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Ancienne Belgique unveils new virtual concert hall

Brussels concert hall Ancienne Belgique (AB) has unveiled a new virtual and interactive concert hall, christened Nouvelle Belgique.

In lieu of in-person concerts at the 2,000-capacity venue, fans will be able to create an avatar and attend performances in its digital likeness via the desktop app, Yabal.

Concertgoers can personalise their avatar, which will be able to clap, jump and even form a wall of death during the gig.

Nouvelle Belgique will ‘open its doors’ for the first time on 12 April with a performance from local rapper and AB regular, Zwangere Guy.

“Everything you see on the virtual stage takes place simultaneously in the real world”

The artist himself will be on stage live in the real AB, wearing a suit with sensors that registers all his movements, which will be mirrored in the virtual environment.

“Thanks to the work of the AB’s sound and light technicians, the spectator has the impression of attending a real concert. The unique feature of this experience is that everything you see on the virtual stage takes place simultaneously in the real world,” Tom Bonte, general director of Ancienne Belgique, tells The Brussels Times.

We proudly present to you: Nouvelle Belgique! Super excited to offer you a first glimpse at our virtual AB.
Ready for a unique experience? Get your tickets for Zwangere Di-GUY-taal | Nouvelle Belgique.

Posted by Ancienne Belgique – AB on Friday, March 19, 2021

 

Hervé Verloes, co-founder of creative agency Poolpio – which helped to create the space along with the support of visit.brussels and Proximus – explains: “The event is similar to an online game. Spectators will be able to move freely in the copy of the Ancienne Belgique (including the red balconies and the bar) and interact with each other, as well as with the artist.”

Bonte says that the ultimate goal is to ‘reopen the physical and digital doors’ of Ancienne Belgique.

 


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47% decrease in new artists touring Europe

The number of new artists touring Europe has fallen by nearly 50% in 2019–20, according to a new report that illustrates the impact of ongoing venue closures on emerging acts.

Research by Liveurope, an EU-backed association of 16 music venues, shows a 47% decrease in new acts touring in Europe compared to 2018–19. According to the organisation, which is calling for more aid at a European level, “the circulation of European artists, in particular emerging ones, can only return to pre-crisis levels if ambitious and targeted EU support is deployed.”

“After months of closure, our venues are faced with substantial economic losses and extended temporary lay-offs,” says Liveurope coordinator Elise Phamgia.“In this context, the safety net that our platform provides to them will be all the more crucial to help them continue bringing the diversity of European music to their audiences.

“After months of closure, our venues are faced with substantial economic losses”

“Scaling up the [funding] envelopes allocated to initiatives like ours would allow us to continue our mission, and support a greater number of music venues across the continent in their efforts to strengthen the European dimension of their line-ups.”

Liveurope members include Brussels arena Ancienne Belgique, Luxembourg’s Rockhal, Melkweg in Amsterdam and London’s Village Underground.

A recent report by the European Commission recommends an increase in the amount of funding for initiatives such as Liveurope in the upcoming EU budget.

 


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