Imagine: You’re at a live event, the lights dim, the talent takes the stage and you slip on your virtual reality headset, where you’re suddenly standing alongside the performers onstage. If that sounds like a far-fetched vision of the future, it is. And the future arrives June 1.
VRiety 360, scheduled for Thursday, June 1 at Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Center for Performing Arts, is billed as a “modern variety show with a technological twist.” While that explains the event in the most fundamental terms, it doesn’t quite capture how revolutionary the show is: Hybrid virtual reality-live performances like this could soon become the default way to experience concerts and other live entertainment.
On the most basic level, VRiety 360 is a fun variety show for the entire family. Hosted by comedian Brent Podosek, there will be performances from local alt rock favorites Always On My Mind, sideshow artist Slim The Living Cyborg, the fire dancers and aerialists in Lumina Entertainment and a headlining set from comedian and musician JR De Guzman. Yet the show will be augmented by a localized virtual reality live stream, where audience members can pop on their VR headsets to experience the show in 360 degree virtual reality.
That’s not all. Prior to the performances, attendees can familiarize themselves with the state-of-the-art technology by playing interactive VR games, checking out demos and participating in group games to win prizes. And after the show, ticket-buyers will receive a code for on demand viewing of the entire event in VR. Plus, the first 550 people through the door will receive their own VR headsets at the event.
Whether you’re an adamant user of Oculus Rift or a novice who has never stepped into the immersive world of virtual reality, VRiety 360 is a groundbreaking event you won’t want to miss. And 10 years from now, when VR headsets are as essential to the concert experience as earplugs, you can brag to your friends how you were there in Denver when it all began.