional controls.
The 2017 Coachella presented its attendees with a psychedelic experience situated in a 60-feet-high dome, where Chrysalis, an 8-minute virtual reality film that San Francisco-based studio Obscura Digital spent 3 months developing, was screened. Instead of donning VR goggles, attendees look around on the walls of the 120-feet-diametered rotunda where images were projected.
Looking into the entire music industry, 360 live-streaming performances sees an even bigger market. Currently NextVR is leading said endeavor, where they teamed with Live Nation and Citi to broadcast dozens of concerts in VR in 2016. They’ve produced VR experiences for Imagine Dragons and Lady Antebellum. In another partnership with Samsung in August, NextVR broadcasted Coldplay’s “A Head Full of Dreams Tour” live from Chicago’s Soldier Field , where fans from over 50 countries were able to watch with their Samsung Gear VR headset.
Having a rich library of music content, VeeR VR is also making progress on supporting 360 live-streaming.
Given these successful precedents and increasing popularity of the VR technology, paired with the lowering thresholds of VR hardware, it’s only a matter of time before virtual reality and 360 media are generally adopted for entertainment purposes.