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5G haptic suits trialled for Deaf festival-goers

Singer-songwriter Jessie Ware has called for 5G-enabled haptic suits for Deaf and hard-of-hearing music fans to be rolled out at live music venues after they were successfully trialled at a UK festival.

Developed by Vodafone and Music Not Impossible, the wearable tech made its debut during Ware’s headline set at the 20,000-cap Mighty Hoopla festival in London’s Brockwell Park earlier this month.

Using the latest haptic technology, people wearing the suits are able to feel the music through vibrations delivered across touchpoints on the wrists, ankles and torso. Innovatively, Vodafone has adapted the suits to convey the atmosphere of the crowd as well as the artist’s performance, using 5G receptors to capture the crowd noise and feed it back through the suits as vibrations in real-time.

“Music is for everyone and it’s amazing to be able to change the way my deaf and hard-of-hearing fans can experience my shows”

“When I first heard about this tech I was blown away, and to see the reactions of the fans who have tried them already has been incredible,” says Ware. “Music is for everyone, and it’s amazing to be able to change the way my deaf and hard-of-hearing fans can experience my shows.”

Ware adds she would like to see the tech go on to adopted more widely at concerts moving forward.

“I’m really excited by their potential and would love to see these suits available at as many of my performances as possible in the future,” she says.

 


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BST Hyde Park agrees multi-year Vodafone deal

Telecoms giant Vodafone has been installed as the official connectivity partner of BST Hyde Park after sealing a multi-year partnership.

The deal, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, will see Vodafone use its connectivity and technology capabilities to deliver AR experiences for music fans, while keeping festival-goers connected through the power of its 5G network and onsite activations. Vodafone will also offer customers the opportunity to win tickets to BST Hyde Park through its VeryMe Rewards programme.

Due to the pandemic, the AEG-promoted concert series is returning to London for the first time since 2019 with shows by Elton John (24 June), the Rolling Stones (25 June/3 July), Eagles (26 June), Adele (1-2 July), Pearl Jam (8-9 July) and Duran Duran (10 July).

“2022 will see us unveil a range of exciting partnerships and we are delighted to kick off our return to music as official connectivity partner of BST Hyde Park,” says Vodafone consumer director Max Taylor. “As well as using our connectivity to enhance the festival experience this summer, customers will be able to unlock access to some of the biggest events of the year through our VeryMe Rewards programme.”

“The line-up for this summer is so strong and we know that by partnering with Vodafone, we’ll be enhancing both the artist and fan experience”

Carla Morini, senior director, AEG Presents Global Partnerships, adds: “We’re incredibly excited to welcome Vodafone as an official partner of American Express presents BST Hyde Park. The line-up for this summer is so strong and we know that by partnering with Vodafone, we’ll be enhancing both the artist and fan experience. 2022 is certainly set to be a summer to remember.”

Speaking to IQ last year, King said AEG was excited to reveal a “new look” (and a new sponsor – American Express) for the eighth outing of the festival.

“We will finally have the chance to reveal the new creative presentation of the event with an updated Great Oak Stage and a new look and feel to the creative areas around the site,” he said.

The 65,000-cap festival launched in 2013 and, over the years, has seen performances from acts including the Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Robbie Williams, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, the Cure, Black Sabbath, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, The Killers, Carole King and Barbra Streisand.

 


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Mojo partners with Vodafone for virtual concert platform

Dutch promoter Mojo has teamed up with telecommunications giant Vodafone to launch Larger Than Live, a virtual concert platform allowing for direct artist-to-fan interaction.

Larger Than Live makes its debut on 9 July, with a concert from Nielson at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome, which recently reopened for audiences of just 30 at a time.

Other acts to perform via the platform include De Staat, De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Maan, Frenna Deluxe and Rolf Sanchez. Acts will perform on a custom-built stage in the 20,000-capacity arena, which is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to ensure high-quality images, sound and lighting.

Larger Than Live allows fans to switch between camera angles while watching a show, as well as providing the opportunity for interaction with the artists.

Larger Than Live allows fans to switch between camera angles while watching a show, as well as providing the opportunity for interaction with the artists

Tickets are available now, priced at €11, along with a full listing of upcoming shows. Anyone with a ticket can access the relevant show via their smartphone, tablet or laptop. The stream can also be cast onto televisions or beamers.

Additionally, fans can sign up to join a virtual Golden Circle via a live video connection, enabling artists to see audience reactions in real time and feature fans in their live show.

Vodafone customers receive access to a virtual backstage tour prior to the show and are entered into a competition to win an online meet and greet and the chance to attend the show in real life at the Ziggo Dome as a VIP.

The initial concert series will be followed by others at a range of different venues and festivals. Mojo plans to make streaming tickets available for shows even after live events are able to start up again, to give fans more choice and to avoid capacity limitations.

It is believed that the Dutch government will announce the scrapping of current capacity limits tonight (24 June), provided that venues can undertake health checks and maintain a 1.5 metre distance between guests instead.

Photo: Shirley de Jong/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) (cropped)

 


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