Coachella Debuts Its First Interactive AR Stage
Festival-goers can interact with space-themed AR content before, during, and after performances.
Today marks the first weekend of the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, and while festival-goers are knee-deep in the festivals usual helping of chart-topping music and A-list celebrities, those visiting the famous Sahara tent are experiencing a much different musical experience.
This year, Coachella stepped-up its offerings with its first-ever AR-equipped stage, offering fans an interactive augmented experience that turns its legendary Sahara tent into a cosmic spectacle. Using the Coachella Camera feature included in the official Coachella app — available on both iOS & Android — fans can access a space-themed interactive experience that responds and reacts to the live musical performances in real-time.
During change-over times between artist performances, fans can open their Coachella Camera, point it at the Sahara video screens located near the stage, and watch as a variety of augmented visuals, such as astronauts, planetary objects, space stations, and various references to the physical art structures present at this years festivities come to life above the crowd. Not only will this floating AR content react to each set performed in the Sahara tent, but the fans and physical space as well.
Various augmented content will be available before, during, and after each and every performance, turning the Sahara tent into something akin to a futuristic, cyber-punk dance club.
While this may be Coachella’s first attempt at a dedicated AR-equipped stage, it isn’t the first time we’ve seen the technology used during a live performance at the historic festival. For instance, last years lineup included a one-of-a-kind show by Eminem in which the iconic hip hop legend embraced the presence of smartphone technology to create a jaw-dropping AR-enhanced live performance.
This included everything from an enormous holographic rendition of the artist himself karate-chopping helicopters out of the sky, to a Jason-style hockey mask dual-wielding 12-story tall chainsaws.
As head-mounted AR technology continues to advance at its current, rapid rate, these types of augmented performances will only become more common, especially when prevalent artists become more aware of the technologies potential value.
If you’re lucky enough to be attending this year’s festivities, download the official Coachella app on iOS & Android and stop by the Sahara tent for a look at the future of live music. Of course, you can save your recording and photos of the action to share on social media later.