Digital music may have brought the experience of listening to an artist to a more convenient platform than ever, but there’s never really been a way to replicate the social experience of seeing an artist perform live at a concert.
TheWaveVR is hoping to do just that by utilizing social VR to bring people closer to an artist’s live performances than they’ve ever been digitally. The six-month-old, Austin-based company just raised $2.5 million in Seed funding from KPCB Edge, Presence Capital, Rothenberg Ventures, RRE Ventures, The VR Fund, Seedcamp and angels including Mike Fischer and Joe Kraus.
“We’re working toward empowering artists and music lovers alike and transforming the way people connect through music by building the world’s first musical metaverse in VR,” said Adam Arrigo, CEO of TheWaveVR. “Music creators will be able to fully customize how their audience experiences the music – whether that’s by transforming the venue from a realistic nightclub to outer space or putting on the most unimaginable light show ever.”
TheWaveVR gives users a platform where they can have a communicative relationship with onstage artists in VR, raising a digital lighter in the air or bobbing their head all while the onstage artist reacts accordingly. The experience is particularly suited, at lease early-on, for EDM music as a large part of the experience involves the crazy digital light shows taking place onstage behind the artist. The whole situation may just be playing out with avatars at the moment but this is just the first step in the future evolution of users transporting themselves into digital live concert experiences.
One of the toughest challenges for early VR proponents has been convincing early adopters of the technology of the platform’s social potential and shedding its status as a personally isolating technology, which at this point is a very fair appraisal. TheWaveVR founders want to see their platform evolve into something where a bunch of buddies can open private concert and have their own jam session or travel together to a major artist’s show and meet people from across the globe.
TheWaveVR is about to have one of its biggest tests, hosting a “silent rave” at Los Angeles’s VRLA conference where attendees will sport headphones and headsets and jam to DJs while looking like idiots alongside one another in VR. This is the first major live event for the young company and I will be participating so catch me on Twitter to see the madness unfold this weekend.