How Virtual Concert Platform Wave Plans to Save Live Music

Elva Mankin

Eight years ago when Tupac Shakur’s hologram was billed to perform at Coachella, the idea seemed almost unthinkable to most. But now as the coronavirus pandemic continues, artists and fans are increasingly turning to live streaming platforms and companies like Wave, a Culver City-based software firm that creates avatars of the musicians and hosts them at virtual online concerts. Wave is trying to capitalize on the unique situation that puts their tech in high demand: It’s not every year that nearly all in-person concerts get canceled at once. Similar to recent efforts at Epic Games, which brought in 12 million viewers across the globe for a Travis Scott in-game virtual concert in April, Wave is creating a way for artists to simulate a live show and make up for money lost because of canceled tours. Artists including John Legend, Tinashe, Lindsey Sterling and Glitch Mob are several of its recent virtual performers. Wave also linked with TikTok Aug. 7 to put on a virtual show for The Weeknd to drive donations to the Equal Justice Initiative. Wave uses technology similar to game development engines to create its virtual shows and said its hosted more than 50 concerts since launching in 2016….

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