Sharing Fiction

If I Were a Music Festival

*If I Were is a series that runs through a hypothetical of how to add AR to other verticals. You can check out the entire series here.*

Coachella. Ultra. Burning Man. Bonnaroo.

Thousands of people coming together over a singular shared goal. To get day drunk and listen to their favorite musicians back to back.

Music festivals are a beautiful thing. As an attendee, I’m also well aware of the dark underbelly of music festivals. They’re a nightmare to organize well, and there are so many moving parts a machinist would cry.

Me @ Ultra 2017. Check that bad hat choice!

Me @ Ultra 2017. Check that bad hat choice!

With such a gargantuan undertaking, immersive computing (AR) can make a big difference in how smoothly the event runs.

I remember when I was at Ultra in 2017, the check in line phone checker thing was busted. This caused an enormous headache for the thousands of people trying to get in and for the security that had to hold them back.

Technology should be used to take the load off of organizers, and be simple enough for festival goers to understand immediately.

AR Map of Festival

The first (and most useful, imo) application of AR in a festival would be a localized map of the festival.

The app could direct users to different events within the festival, get them to the correct stages, and direct people to bathrooms. This would save costs on hiring, and decrease the density of bottlenecked areas.

AR Mapping technology is relatively new, but Google has been using it to great effect.

Which DJs are performing at this stage?

A staple of the music festival is the lineup. People buy tickets for entire music festivals just to see their favorite three artists.

Unfortunately, there is little support for people who want to find out where and when their favorite artist is performing.

Using Cloud Anchoring, festivals can anticipate this need. When users pull out their festival app and point it at a stage, they can see a list of all the performers and when they’re on.

Filters to Share

An obvious implication of AR in 2020 is branding with AR filters. People love using filters. They’re fun, and they do a great job of embellishing an experience. With Spark AR and Lens Studio, you can create filters that your attendees will use. This will unite them (“oh, you went to ___ 2020 too!?”), and market for your future offerings.

Group Crossfader Bracelets

A while ago, I made a simple script that crossfades between two songs. I was thinking that this could be a great group experience at festivals.

Frequently, audience members are told to wave their hands left and right. A VJ can link up a camera to these movements to trigger fun effects that interact with the crowd.

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Sound on! 🎶🎶 . . . Full description below ⬇️⬇️⬇️ . . . An extension on the script I wrote that uses wrist position to change the volume of a track, this one crossfades between two songs. The little red circle on my wrist is what the program “sees”. Now all you need to dj a party is to wave 👋!! #creativecoding #ml5 #machinevision #p5 #p5js

A post shared by Bram (@_bramses) on

To Sum Up

As technology gets better, music festivals will need to continue to update their offerings to keep people excited about going. Being tech-forward in thinking is a great way to get ahead of this problem, and give your attendees a memorable experience.

If any of these pique your interest, or if you have questions about AR in general, please get in contact with us!