7/29/16 11:00 AM

There are already various applications which allow you to relive live shows on your mobile's screen. But cutting edge technology is now able to bring concerts to you with virtual reality. What does this mean? Thanks to the many VR headsets which have recently been released onto the market, you can experience concerts live through virtual reality, offering photo realistic settings which allow you interact with people and things. The trend, which has already been experimented with in the past, is evolving. But it is set to explode over the next few years as VR headsets become commonplace. Confirmation comes with data released by Goldman Sachs during the 2016 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona: after the videogames sector (worth 11.6 billion dollars by 2025), it is live events which will generate the most revenue (4.1 billion dollars), followed by videos and other sources of entertainment (3.2 billion dollars).

U2 in virtual reality (on the bus)

Imagine getting on the bus, putting on a VR headset and coming face to face with Bono Vox and his band dedicating a song to you. This was what some U2 fans experienced last autumn when they were invited to climb on board the “Experience Bus” to watch a special acoustic performance of “Song for Someone”. Thanks to the VR headsets installed on the bus, the fans found themselves in the middle of a virtual show in a deserted concert hall, which they could move around freely. Those who were not able to get on the Experience Bus can have a similar experience from the comfort of their own homes by downloading the free Vrse app for iOS, Android and Gear VR.

YouTube, Björk and 360° music video

VR is not new for Youtube: it was one year ago when it introduced support for 360-degree videos in its mobile app. You just need Google Cardboard, the internet giant's low-cost VR headset – place your smartphone inside it and you can enter a new 3D world. Amongst the most popular 360-degree music videos (with over 3.5 million views) is “Stonemilker” by Björk. The video premièred at MoMA in New York City, before being uploaded to YouTube, and was shot precisely in order to give fans the possibility of enjoying a VR viewing experience. The Icelandic singer has also launched an app dedicated to the project.

The Coachella Festival in VR

Held each spring in Indio, California, it is one of the most eagerly awaited musical events of the year for Americans. But the 2016 event was much more than just a big festival: the organisers partnered with Vantage.tv to create an app which gave participants new ways to enjoy the festival by making use of VR. Here too, all that was required was to put on Google Cardboard and launch the dedicated app; available free of charge for iOS, Android and Samsung Gear VR systems, Coachella VR gave users backstage access and the ability to watch interviews with the stars and actively participate in the concerts.

The future of live shows

Many giants of the music industry are opening up to VR experiences. Music label Universal recently signed a partnership with iHeartRadio, an online radio platform with 90 million monthly listeners. The goal? To create musical content which can be enjoyed by users via the most innovative VR viewing tools. Another major partnership has been set up between Live Nation and startup NextVR, which has already transmitted boxing matches, golf tournaments and political debates via VR. Now it is music's turn, with the first virtual reality concert to be transmitted next summer.