Enter the Coachellaverse.
Everyone’s favorite music & arts festival Coachella is currently underway in Indio, California. This year’s event is expected to attract over 750,000 attendees as people from around the globe gather to celebrate music, art, technology, and everything in between.
This year, Coachella took its first steps towards creating its very own metaverse. Referred to by event organizers as the Coachellaverse, this incredible digital experience allows fans from all around the world to interact with the festival in a brand new way using a combination of immersive technologies. This virtual platform features everything from AR technology and video games to NFTs and an interactive online community where you can connect with attendees, both on-site and at home, as well as with artists, creators, and other surprise guests.
Coachellaverse is a huge turning point for the annual festival. As hundreds of brands integrate themselves into the metaverse, organizers of Coachella are looking to do the same. The team stresses that this metaverse experience is more than a gimmick. It’s a virtual adventure that merges art, music, and fashion with immersive technology.
In an official press release, Sam Schoonover, Innovation Lead for Coachella said, “Coachella is a festival that has always enabled artists to innovate when it comes to their performance.” Schoonover adds, “The hybridization of music events through streaming platforms like YouTube is driving tune-in from around the world and bringing at-home and on-site audiences closer together in the process. For these reasons, we believe that Live AR will enable a massive evolution in performance visuals over the next few years.”
During last weekend’s festivities, millions of fans watching Coachella’s YouTube Livestream got a preview of what the future of artist performances could look like when popular electronic artist Flume took the stage. As he performed his music in front of a live audience at the Coachella festival grounds, Coachellaverse attendees experienced a completely different show.
Flume and his team brought the stage to life by taking visual elements from their stage show and extending them above, behind, and around the stage using AR technology, resulting in a shared musical experience unlike anything else available at the event. To bring their metaverse vision to life, organizers of Coachella worked with a number of agencies that included Epic Games, the independent music company Future Classic, Six Degrees, and the virtual production company All of It Now.
“It’s exciting to see how artists are using Unreal Engine to introduce a new layer of immersion to the live music experience,” said Jamie Mossahebi, Producer at Epic Games’ London Innovation Lab. “Flume’s show offered a preview of what’s to come as real-time technology changes the way fans enjoy—and eventually interact—with their favorite artists in virtual worlds.”
To check out Flume’s immersive AR performance, visit Coachella’s YouTube channel.
Flume wasn’t the only artist using AR. The metaverse company Meta and the organization Girls Who Code teamed up with Doja Cat to create a series of cool AR filters that brought her latest album, Planet Her, into the Coachellaverse. Conan Gray is another artist who will use AR visuals during his set this weekend.
Coachellaverse is much more than an AR-enhanced YouTube stream. Organizers worked hard to bring in as many immersive elements as possible to ensure in-person attendees can participate in the fun with cool Instagram AR filters, on-site experiences for NFT holders, Snapchat filters, a Fortnite experience, and a really awesome Coachella mobile app created by the folks at Niantic that lets you step into a portal and head over to the Spectra, a giant rainbow tower at Coachella, where you can watch a massive butterfly land it.
On top of that, the app helps you easily navigate the Polo Fields with a proprietary AR Wayfinder that you can use to guide you to different points of interest on-site and locate geo-specific AR experiences. To stay on top of what’s happening at Coachella and the Coachellaverse, check out their Discord for real-time updates during and after the festival.
Coachella is happening now in Indio, California and ends tomorrow, April 24th.
Image Credit: Coachella