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Alternative Stages Delivers a Live, 5G-Powered, Multi-Device Spoken Word Gig

Wired Sussex recently hosted a new event in its Alternative Stages programme – a 5G-powered virtual gig at its innovation hub The FuseBox, with a live performance by emerging spoken word artist Priss Nash.

Music industry professionals and creative technologists were invited to Priss Nash’s performance within a virtual representation of the iconic Brighton Dome venue.  This audience was able to connect with others in the virtual Brighton Dome and experience Priss’s performance across a range of different technologies. Anyone could connect from anywhere, using their computer, phone, or VR headset.

Brighton-based Priss commented: 

Performing in a virtual version of Brighton Dome was both an exciting and unusual experience. I'm very used to performing in front of live audiences and hearing their responses throughout, so it was an adjustment performing when I wasn't sure if I was connecting with the audience, as I couldn't see anyone's reaction.

This event added to activity first trialled in March of this year at the 5G Festival showcase. 5G Festival was the world’s first multi-venue 5G-powered hybrid immersive music festival, with live and remotely collaborating artists and audiences. It was part of DCMS’s 5G Create programme.

Alternative Stages is delivered by Wired Sussex in partnership with the Digital Catapult, Brighton & Hove City Council and Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival. Leeds University are also supporting the project. Alternative Stages is part of the extended Brighton 5G testbed programme, which is supported by Coast to Capital LEP. 

The Digital Catapult provided the 5G technology and expertise to trial live audience engagement across a range of different 5G-enabled devices, from virtual reality headsets to mobile phones and tablets. Attendees included musicians, venue owners and concert promoters who were keen to experience a live online gig, and technologists and designers interested in live events. 

Alternative Stages is enabling Wired Sussex to better understand how 5G-enabled methods of creating and distributing performances can generate new opportunities for SMEs in the creative industries. 

After the performance, researchers from the University of Leeds ran two workshops with participants to capture and review their thoughts and responses, and to consider what additional skills it requires of artists and others. 

Chief Community Officer at Wired Sussex, Rifa Thorpe-Tracey commented

Alternative Stages is designed to both accelerate the development of emerging tech in the music industry and, at the same time, reflect on what those developments mean for existing creative practices. We are keen to ensure that brilliant diverse and emerging artists like Priss get to explore and help shape these technologies.

The event built on previous Alternative Stages activity which explored how technologies like VR and 5G might impact the way that audiences engage with gigs. You can view those events on the Wired Sussex YouTube channel.

For more information, contact:

Rifa Thorpe-Tracey
rifa@wiredsussex.com

About the author

Anna Bagley

Hi, I'm Wired Sussex's Events & Marketing Coordinator, I help to promote our range of services to support our members and the local digital sector, as well as helping to create inspiring events for the community.

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