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The Platform Is The Star Of Steve Aoki’s New VR Concert

Venues (formerly Oculus Venues) will present a new multimedia show in VR by two-time Grammy Nominated DJ and producer Steve Aoki tonight (Wednesday night, September 30th, at 6 pm PST). The show is produced by Supersphere for Oculus Quest users, who can register here to reserve a seat at the show tonight.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — SEPTEMBER 20: DJ/producer Steve Aoki performs onstage during the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena on September 20, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) GETTY IMAGES

Steve Aoki is a world-famous DJ and music producer known for his wild multimedia dance shows, which sell out all over the world. As a cross-genre music producer, Aoki’s label, Dim Mak, has helped launch the careers of global acts like The Chainsmokers, Bloc Party, The Bloody Beetroots, The Gossip, and The Kills.

The show’s producer, Supersphere, is a live content and production company founded by Lucas Wilson who, along with his partner Doug Allenstein, has produced thousands of hours of live music, events, and broadcasts over the past five years. When Wilson put on an Oculus DK1 shortly before the Facebook acquisition in 2015, he knew this was a direction he wanted to take the company. Along the way, they’ve become a go-to partner for Facebook and Venues.

Supersphere’s artist relations team helps with talent acquisition, working directly with managers, agents, labels, and artists from the beginning. Supersphere’s work in early VR meant doing a lot of 360º and 180º live streaming for Facebook and others. They’ve worked with eSports leagues to develop their in-game virtual reality camera broadcast technology. Wilson’s ArcRunner platform has its own tech stack, built on Unity [NYSE: U] is a real time game engine which renders VR environments on the fly.

Scene construction interface in Unity. Supershere

Supersphere has made lidar scans of well-known venues like Preservation Hall in New Orleans, and the Warfield in San Francisco. The physical lighting grids are replicated exactly in the ArcRunner virtual environment and can be accessed via industry-standard DMX lighting interfaces.. With this physical-to-virtual interface, physical controls can manipulate lighting plots in the virtual world, allowing lighting teams to see their designs manifest in realtime in VR. Virtual lighting grids can easily be operated by a remote lighting director. Performers like Aoki are captured in a studio against a green screen with high-resolution cameras. The performers are then placed into the virtual venue, where visual effects can defy gravity.

Lucas Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Supersphere. Supershere

“Steve got what we were doing right away,” Wilson said in an interview. “It was a great way for us to really see how far we could push ArcRunner. This is just the beginning of live performances in virtual worlds.”

“I was floating in the sky amongst these beautiful colored pillars as if I was DJing inside of a dream,” Aoki said in a prepared statement promoting the new show. “It was insane! I broke down the third wall and became a character within my own animated universe. I can’t wait to relive this experience and share the fantastical journey with my fans around the world. We’re breaking new ground and evolving the future of live performances.”

“Ultimately, what we all want is to create a killer show for the fans. It’s got to be fresh, and it’s got to be live,” Wilson said. “ArcRunner allows us to do that, at a price point and production schedule that works for artists and their teams.”

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