When concerts first came to be, people built stages and amphitheaters that would try to push the sound as far as possible. With no power, getting the voice or musical instruments to each patron was the most important part of the whole show. But now that we’ve got massive speakers, electric instruments, and enough power to get the music to any ear that wants it, what does the future of live music look like?
It just so happens that I have a few ideas on the subject and the following is where I see live music going in the next 5, 10, 20 years.
1) Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
Imagine the next wave of a Jukely membership, where for a low monthly rate, you can slide on your VR headset and walk into whatever venue you’d like while your favorite band rips it up on stage. How many years until going to a show is as easy as plugging in and meeting up with your friends at the venue virtually?
In the same vein, augmented reality could also play a massive part in the future of live music. Using either your cell phone or a headset, you’ll be able to change the reality in front of you with a tiny band playing on your dresser or in a field, or… wherever you’d like. All while listening to it on your own personal headphones or speaker system.
2) Interactive Concerts
There have already been concerts where patrons have had the ability to use their smartphones to vote on the next aspects of the show. Will the next visual be a massive dragon swooping through the crowd or fireworks? The choice could be in your hands. Will the next song be your favorite or your friend’s?
Eventually, it won’t just be the concerts that are interactive, but how it’s decided where the band will play. Is the future of live music built on social media likes, hearts, and comments? Or has that side of live concerts already arrived?
3) Visual Experiences
Pink Floyd was one of the pioneers of the visual rock concert, but where will that head in the future? Will even trippier visuals be coming? More holograms? Fewer fireworks and more explosions of laser lights? It sure does feel like this is the case.
With massive new venues like London’s upcoming MSG Sphere Arena, the visual standards for shows are going to evolve. Imagine being not only in front of, but surrounded by, a screen that can visually incorporate a larger than life view of the show at a quality none of us thought possible (while, at the same time, still having the live music playing on stage). Imagine being in the “worst seats” in the house, but not feeling any of the FOMO because what you’re seeing is on another visual level than you’ve ever seen before. The future is near…
4) Personalized Sound
If you’ve heard anything about the new buzz in headphones, it’s that everyone has their own “hearing fingerprint.” The two big headphone makers in the market are Even and Nuraphone. What if they could do that without the headphones and in venues?
What if, before you went to a show, your seat allowed you to take an earprint, and have the show delivered to you for your specific earprint? Concerts would sound better than they ever did before. It’s coming.
The evolution of tickets has moved from hard tickets to QR codes to digital to swipeable wristbands, but what’s next? Will we be scanning our eyes or fingerprints when we walk into a venue or will it go even more into the science fiction world and we’ll have implants and more?
Will tickets be a part of the future or will we move into a crypto-based reality where money no longer exchanges hands and a barter system is implemented? Could we go back in time to move forward with our concert-loving lifestyle?
Having a few adult beverages and going to the show has never been something that people shied away from. But with the expansion of mass transit, taxis, ride-sharing apps, and more, how will we get to them in the future? I see two big ones.
- Self-Driving Cars: In the future, we’ll just type in where we want to go and off to the show we go. Imagine not having to think about how to get to the concert or how to get home. No more cabs or sharing cars with random drivers, just climb in and wait until you’re there. That sounds like a dream.
- Hyperloop: I touched on the Hyperloop concept back in the day. But, in the future, imagine going to a show on the other side of the country and then head home to go to bed. If Elon Musk has anything to do with it (and he can make it at a semi-reasonable price) we’ll all be seeing our favorite West Coast bands on Tuesday in California and grabbing late night snacks in New York City.
We’re all very familiar with the wearable watches these days, but where will it go in the future? Will it evolve into body suits? Gloves? Headbands?
What if you could feel every little detail on your person? In the same way that you can go to some movies and grab a pair of 3D glasses, in the future you’ll be able to grab wearable devices that give you another level of tactile stimulation at the show.
This is where I see the future of live music all going. What do you think? We’d love to hear where you think the future of live music will live.
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