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Trends in Holographic Live Music Performances.

Andy Robertson

Technological advancement in holographic projections mean that live music can now be performed by musicians and artists who may not be physically present at a venue. This has many implications for the presentation of live music now and in the future. What is currently happening in the development of this new technology and what does it mean for fans.

The use of holographic images has been around for more than 150 years by using a combination of mirrors and light projections. The principle remains the same but the move to highly sophisticated digital renderings is changing the live music experience and offers new opportunities for artists and audiences. Advances in technology and innovations will probably enhance the realism and interactivity of these performances. 

Notable Events. 
Recent years have seen some exciting developments in live holographic performances and include the deceased Tupac Shakur appearance at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2012 and Michael Jackson at the Billboard Music Awards in 2014. In 2022 ABBA’s ‘Voyage’ concert featured avatars of the band members, known as "ABBAtars," performing alongside a live band. This project used cutting-edge motion capture and digital rendering techniques to create lifelike holographic representations of the band from their prime years. 

Advancements in projection technology are creating more lifelike detailed holographic images with very realistic interactions thanks to greater computing power. The integration of synchronised audio to the holographic images makes them more lifelike making it more difficult to distinguish them from reality. Augmented reality is also being overlayed on holographic performances creating a great immersive experience for audiences. 

Future Advancements. 
Initiatives like Microsoft's HoloLens wearable mean that viewers can now experience holographic performances from multiple angles. The resurrection of deceased music legends has been a driving force behind some of the holographic projects produced to date, but the technology does have other uses too. Artists and musicians who are perhaps too elderly to perform on stage or are unable to travel to a festival on the other side of the world can now perform as holographic images of themselves. The music audio could still be performed live and mixed seamlessly with their images. 

Despite the technological advancements the holographic live performance can still be subject to technical glitches and may be vulnerable to interruptions in power supply and internet connectivity. Audiences and festival-goers may be sceptical of holographic performances preferring to see artists live in person, the exception being legendary deceased artists brought back to life. The current technology required to produce a holographic performance can be very costly and needs a high level of expertise to execute well. Ethical issues surrounding the resurrection of deceased artists remains and ongoing discussion in the industry and can get complex when considering music and image publishing rights and legal ownership. 

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Image by Vilkasss via Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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