“Got LIVE If You Want It!’ declared The Rolling Stones on their debut live album from 1966. Back then a live show was a relatively straightforward proposition – albeit one fraught with potential difficulties thanks to the relatively primitive audio systems of the day.

Over the next few decades PAs improved exponentially, while at the same time light shows, lasers, props and increasingly outlandish conceptual notions all added considerably to the notion of what a pop/rock concert could contain. But given the discussion currently taking place around several new or emerging technologies, you could be forgiven for thinking that we are now on the eve of something approaching the reinvention of the gig-going experience.

Broadly speaking, these technologies can be divided into two groups – those pertaining to the in-venue experience, and those related to the engagement of fans around gig times or those who aren’t attending at all but still wish to join in the excitement. It is the first group that concerns us here, and within that it is arguably immersive audio, VR/AR and wearable technologies about which there is presently the greatest buzz.

All are still evolving, and as such it is not easy to forecast their long-term potential – not least with regards to monetisation by event organisers and vendors. If they are to become fundamental elements of live events in a widespread way, sustainable business models will need to be established.

But what can be assessed more meaningfully at this point is the creative contribution that some of these technologies might make to the overall experience of live music in the years to come. The extent to which immersive audio technologies have diversified in recent years can be ascertained by the fact that there is now a relevant catch-all term: Next Generation Audio (NGA). Read more from psneurope.com…

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