Pop & Hiss

Coachella to debut virtual reality experience at this year's festival

At this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April, festivalgoers will have access far beyond the the polo field or swanky VIP areas, thanks to a virtual reality experience.

Festival organizers have announced a partnership with Vantage.tv that will offer fans “unprecedented access” to the weekend of shows through a number of virtual reality experiences “before, during and after the festival.”

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Enhanced performances and interviews from artists, 360-degree panoramas and tours of the festival grounds are among the planned content that will be delivered to smartphones and viewable through special headsets. A mobile app, available for iOS, Android and Samsung Gear VR, is required.

Matt & Kim and Gallant are some of the acts already tapped to produce content, with more names expected to be announced soon.

According to the announcement on the initiative's site, festivalgoers will also be able to create and share their own virtual reality content — which will almost certainly be an experience in itself.

Coachella ticketholders can expect to receive a special cardboard headset in the mail and the website also provides a link for fans to purchase their own set.

This isn’t the first time Coachella has experimented with tech innovation.

In 2012, headliners Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg famously resurrected slain rapper Tupac Shakur by way of a freakily lifelike hologram-type image that rapped, danced and talked to the crowd.

That same year Dre’s electronics line, Beats, offered a 4-D experience where users watched main stage acts in a circular multilevel seating area inside a tent that was programmed to vibrate with the musicians onstage as they took in the show wearing special 3-D glasses and wearing the high-end headphones.

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