Three major brands have united to offer consumers a unique live music experience using cutting edge virtual reality technology. US bank Citi, concert promoter Live Nation and VR specialist NextVR will be producing a series of up to 10 live virtual reality concerts as part of the “Backstage with Citi” initiative.
This new series is an extension from the successful programme “Backstage with Citi” already involving Live Nation and Citi. The first live concert in the new series will launch later this year and be accessible via the Live Nation Channel on the NextVR app. The line-up of artists has not yet been disclosed and will be announced soon.
This new series will take concert fans into “an immersive VR experience” with access to leading acts. In addition to watching select concerts live in VR, fans will have access “backstage” with the artists as they prepare to take the stage. The app will be available on all major platforms by the end of 2016. Portions of “Backstage with Citi” will also be made available on other channels.
Citi has a history of being involved in live music events over the decade. Through its Citi Private Pass programme, the bank has offered thousands of events annually to its card members. “We want to push the boundaries of the very meaning of access beyond attendance and as technology evolves, it’s allowing us to do so,” said Jennifer Breithaupt, Managing Director, Media, Advertising and Global Entertainment at Citi.
Citi and Live Nation are capitalising on the rapidly growing VR market. Research firm Forrester predicted that demand for VR headsets will reach 52 million units by 2020. “Virtual reality is starting to take off and the time is right to experiment in the music space,” explained Darin Wolf, EVP at Live Nation Media & Sponsorships. “Together with NextVR and Citi we will be able to provide unparalleled access for fans to enjoy live music and see first-hand the emotion and adrenaline rush from artists as they prepare to perform live.”
Last May, Live Nation and NextVR announced a five-year partnership to broadcast hundreds of live, cutting-edge performances in virtual reality to music fans worldwide. This partnership has been extended to the Citi series. “This is an exciting opportunity to transform traditional concert viewing into an exceptional new category of immersive experiences that provides access to consumers like never before,” said Brad Allen, executive chairman of NextVR. “This breakthrough initiative advances our business model and enables us to stay ahead.”