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Digital Avatars Take Center Stage At Live Shows

ABBA in their motion capture kit (Photo: Baillie Walsh)
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(Hypebot) — ABBA Voyage shows how turning big stars into digital avatars can create a memorable music experience for fans of artists that no longer tour and enhance the shows of those that still do.

by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0

The music legends from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and even the ’90s are either at the point or past the point when they can tour, but there’s still a strong demand to see them and hear their music. There’s been talk about recreated shows from these legends via holograms or digital avatars, and it’s even been tried on a song-by-song basis in a few instances in the past like that of Tupac Shakur at Coachella in 2012. ABBA Voyage takes the concept to a whole new level with a full concert.

ABBA Voyage digital avatars
Photo by Johann Persson / ABBA Voyage

ABBA Voyage features digital avatars of the four-piece Swedish band performing a 90-minute concert in a specially created 3,000 seat venue on a site in Stratford in East London. Like the show, the venue is unique in that it was constructed on a 3-foot-high raised platform that can be disassembled and reconstructed at another location. The show debuted on May 27th and has been continually extended due to high demand.

The beauty of using digital avatars (besides seeing the members of ABBA as they were when they were a lot younger) is that the show can be duplicated and run simultaneously in different parts of the world. It comes as no surprise that this is in the plans for the show’s future, as you can see this as a permanent part of the Las Vegas scene.

In case you’re wondering, the show isn’t truly hologram-based in that it doesn’t use any lasers to reproduce the avatars. Instead, it uses 65-million-pixel screens projected onto angled pieces of glass to provide the 3D effect, although the company that developed the technology isn’t providing many details about how it works.

True fans of an artist will always tell you about the shows they’ve seen, which inevitably leaves you wishing you had the same opportunity. As many of these legends won’t be around physically for much longer, at least we may have their avatars that show them at the peak of their powers to enjoy in the future.

Bobby Owsinski is a producer/engineer, author and coach. He has authored 24 books on recording, music, the music business and social media.

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