A few weeks back the estate of the late Whitney Huston just approved a holographic tour of the singer, just the latest in a series of such concert tours that have so far included the likes of Michael Jackson, Frank Zappa, and Tupac Shakur. So far, the accusations of bad taste and resulting cancellation of some such shows, like that of Amy Winehouse earlier in 2019, have not poured cold water on the developers and promoters of virtual reality shows, and that includes the music industry.
As The Guardian and MusicTech explain, the two main technology protagonists, BASE Hologram/BASE Entertainment and Digital Domain are continuing the race to make the holographic music events as realistic as possible. And the music industry is in full support.
MusicTech quotes Genaro Castaldo from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) who said, “Imagine a world where you can experience iconic events like Woodstock, The Beatles’ debut at the Cavern Club or the last performance of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust at the Hammersmith Apollo…” He goes on further, suggesting that, “there will soon be no limit on what – and who – we can pay to see, living or dead.”
With no concerns with any questions about what is real or not, the concept seems to be working. Both the Tupac Shakur and Frank Zappa shows were a success, and after Whitney Huston, a double bill of long gone idols, Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly, will hit the stage in the Autumn of 2019.
The music industry is quite supportive, as it sees an opportunity for the sales of the music of artists that are no longer with us to make yet another round. They are even counting on the factor of controversy as an element that will spur sales. Who cares if that reality is just virtual.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.