Access All Areas June 2019 - Page 14

JUNE | TRENDING How Coachella elevates technology Guest writer Richard Dodgson, founder & creative director, Timebased Events, says Coachella is leading the way for festivals T he 20th edition of the famous Coachella Festival closed with over 250,000 people descending on Indio, California for two long weekends of music, fashion and ground-breaking technology. Each year, Coachella brings something new to the festival scene, such as the notable ‘break the internet’ moment in 2012 where a holographic Tupac appeared on stage. Following this, every year they bring something completely new to the table and this year was no different. This year seemed to be focused on technology you can access in the palm of your hands through your smartphone. The Coachella app has been around since 2016 but is being improved every year to fully integrate it into the festival experience with the use of new technologies, such as augmented reality (AR). AR is becoming increasingly popular and this year Coachella used it to add an immersive and engaging dimension to its popular Sahara Tent stage. Audience members could use their phones to see a new side to the spaced-themed stage. Through the app, they audience members had access to a ‘Coachella camera’ that included AR features that react and change based on the different audio coming from the speakers during 14 musicians’ sets. It is not only during the sets where this feature could be used either, with attendees able to entertain themselves during waiting times with various intergalactic objects visible through the camera, such as astronauts and satellites. This use of AR is an engaging and value-adding example of how technology can improve the attendee experience or setting and raises the bar for other festivals. Where previously tech innovations at events or festivals have been associated with things like virtual reality and bulky headsets, the Coachella Digital Innovation team has pulled off a truly immersive experience with the ‘Coachella Camera’. Attendees could also save the footage and share it far