Coldplay’s Cool Gadgetry

Yesterday Coldplay announced that they are partnering with Live Nation to broadcast their A Head Full of Dreams Tour stop at Soldier Field in Chicago live via Samsung’s Gear VR. The broadcast will be next Thursday (August 17), and it’s also going to be recorded and available the following week (until August 24th).

Whether or not you are a fan of Coldplay, this is good news relative to the larger endeavor of encouraging musicians across a wide range of genres to consider streaming their performances in a 360° format. You can already find over 150 examples 360° Videos from every genre imaginable on YouTube’s Experience Music Channel (go ahead, visit and find your favorite). However, not that many acts are able to take on the technical challenges and risks of streaming 360° footage live.

Hopefully, if Coldplay’s broadcast is well-received, others will follow (and hopefully with a much wider and more egalitarian range of viewing options that do not cater to just one type of headset and might also include non-headset based options like YouTube streaming or similar technologies).

In truth, even Coldplay is taking a risk going live in 360°, but they already have more experience with the format than most musicians. A couple of years ago they partnered with NextVR to publish a short 360° segment of them performing A Sky Full of Stars from the stage (again, published for the Samsung’s Gear VR). The experience was impressive to see inside a headset, but it is hard to find now. There is still one video on YouTube that gives a glimpse of what it was like to see inside the GearVR.

It’s also worth noting that, again, whether or not you are a fan of Coldplay, they do make some innovative decisions when it comes to using gadgetry in the service of their art. Another example is what they did to make their official MTV style music video for Adventure of a Lifetime. In case you haven’t seen it, here is the YouTube version.

Yes, down right silly, but how’d they do it? IMHO The answer to that question is better than the music video. Check out what went into the “making of” it — they got me somewhere around Andy Serkis showing up…

Neat stuff. Well done Coldplay, and good luck with your concert next week!

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