AmazeVR, a virtual reality (VR) concert firm, will expand its lineup of artists on its platform for future immersive events.
Based in Los Angeles, California and Seoul, South Korea, the immersive firm has listed on its website several new rock and K-pop bands set to boost adoption of VR entertainment.
Using live-action, volumetrically-captured 3D footage of artists, AmazeVR has unlocked photorealistic renders of virtual environments to democratise VR solutions for some of the world’s top record labels and their musicians.
Founded in 2015, AmazeVR aims to connect record labels and artists with their fans, regardless of their location or budgets.
Executives and a co-founder of South Korean mobile messaging app service and platform Kakao secured $9.5 million USD in Series A funding to build its solution.
Based on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, AmazeVR also developed its technical foundation with Roc Nation in 2020, leading to a further $15 million.
The company later launched its first-ever live VR Concert tour with Megan Thee Stallion, leading to an additional $17 million USD in funding from SM Entertainment. The capital raised from the contributions led to the creation of VR concert production firm Studio A for immersive concerts from mainly K-Pop artists, the firm notes.
The collaborations have finally allowed the VR firm to launch its AmazeVR Concerts, which designs bespoke experiences for artists, their musical genre and style, and their personal vision.
Those planning to attend the concerts can download AmazeVR on the Meta Quest and Pico family of headsets, including the Quest 3 and Pico 4.
AmazeVR adds Avenged Sevenfold, aespa, KAI to Artist Lineup
AmazeVR currently hosts some of the world’s top artists like T-Pain, Zara Larssen, UPSAHL, and Megan Thee Stallion. Artists entering the platform include Avenged Sevenfold (A7X), aespa, and KAI, with the former set to release a volumetrically-captured VR concert in early 2024.
For the Huntington Beach-based band, immersive technologies and Web 3.0 have remained an exploratory landscape. In a teaser on the group’s Facebook Reels, A7X posted a 24-second trailer of the experience.
Speaking to the LA Times, M Shadows explained,
“There’s always a barrier between the audience and us. You want to make sure that, though there’s going to be a lot of cool stuff going on, the people can get really close to you… and see you sing and see the drums.”
A7X Views on XR Concerts
However, while the band experiments with Web 3.0 and XR, Shadows noted that immersive concerts would not become the future of music.
“Is AmazeVR the place you want to go where you’re just having a beer on Saturday night and … you want to jump into something you wouldn’t actually go out of your way to drive there and do? I think that’s interesting. I just am not willing to say that it’s been cracked yet. … But I think these things are fun. It’s fun for us; it’s fun to explore.”
The band has been vocal about experimenting with Web3 technologies and believes they help inspire its artwork and creative expression. Additionally, it allows the group to connect with current generations of fans.
In an interview with XR Today, M Shadows explained the band’s movement to immersive technologies,
“We like to explore emerging technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR), and where they’re going. All of these things are really cool ways to push things forward. We also explore artificial intelligence (AI), using it to prompt things”
In late May this year, the band debuted its first-ever VR music video, “We Love You,” designed on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine by artist Ryan McKinnon. With the release of UE5, the immersive artist told XR Today that the real-time 3D (RT3D) platform provided him with unprecedented levels of creativity and streamlined his workflows.
He explained further on the future of XR music and concerts: “There’s a lot of potential, not just with animation, but also with creating greenscreen content with actual people in the video.”
This would help “greenscreen [content] blend with the real and Unreal environment,” he noted.
Fatboy Slim, ENGAGE XR Host VR Concert
VR concerts have also expanded to collaborative platforms like ENGAGE XR, where legendary DJ and artist Fatboy Slim hosted a set on the immersive stage.
In a backstage interview with XR Today, Garry Blackburn, Owner of Anglo Management and Manager for Fatboy Slim, explained his experiences with ENGAGE XR.
He said at the time: “Just by coming to [the concert] this evening, we’re learning the language of VR and how to behave in the environment.”
Also, Blackburn stated the immersive concert created a strong, shared sense of presence compared to pre-recorded events during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He told XR Today that the concerts on ENGAGE XR were “much better than some of the things we did in lockdown.”
He added: “While those projects did okay, they didn’t have the interactivity and sense of community a gig provides. [VR] provides you with that and enables you to leave the limit of your own imagination of where it can be.”
MIDƐM+ Cannes to Kick Off in 2024
The updates come ahead of the MIDƐM+ Cannes event, which will take place from 24 to 27 January. The groundbreaking event will explore Web3 and XR technology integrations in the music industry, as well as host brainstorming sessions, panel talks, and networking opportunities for attendees and businesses.
Tools such as generative AI (GenAI), XR, AI, and the blockchain are set to boost the adoption of emerging technologies. It will also feature a Music Seekers+ (MuSee) community where labels can liaise with artists, designers, and production teams, among others.