What will live performance look like in the future?

There’s a lot of excitement about virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR), whether it’s people trying out experiences at public events and in shopping malls, or downloading apps onto their mobile devices, or tech specialists trumpeting the latest innovations and development that could benefit everything from surgery to construction.

The arts world is just as excited about using mixed reality in live performance and we’re thrilled to be involved in a major new project, which will see us working with some of the greatest artists in the world to test what VR, AR and MR mean for audiences. This is a massively important project for MIF as we work towards the opening of The Factory in a few years’ time.

Working in partnership with global pioneers in immersive performance and technology we are launching a new programme of research and development (R&D), supported by Innovate UK. This will allow us to test, showcase and prototype the technology behind extraordinary experiences which converge physical and virtual worlds.  While VR has been around since 1935 (to be debated!), advances in spatial computing have allowed creators to develop new forms of interaction which challenge traditional models of authorship and participation – we want to put artists, performers and musicians at the heart of this innovation.

To deliver this we will be collaborating with the greatest minds in the industry. They include The Royal Shakespeare Company known for their ground-breaking tech partnerships on productions like The TempestMarshmallow Laser Feast an award-winning studio known for experiences like, We Live in An Ocean of Air,  Punchdrunk immersive theatre legends and London Philharmonia who have been experimenting with digital beyond the traditional Concert Hall for over a decade.

Alongside the artists and performers that we hope will push the artistic potential, we are working with a wealth of research and technology partners to support us on that journey. We look forward to showcasing some of that research at MIF19, but for the moment watch this space and expect updates in the upcoming months.

For more information check out the Audiences of the Future programme funded by Innovate UK and see below for our long list of collaborators.

  • The Royal Shakespeare Company
  • De Montfort University
  • Epic Games
  • i2 Media Research Limited
  • Intel
  • Magic Leap
  • Manchester International Festival
  • Marshmallow Laser Feast
  • Nesta
  • Phi Centre
  • Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Punchdrunk
  • University of Portsmouth
  • The Space
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