I would love to be around in 100 years to see what music festivals and live events look like then.
Right now, the possibilities of technology seem limitless. We’re in the digital era; new innovations and technologies come at us hard and fast, one after the other, like the checkout process at an Aldi supermarket.
Our phones are replacing our wallets. We’re more often than not downloading our gig tickets straight to our phones these days. We check the BoM weather forecast on our home-screen so we know what to wear for the weather. We find our way to the venue using our Google or Apple maps app. Now we’re even checking in to the venue with QR codes and showing our vaccination records on our phones for entry.
We pay for the drinks at the bar with Pay Pass. We photograph and video our experience in high definition. And we share our experience on our socials for our entire network of friends and family to see. Sometimes I can’t remember how I functioned before smart phones…
It’s probably only a matter of time until the integration of public transport databases, maps, and digital tickets combine en masse to allow all events to create easy, brandable and beautiful live wayfinding overlays, site maps and on-stage set times, all within Google or Apple maps for registered event attendees to access on their phones.
Maker Faire Event Map
There are lots of examples of it happening already, and its something I think will become mass produced and ‘industry standard’ in the years to come.
We’re ridiculously more productive and efficient with work than we were a decade or so ago too. Subscription and web-based platforms replacing costly and limiting IT systems means you can be poolside in a villa in Bali and still have instant access to your email, your CRM system, your warehouse inventory and any other software you could possibly need. Automations are growing in abilities, taking mundane repetitive tasks off your to-do list and allowing business owners and project managers to focus on more pressing assignments.
The pandemic induced lockdowns have shown us how easy it is these days to work remotely, away from the office at least. We don’t even need to attend business meetings anymore thanks to platforms like Zoom and MS Teams, and co-sharing platforms like Google Workspace and alike means collaboration and productivity could actually be better when we’re apart than when we’re together.
There are the technological innovations fuelling new and jaw-dropping experiences to be had at live events. From drones dancing across the sky in a choregraphed 3D light show, epic video screens that have reached crazy new heights of 3D quality and animation, the idea of an “immersive experience” is only going to get more and more amazing as time goes on.
Man in VR Headset / Unsplash
And then there is the amalgamation of the real and the fantasy worlds. The live events that we can experience, atmosphere and all, from the comfort of our own homes. VR (Virtual Reality) goggles are still not quite mass market yet, but they are certainly getting there.
I can totally see myself attending the Olympics or NRL Grand Final using VR goggles one day. Dancing at Burning Man from my living room in Sydney. Following the Foo Fighters around the globe without having to get on a plane. As with smartphones, VR technology will only get better and easier-to-use from here.
Augmented and mixed reality is also the tech-of-the-moment. You would have to be living under rock if you haven’t seen the viral photos or footage of the giant black panther running around the field and roof of a packed Bank of America Stadium for the Carolina Panthers v New York Jets NFL match last month?
Much of the overlay for the empty stadium Opening and Closing Ceremonies at this year’s Tokyo Olympics was augmented for broadcast too.
Walking into the future / Unsplash
Whilst it does suck for those who bothered to show up in-person that the viewers at home get to experience this cool new tech in all its glory, it’s almost like a the beginnings of a middle ground for the merging of live and virtual events; you turn up you get the unbeatable atmosphere. But if you tune in from home we’ll give you mixed reality like you’ve never seen before. It’s clever! Ticket sales no longer have to end when the venue maxes out capacity.
And with new generations becoming more and more tech savvy from younger and younger ages, the new innovations that they will experience in their lifetimes are mind-boggling to even theorise about at the moment.
The sky is the limit, as they say. Although really, the sky isn’t even a limit anymore.
I hope you enjoy this month’s special features, exploring the world of technology and innovation for the next generation. Feel free to write feedback or pitch ideas to [email protected]
Feature Photo: Unsplash
Written by Victoria Garside
Victoria combined more than 16 years of events experience with her love of creative media to found Gig Nation. She has worked in various roles across hundreds of events in her career. Some of her favs included Future Music Festival, Opera on Sydney Harbour, Foo Fighters in Concert, and Sydney NYE.