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TheWaveVR secures $2.5m, plots ‘first VR rave’

TheWaveVR, a music-focused virtual reality (VR) platform, has secured US$2.5 million in seed funding before its launch later this year.

The company’s ambitious pitch – that it will “revitalise the music industry” by allowing “people who love music to view, host and socialise in live and recorded shows worldwide, anytime, anywhere” – won the support of a group of investors comprising KPCB Edge, Presence Capital, Rothenberg Ventures, RRE Ventures, The VR Fund, Seedcamp, the ex-CEO of Square Enix North America, Mike Fischer, and Joe Kraus of Google Ventures (GV).

Explaining TheNextVR platform, CEO Adam Arrigo says: “We’re working toward empowering artists and music lovers alike and transforming the way people connect through music by building the world’s first musical metaverse in VR.

“Music creators will be able to fully customise how their audience experiences the music – whether that’s by transforming the venue from a realistic nightclub to outer space or putting on the most unimaginable light show ever. Fans won’t have to travel the globe or miss out on their favourite DJs, musicians or festivals and can experience the music like never before, while socialising in totally new ways alongside their friends.”

“Fans won’t have to travel the globe or miss out on their favourite DJs, musicians or festivals and can experience the music like never before”

It has also announced the hiring of visual artist David ‘Strangeloop’ Wexler, who has worked with The Rolling Stones, Flying Lotus and Skrillex, and Soundcloud co-founder Dave Haynes.

TheNextVR’s big debut will be at ‘the world’s first VR rave’ during the Virtual Reality LA expo in August. DJs will perform wearing the HTC Vive VR headset, with attendees wearing Gear VR headsets and SubPacs, the subwoofer vests used at Martin Garrix’s Concert for the Deaf.

2016 has so far seen a host of new live music-related VR projects as the technology gains ground in the industry, including joint ventures between VFX studio Digital Domain and Warner Music Taiwan, Universal Music and iHeartMedia and Live Nation and NextVR.

In issue 64 of IQ Magazine, industry figures, including representatives from Exit Festival, Tomorrowland and Sziget, gave Richard Smirke their predictions on how VR technology will shape the live music sector in coming years.

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