Citi, Live Nation and NextVR today announced they are working together to produce a series of up to 10 live virtual reality concerts as a new part of the “Backstage with Citi” initiative. This planned series will transport fans into an immersive VR experience with extraordinary access to some of the world’s biggest artists. In addition to watching select concerts live in VR, the plan is to bring fans “backstage” with the artists as they prepare to take the stage.
The series will build upon the success of the “Backstage with Citi” series that Live Nation and Citi previously collaborated on. The first live concert will launch later this year and be accessible via the Live Nation Channel on the NextVR app. Artists will be announced soon. The app will be available on all major platforms by the end of 2016. Plans call for portions of “Backstage with Citi” to also be made available on other channels.
For over a decade, Citi has offered thousands of events annually to cardmembers through the Citi Private Pass program. They’ve also explored ways to improve fan experience at music festivals through cashless payments and other integrated music activations powered by festivalgoers’ RFID wristbands.
“We want to push the boundaries of the very meaning of access beyond attendance and as technology evolves, it’s allowing us to do so,” says Jennifer Breithaupt, Managing Director, Media, Advertising and Global Entertainment, at Citi. “We are thrilled to be announcing this new initiative with Live Nation and NextVR that will offer “front-row” and behind-the-scenes VR concert experiences for millions of fans.”
The VR market is growing rapidly and leading consumer research firm Forrester predicts demand for VR headsets to reach 52 million units by 2020, this initiative is among the first of its kind in the live concert space. “Virtual reality is starting to take off and the time is right to experiment in the music space,” Darin Wolf, Executive Vice President, Live Nation Media & Sponsorships. “Together with NextVR and Citi we will be able to provide unparalleled access for fans to enjoy live music and see first-hand the emotion and adrenaline rush from artists as they prepare to perform live.”
In May, Live Nation and NextVR announced a five-year partnership to broadcast hundreds of live, cutting-edge performances in virtual reality to music fans worldwide. Now, with Citi, the virtual reality concert experience is poised to change how fans interact with their favorite bands.