Virtual concert

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A virtual concert, or V-concert, refers to a performance in which the virtual avatars of performers are projected onto a stage in the form of three-dimensional images. V-concerts enjoy a huge amount of popularity especially in South Korea, where recent performances by virtual avatars of K-pop groups such as Girls' Generation have attracted thousands of fans.[1]


Early beginnings[edit]

Within the K-pop music industry, V-concerts were first introduced by several South Korean record labels such as SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment. In 1998, SM Entertainment attempted to kick start its first holographic debut with H.O.T. (a now-defunct boy band), but failed to do so.[2]

List of Virtual Concerts
Venue Year Estimated attendance Citation
Second Life 2007 1200 [3]

Revival of V-concerts and planned expansion[edit]

On January 5, 2013, a breakthrough occurred after SM Entertainment held a V-concert in Gangnam District with life-sized images of Girls’ Generation projected onto the stage, attracting thousands of K-pop fans.[1]

After its first V-concert featuring Psy's "Gangnam Style" took off at the COEX Convention & Exhibition Center in May 2013, the South Korean record label YG Entertainment announced that it plans to establish 20 venues for virtual performances of its K-pop singers by the year 2015 in North America, Europe, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.[4]

On July 20, 2013, YG Entertainment launched a permanent virtual concert at the Everland theme park in Yongin, South Korea. Under the slogan "K-Pop Hologram: YG at Everland", virtual performances include Psy's "Gentleman" and "Gangnam Style" as well as virtual concerts by Big Bang and 2NE1.[5]

The first-ever virtual concert in Germany was launched on smartphone on August 5, 2013 at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. It is based on a unique concert, which was staged on May 9, 2008, at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Specially composed for the occasion, Vor dem Verstummen by Harald Weiss received its world premiere in the field of stelae, when it was performed for an appreciative audience of thousands for the one and only time by musicians of the Berliner Kammersymphonie orchestra under the baton of celebrated conductor Lothar Zagrosek. The sound experienced by each individual was different, depending on his or her precise location amongst the stelae. Now you just will need to visit the Memorial with your smartphone to experience the concert in all its unique interactivity. The sound of the instruments changes depending on your location and route through the field of stelae, growing louder or softer, more passionate or muted. This means that the concert you hear will be personal to you. Outside the Memorial, you can listen to the piece in offline mode in the conventional, non-interactive way. In order to stage this virtual concert, a complex process was used to re-record all of the instruments in December 2012. Geo-coordinates were assigned to each individual instrument as well as to the female vocalist, and a completely new type of software was developed. This enables the instruments to be perceived in a virtual 3D space within the smartphone application, and to simulate the concert at the Memorial. The listener’s location at the Memorial is identified using the smartphone’s GPS function, and the sound associated with those specific coordinates is determined. Daniel-Jan Girl, a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, was the driving force behind the initiative. He was particularly motivated by how future generations would regard the Holocaust and the issue of coming to terms with the past, what form the culture of remembrance would take in the 21st century, and how it could be made relevant to young people. [6]

Since the mid-2000s, virtual concerts have also been held in virtual worlds instead of physical locations. The first major band to perform live in a virtual world was Duran Duran, who performed in Second Life in 2006.[7] In the same year, Phil Collins held a performance of In The Air Tonight in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, still accessible to this day. TheWaveVR, a dedicated platform for virtual reality concerts, launched in 2017. Artists who have performed on the platform include Imogen Heap, The Glitch Mob, and Kill the Noise. In January 2019, a virtual music festival called Fire Festival (named as a play on the infamous 2017 Fyre Festival) was held on a dedicated Minecraft server. Organized by Canadian producer Max Schramp, the event was held in support of LGBT suicide prevention organization The Trevor Project.[8] The following month, on February 2, EDM producer Marshmello held a ten-minute concert on the main map of third-person shooter Fortnite: Battle Royale. The concert was viewable to anyone playing the game during that time.[9]

Production costs[edit]

A virtual K-pop music video costs over US$180,000 and is about two to three times more expensive than a normal K-pop video.[10]


V-concerts have been criticized by K-pop fans because singers do not appear in person and are only electronically projected onto a screen. Some claim that V-concerts could possibly endanger the quality of live music.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Girls' Generation holds 'virtual concert' with Naver Music". Allkpop. Retrieved 23 July 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ "Can holograms replace real K-pop stars?". The Korea Times. Retrieved 23 July 2013. SM has been experimenting with the holographic performances for more than a decade, although its first attempt to make H.O.T., a now-defunct boy band, a holographic debut failed in 1998.
  3. ^ Correspondent, Nicole Martin, Digital and Media (2007-09-13). "Second Life hosts world's first virtual concert". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  4. ^ "Can holograms replace real K-pop stars?". Retrieved 23 July 2013. NIK released its holographic images of Psy in World IT Show in COEX on May 23 before opening the exclusive theater for K-Pop Hologram-YG at Everland in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province this month. The Everland showcase will include the holographic performances of Psy’s “Gangnam Style” and “Gentleman” in July and add more holographic content from Big Bang and 2NE1 in September. After launching the Everland theater, it will establish some 20 venues for virtual performances of its K-pop singers in major theme parks or others in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and North American and Europe by 2015.
  5. ^ "YG Entertainment to launch K-Pop Hologram: YG at Everland tomorrow". Yahoo! Singapore. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  6. ^ Virtuelles Konzert im Holocaust-Mahnmal. Archived 2013-10-29 at the Wayback Machine In: B.Z., 5. August 2013
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Slatt, Nick (2 February 2019). "Fortnite's Marshmello concert was a bizarre and exciting glimpse of the future". The Verge. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  10. ^ "K-pop to go virtual with hologram theater". JoongAng Ilbo. Retrieved 23 July 2013. Holograms have yet to fully catch on, so making them is still expensive; one hologram video costs about 200 million won ($183,908) to make, which is two or three times more than a run-of-the-mill K-pop video.
  11. ^ Siow, Shannon. "The next big thing in Korea's music industry: Holograms". CNET. Retrieved 23 July 2013.