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Years & Years Preview European Tour in a First, Live and Interactive VR Performance, with Samsung Galaxy S7 edge and Gear VR

UK on February 29, 2016
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Last night, in a first for the VR and music industry, Years & Years gave music fans the ultimate immersive experience, with an interactive VR performance streamed live across Europe. Following the recent unveiling of the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and on the eve of the band’s hotly anticipated 21 date European Tour, Years & Years pushed the possibilities of VR to the limit, with a first-of-a-kind gig curated specifically for live, enhanced viewing on Samsung Gear VR headsets.

 

Music fans across Europe tuned in live to see the band perform tracks ‘Worship’, ‘Shine’, ‘Desire’ and ‘King’, from the band’s platinum-selling album, Communion, in a visually stunning performance. With the option to switch between three different camera angles on their Samsung Gear VR headsets, viewers were able to immerse themselves in a live performance like never before. Fans could opt to view the show from prime position on the front row; on-stage with the band; and even floating above the action on the stage, all during the live action.

 

Years & Years said: “We are buzzing. The show was like nothing we have done before. The VR element adds a totally new dimension for us as performers and for those watching. We’re proud to be the first artists to offer such a unique and special, immersive experience to our fans. We can’t wait to see the performance ourselves in 360 video.”

 

David Lowes, Chief Marketing Officer, Samsung Electronics Europe: “Last night’s collaboration gave music fans across Europe a taste of how a smartphone and VR can transform the art of the live performance – and the audience’s experience of it. Years and Years share our passion for progress and innovation and we loved working with them to use our technology to bring this one-of-a-kind experience to life.”

 

To mark the on-sale date of the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, content from the ground-breaking Years & Years performance Friday will be released on Friday, 11th March in 360 degree video via Samsung’s YouTube and Facebook channels, as well as via the Samsung + Years & Years app, available on the Oculus store.

 

The performance was curated exclusively for VR viewing by director, Sam Wrench, who devised a 360 in-the-round stage set to complement the VR experience. Sam’s vision was to create an impressive UHD and LED dome structure to encapsulate both the band and audience, creating an intimate ‘world’ that transformed and evolved with the music. Audience members wore programmable LED wristbands and a confetti release at the end added a further interactive element for viewers.

 

Sam Wrench, Director, who has previously worked with acts including Blur, George Michael and Mary J. Blige, said: “Directing in VR was a whole new experience for me and one I was really excited to be a part of. As a relatively new platform, I was challenged not just to think about how the footage would look aesthetically, but how to add creative layers to help the VR audience feel fully immersed with the music experience.”

 

Jack Mehuish, Marketing Director, Polydor Records Ltd, said: “We strive to be at the forefront of innovation in music, offering our artists unique ways to create music and their fans new ways to experience it. Thanks to Samsung technology, last night’s event was a step into the future of music and redefines what’s possible for artists and fans alike. While live performance remains important, there will always be limits to how many people can attend a gig. This activity has demonstrated that Gear VR, powered by the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, now offers a credible and top quality alternative that makes the feeling of a live gig accessible to the many, not the few.”

 

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