Festivalgelände during Wacken Open Air at Schleswig-Holstein, Wacken, , Germany on 2017-08-03, Photo: Sven Mandel
Wacken Open Air is one of the world’s biggest and best-loved heavy metal music festival. It is held every summer in the village of Wacken, 50 miles northwest of Hamburg in Germany. In under 30 years, the festival has grown from a local event featuring six bands and a crowd of just 800 into a global attraction drawing crowds of 80,000 or more.
Last year, in keeping with their pioneering spirit, the festival that built its own beer pipeline has produced an interactive Virtual Reality documentary. The film was created by Secret Location and Banger Films and is split into five parts. It offers VR customers the chance to experience the festival from the viewpoint of attendees and takes them on a tour of key areas including on stage with headliners Arch Enemy.
The Welcome to Wacken VR documentary is the closest way for metalheads the world round to experience the explosive energy of the event without actually travelling to the site.
As well as seeing the action through the eyes of the band on stage, viewers are also transported to the beer gardens and party areas of the festival. Anyone with Gear VR, iOS or Google Cardboard equipment can enjoy the experience. In 2018, the Welcome to Wacken VR experience will become available on even more platforms.
Five groups of fans from around the world were chosen to help film the documentary ensuring that a full range of viewpoints were covered. Different details and bonus content are unlocked as the story progresses.
The interactive experience has a runtime of 23 minutes and viewers can customize it by exploring a map of the festival. The idea is to put them right into the heart of the event to give them a taste of what it is all about. Full 360 perspective filming makes this possible and really brings the sights and sounds of Wacken to life. The success of the Wacken project is likely to prompt more festivals to explore VR options with fully-streamed live festivals a realistic possibility in the near future.
Photo by azchael
Virtual reality is set to take off in 2018 and the online gaming industry is one sector that is already pushing the technology to its limits. Players can now get a more lifelike casino experience in their own home thanks to the introduction of VR casino games. The best casinos online are using new technology to enhance the gaming experience and VR is set to be a big part of that in the years to come.
While many were unsure if VR tech would really take hold, others have forged ahead in the knowledge that the teething period would eventually end as the technology improved. VR is now at a stage where it is more attractive to consumers and developers are clearer about its practical applications.
So look out for your favourite festivals, live music concerts and video games being offered in Virtual Reality form over the 12 months. As the technology improves and the quality increases, hardware will eventually become more affordable at which point the market will explode.