After HoloTupac’s unveiling at Coachella 2012, fears abounded of money-vacuuming Elvis and Jimi revival tours–but the real concert future, according to Korean agencies, lies with globally broadcasting stereoscopic holograms of living groups to satisfy K-Pop fans.
The move toward broadcasting holographic performances would cut down on the immense overhead costs and scheduling nightmare of shipping talent groups around the globe. Two talent agencies called Success Museum Entertainment (dubbed SM) and Yang Goon Entertainment (sobriquet: YG) have kicked off the movement with their own experimental theaters: SM has plans to open a “V-Theater” tourist attraction in August, and YG has already opened “K-Pop Hologram” in the Everland theme park in Yongin, Gyeonggi Provence. The latter is the first of a campaign to open 20 such theme park venues in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, North America, and Europe by 2015. The series will feature many of the agency’s artists–including the debut of a PSY hologram concert:
SM has been experimenting with hologram projection technology for over a decade, and they’ve already begun integrating holographic performances into their groups’ tours–like girl supergroup Girls’ Generation, whose June 8 and 9 concerts at the Olympic Stadium featured a test of the technology (to say nothing of their “V Concert” hologram performance last January at Seoul’s Gangnam Station).
Of course, this holographic cultural invasion could fall flat as K-Pop fans clamor for their artists in the flesh–the only precedent for concert-level holographic performances are either with dead performers (as in Coachella’s Tupac and Celine Dion’s duet with Elvis) or entirely fictional artists (as Japan’s Vocaloid idol, Hatsune Miku). How will the value of live performances change when fans can see digital reconstructions of their idols?