London-based production company Dotdotdot has launched an event called Somnai that lets participants dream lucidly and access their subconscious minds.
Somnai promises to "awaken all your human senses" through a layered-reality experience, with the first performances taking place in March 2018. During 90-minute sessions, participants engage with immersive technology to trigger lucid dreaming, allowing them to explore and control aspects of their dreams while in a semi-conscious state.
This will be made possible via interactions with live actors, virtual-reality (VR) technology and immersive media. Participants will wear a VR headset, but also experience stimuli from real-life actors and sensory elements to trigger taste and touch, altering their sense of reality even further.
"We can mess with you because we've got you in a digital environment," chief executive Andrew McGuinness toldHuffington Post. "You feel the wind blowing up, you feel the spray, there's a smell of seaweed. So everything's there to convince you and immerse you really in that environment."
The event's theme is an indicator of how consumers are increasingly interested in exploring their unknown, possibly darker sides of their personalities – an idea unpacked in Shadow Selves: Tapping Consumers' Dark Sides. With an enhanced desire for introspection, consumers are seeking opportunities to access their subconscious as a source for greater meaning, creativity and self-care.
It also chimes with New Nightlife, which looks at how people are embracing immersive theatrical nightlife experiences that diverge from traditional forms of entertainment.