Live Nation Brings a New Suite of AR Experiences to Music Festivals

Hyundai will test drive them at Music Midtown

CANNES, France—Live Nation is going all-in on augmented reality, unveiling a suite of new AR products here today to enhance live music events for fans both on site and at home. 

Hyundai will be the first company to try out the experiences. At the 25th annual Music Midtown festival in Atlantic this September, the automaker will use the AR products to the completely redesigned 2020 Sonata. 

Muse had a chance to try out the AR products at a private preview here at Cannes Lions this week. The products include the following: 

AR Livestream

Fans at home will be able to download the Music Midtown app and launch a three-dimensional, four-sided viewer that the user can rotate to see select performances live from the festival. Hyundai will showcase a custom 3-D version of the 2020 Sonata within the experience.

AR VIP Access

Using 360-degree camera technology, this feature lets fans at home or onsite experience unique vantage points from Music Midtown—side stage, backstage, front of house soundboard, etc. The Sonata will be integrated into this experience as well.

AR Fest Lens

Fans at select Live Nation festivals will be able to point their phone toward any of the stages and see which artists are performing, as well as upcoming acts.

AR Intermission

This feature lets fan see creative AR content on the stage in between sets.

AR Photo Opp

This product livens up Instagrammable moments by adding AR filters with custom 3-D artwork to existing photo backdrops within festival venues. 

"The new Sonata is our most technologically advanced vehicle we've ever produced," Dean Evans, CMO of Hyundai Motor America, tells Muse. "We wanted to make sure we got this car in front of not just a live audience but in this immersive technology-rich environment to do two things: To remind everyone that the car and this platform are technology driven, but more importantly, to get our vehicle in front of eyeballs on a more frequent basis and on a more unique basis that we've never had." 

Hyundai has brought physicals to festivals before. But this physical/virtual integration brings new possibilities, Evans adds. 

"I call this 24/7 immersive experiential, or virtual experiential," he says. "Consumers are almost over-digitalized, so it is important for brands to bring experiential more to life all the time. This combo of physical and virtual is is what we've been looking for. Not to bring the consumer out with another screen but to bring our car alive in new ways."

Exactly how the Sonata will be integrated into the AR remains to be seen. Hyundia is working with its agency, Innocean, on the creative details of the integration.

"The AR platform itself brings a 'Wow, what is this?' element to the consumer already, so the creative doesn't have to do that on its own," Evans says. "It definitely facilitates a better experience, but I like this because it doesn't put all the onus on the creative team. It's one thing to put a TV spot on the NFL and you're competing with a million other TV spots, but here, we're the only thing that exists during this few hours in a way that is not disruptive but immersive and personalized. It's a really good combo." 

Kevin Chernett, evp of global partnerships and content distribution at Live Nation, says the AR experience enhances the already magical experience of seeing live entertainment. 

"We sell goosebumps, if we do our job right," he says. "VR touches on that a little bit. AR is taking it to a different place because we love the idea that you can still be present but also are enhancing it. When we're live, our engagement levels are through the roof. The shareability of this is going to be off the charts." 

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards.