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The Evolution of Live Entertainment: Coachella’s Multidimensional Main Stage

Last weekend, we at &Pull joined forces with Coachella, Epic Games, Unreal Engine, and YouTube to give fans from around the world an unforgettable experience where reality and imagination blurred.

The Magic of Live AR: A New Medium for Artists. The Live AR initiative is giving artists and performers a new medium to create within, transforming their live performances into mesmerizing, multi-dimensional experiences. From spectacularly surreal backdrops to hyper-realistic scenes that interact with the artist and audience, the possibilities are virtually limitless. While Live AR has previously been used in sports and news, Coachella and &Pull are pioneering its integration into live music, building on our groundbreaking 2022 collaboration withFlume

The Creative Process and Challenges - Bringing Live AR to life this year wasn't an easy feat, but our pursuit of innovation in collaboration with the some of world’s biggest artists resulted in 3 epic moments for this new technology to date. To create the experience that would do Coachella justice, it required a significant amount of infrastructure, a dedicated team, and countless hours of development work, all while working within budget constraints. Yet, &Pull's expertise and determination overcame these hurdles, further leading the way toward the next evolution of live entertainment technology.

Sam Schoonover, Lead of Innovation and Emerging Technology for Coachella, said, “Bringing the Gorillaz characters to life is the best possible use case we could have imagined for Unreal Engine and AR in the Coachella YouTube livestream. We’re excited to continue enabling artists to extend their performances in new and engaging ways.”

“AR has the potential to revolutionize the way we watch and engage with TV performances,” says Niamh Byrne, founder of Gorillaz’s Eleven Management. “Gorillaz are perfectly positioned to experiment with the canvases that exist between physical and digital.”

A Glimpse into the Artists' AR Worlds - To truly appreciate the magic of Live AR, let's delve into the unique experiences &Pull created for each headliner:

We created building-sized, levitating digital versions of the band members, performing from the top of the MainStage. The result was a perspective bending experience for the audience at home.

We directed a stack of very talented teams to craft a series immersive AR elements for Bad Bunny's performance. Including a stage of animated back-up singers, an experience at the bottom of the ocean, a giant flying red heart interacting with the crowd, and a humorous space environment. Each scene was designed to enhance the viewing experience.

We set the stage for BLACKPINK's entrance by engulfing the MainStage in pink smoke in tandem with pink lightning striking the sky behind. The smoke was quickly sucked into the screens of the stage before revealing the performers.

Audiences saw gradient energy coming from all directions around the festival along with different digital pieces of art, including rocks, balloons, stars, and others, flowing like rivers into a single gradient nucleus of energy above the main stage before finally disappearing. This was followed by a full-screen announcement of the "Coachella Island" Fortnite partnership.

The Future of Wearables and Concerts: A New Dawn for Live Music. The future of wearables is set to revolutionize the live music experience. As wearable technology advances, we at &Pull plan to remain at the forefront of democratizing the opportunities in AR by making it accessible to artists and show producers, enabling them to efficiently create immersive, interactive experiences for fans like never before. As a driver in the evolution of live entertainment, &Pull is poised to lead the charge in transforming the industry.

With Coachella 2022’s groundbreaking integration of Live AR technology coupled with the foundation being built for years to come in 2023, the live music and entertainment industry is on track to be forever changed. As technology continues to evolve, fans and artists alike can look forward to a future filled with even more innovative and immersive experiences, thanks to the hard work of partners like Epic Games, Unreal Engine, Youtube, Coachella, &Pull, and others. We're excited to be at the forefront of this revolution, shaping the way live events are experienced for years to come.

If you’d like to jam a little more, we’d be happy to set up a meeting during the week. Just shoot Sam an email at sam@andpull.com. Let's find time to connect.