Augmented reality (AR) is transforming the ways in which we interact with advertisements, gaming, and education. Now, AR is becoming a popular tool for navigation and entertainment at live events, too.

Coachella leading the way

Live events and AR are a hot topic at the moment, with this year’s Coachella Music and Arts Festival integrating much of its festival-goer engagement with AR-related apps, starting from the moment the festival ticket arrives inside its signature box. Every year the Coachella marketing team adds something cool and quirky to these boxes, ranging from pop-up dioramas to VR goggles, which accompanied their VR app. This year’s team used the new AR feature of the Coachella app to transform the box into a colourful, playful version of the festival space, featuring sharks, a hot air balloon, and the famous Coachella ferris wheel.

The ‘Coachella Camera’ that makes this possible is the newest addition to the Coachella app, which transforms any space into a dance floor with Coachella’s famous ‘Disco Shark’ (a shark-shaped disco ball that returns to the festival annually as part of a campaign for shark protection organisations). The AR experiences at the festival granted attendees access to exclusive AR lenses to take photos with, much like the increasingly popular Snapchat filters. There were also augmented artworks to discover around the festival site, as well as augmented easter eggs for the music-lovers to hunt.

This use of AR technology transformed and personalised the experiences at the music festival from the moment the tickets arrived, and it went on to showcase the clear potential for AR to change live events as a whole.

A great opportunity for AR

Coachella’s AR features don’t just stop at a cool box and an innovative way to take photos –  even the performances are enhanced. Eminem debuted his AR app Eminem Augmented during his headline act. The app allows concert-goers to see augmented images during the rapper’s 2018 world tour performances, with additional AR experiences available to be viewed anywhere, at any time.

This could be a game-changer for live performances, making the entire experience engaging and memorable from the moment the ticket arrives until the performance ends. AR could enhance each step of the attendees’ journeys, and Eminem and Coachella might just be the tip of the iceberg.

We’ve already seen a similar expansion on live events with the redesign of the Vivid Sydney app this year to feature AR – from Fitzroy Gardens becoming an ‘augmented garden of hidden ARt’, to using the app’s AR camera as a festival guide. It’s very common for someone to lose their pals at a festival, or struggle finding their way to the bar or toilet, which is where AR guides and wayfinder technology could really come in handy.

Interested to explore how immersive media can amplify your business and live events? Contact us today!