dot.LA Summit: The Concerts of the Future Will Be Hybrid, Says Wave Co-Founder

Joshua Letona

Joshua Letona is dot.LA's Engagement Fellow. A Southern California journalist with a passion for art and entertainment, he built his experience at his college news publication and EdSource while being an amateur filmmaker. He enjoys movies and comics, especially if "Star Wars" is in the title. If Joshua could be anywhere, it would be in an old movie theater seat in Hollywood.

dot.LA Summit: The Concerts of the Future Will Be Hybrid, Says Wave Co-Founder

As the pandemic shut down, cancelled and delayed events people had been looking forward to, Wave co-founder and CEO Adam Arrigo saw an opportunity.


His company was founded in 2016 at a time when brands like Oculus and PlayStation were looking to bring virtual reality into the mainstream. Not knowing how ready people would be, Arrigo and his team were conservative with the company's money.

"We basically didn't spend any money because we weren't sure how quickly people were going to strap these things to their heads… And we were kind of right because VR sort of petered out," said Arrigo.

Instead, the company worked on something that he characterizes as a "metaphor for a live performance." Arrigo, a game designer and a musician, realized the music industry needed a tech boost to help keep artists connected with their fans during the pandemic.

Wave provided artists the ability to perform as virtual avatars in 3D spaces and allow fans at home to strap on their headsets and be immersed in a concert.

The company hit a breakthrough when it hosted a show with violinist Lindsey Stirling, which garnered an audience of 2,000 using VR and 398,000 using either game controllers or watching on YouTube.

"Now that this thing is sort of starting to catch on, the truth is that we're not [...] trying to replicate or replace live events," said Arrigo. Instead, he said the experience is meant to be more additive to a live tour.

Wave raised a lot of funding over the pandemic, getting opportunities to work with artists like The Weeknd and Doja Cat.

The startup experimented with allowing fans to send musicians virtual gifts. It proved popular among fans.

"People just loved being able to interject something into a show that they couldn't do at a real concert," said Arrigo.

With popular video games such as Fortnite hosting concerts and the concept of the metaverse gaining traction, Arrigo thinks that live performances will become more like hybrid experiences.

"Concerts will probably become something where, if you're lucky enough to go to the physical version, that's going to be more of a VIP experience. But I think one of the main modalities of experiencing live music, it's going to become virtual," said Arrigo.

He added, "It's just because like the generation that's growing up in Roblox and Minecraft, you know, this is the way they're experiencing music."

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

Read moreShow less

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

Read moreShow less

How ‘Funny Water Company’ Liquid Death Made H2O Worth $700 Million

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

How ‘Funny Water Company’ Liquid Death Made H2O Worth $700 Million
Liquid Death Files Paperwork to Raise $15 Million

When Santa Monica-based Liquid Death launched with funding from neighboring venture capital firm Science Inc. in 2018, the Los Angeles startup world – and everyone else – had nothing but jokes. But with the company’s latest $700 million valuation, it appears the joke is on the rest of us.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending