Holograms Hit The Road: Will Fans of Frank Zappa, Ronnie James Dio and Others Show Up for Their Virtual Versions?
Over the past months, we’ve been talking with Cortney Harding over at Billboard about our upcoming hologram tours and the growing excitement we’re seeing from fans, artists, estates and the larger music industry. Some excerpts are below and you can hit the link for the rest of the piece!
The estates of deceased musical legends have been sending holographic versions on tour, while living artists mull having holograms tour in their stead.
Ronnie James Dio and Frank Zappa will also both be “touring” soon, while some living stars have started reaching out to hologram companies, researching whether they might be able to “perform” while they’re actually in the studio, or dealing with medical issues, or just really far behind on their Netflix queue.
For years, hologram tours have promised to be the next big thing, with augmented and virtual-reality technologies developing at a rapid clip. (The 2Pac hologram that appeared onstage at the Coachella festival in 2012 seems practically stone age, compared to newer, more realistic models.) But there’s still one problem: No matter how great the tech becomes, fans know the star is, well, dead — typically eliciting feelings of eeriness and revulsion in many observers, say industry experts.
Still, Ahmet Zappa, who worked with Eyellusion — a company that just raised $2 million — to create a hologram of father Frank for the upcoming tour, says he isn’t trying to replicate a concert. “We have elements of Frank onstage, of course, but we can do all these other things and anthropomorphize the music in a whole new way,” he explains.