The Week In Music Publishing 6.1.12
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Usher Adds Fan Avatars & Holograms To Live Show

Usher_New_Album_Labrinth_collaborationCapitalizing on the enormous reaction to the Coachella "resurrection" hologram of Tupac, many have been seeking ways to utilize this new technology in order to cash-in on the buzz. One such person is Usher, who will be adding this technology to his live-stream concert at the Hammersmith Apollo in London on June 11th. In doing so, Usher will fuse social media, holograms, avatars, and live music for the one of the most immersive and interactive performance experiences to date.

As part of a “highly interactive” partnership with American Express’ Unstaged series, Usher will stream the concert via his VEVO channel for the entire world to see, and will allow his fans to dance with him on stage… well, not literally. Dancing digital avatars custom-designed by fans watching the concert at home will surround Usher on stage, allowing them to see “themselves” on stage with the R&B star.

"Literally, people will be able to create their own avatar and have it dance on the screen with Usher,” said filmmaker Hamish Hamilton, who is also the visual director for U2 tours and Madonna’s Super Bowl show. “We know that the principles work – now we have to ensure that we can create this in a way that is live and interactive. There are literally people at computer programs all around the world as we speak, trying to work out the way of doing it.”

In addition to the hologram madness, both online and offline audiences can participate in live tweeting, and the Vevo streamers can get access to a real-time camera feed from the director’s booth.

As we advance through technology, fans are continuing to get more ways to experience live shows they wouldn't otherwise get to be a part of, and with interactivity being the key draw, live shows are only going to get more interactive for fans as we move forward. This could be the start of a whole new paradigm of online communities playing key roles in the live concert experience, becoming just as important to the show as the physical audience in attendance.

Want in on the fun? Then head to to make your own dancing avatar. 

Hisham Dahud is a Senior Analyst for Additionally, he is the head of Business Development for Fame House, LLC and an independent musician. Follow him on Twitter: @HishamDahud