Surprise album rollouts may be the new normal, but Avenged Sevenfold upped the ante: On Oct. 27, the metal band unveiled its new album, The Stage, with a concert streamed in 360-degree virtual reality from the roof of Los Angeles' Capitol Records Building.
Available to fans via Facebook and Universal Music Group's new VRTGO platform, the performance marked the industry's most ambitious dive into VR yet -- and yielded a top five Billboard 200 debut.
"It's all about pushing the envelope in any way necessary," says guitarist Zacky Vengeance. UMG's Deborah Hyacinth adds, "The time and market was right" for the stunt. Costs vary (from $50,000 to millions, depending on the project, says a tech source), but artists are embracing VR in growing numbers.