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Snap Partners with Live Nation to Bring AR Experiences to Festivals

Electric Daisy Carnival in May will be first festival to pioneer the new technology.

Live Nation is betting big on augmented reality technology, announcing a partnership with Snap to bring new AR experiences to more than a dozen Live Nation festivals through the Snapchat app. The new partnership expands the video canvas for most concerts and festivals from the stage to a fan’s device, utilizing the social media application that opens directly to the camera to deliver custom-built, immersive AR with help from Snap Inc.’s creative studio Arcadia.

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From visual add-ons that enhance a performance or public art piece, to AR tech that can help concertgoers find their friends at festivals, the new initiative is meant to bring music to life and offer artists a new creative tool to personalize the way fans experience their performances.

“We believe that augmented reality is going to be the next creative canvas for artists to bring their vision to their fans,” says Ben Schwerin, senior vp of content and partnerships at Snap, who previously worked with U2 on its Vertigo Tour. “It’s going to create immersive dynamic experiences that are also really fun to share with friends and the world. And because we have this reach with billions of Snaps being created every day by hundreds of millions of people, we think that we’re the right platform for the future of live music and experiencing concerts in a much more immersive, dynamic way through augmented reality.”

Fans simply need to open their Snapchat Camera on their smartphones at select concerts to utilize the AR feature, with tools built in to help try on merchandise, access way-finding applications and discover exclusive landmarks around the festival grounds. “We want to work with artists and their teams ahead of time to create lenses and augmented reality experiences that enhance their creative vision,” Schwerin says, similar to how the widespread use of video boards and concert-specific content and programming has changed live music and touring in the last decade.

“We’ve been working with Snap since its inception, really through the evolution of their product, year over year,” says Kevin Chernett, executive vp of global content partnerships & innovation at Live Nation. “This is really just the next evolution in what we’ve been working towards. Live Nation has been very bullish on AR and we knew that in order to execute our vision with scale, it was really important that we partner with Snap.”

There are two parts to the partnership, Chernett added: one component is creating exclusive AR experiences for artists that can be shared by the more than 250 million Snapchat users that engage with the company’s AR lenses each day; the other is bringing the festival grounds themselves to life through AR, as well as some of the festival merchandise.

“The hoodie you buy can come to life through AR components created by Snap,” Chernett says. “It’s really its own festival experience within the festival, which creates some pretty incredible opportunities for our fans.”

The partnership was announced today (April 28) at Snapchat’s partner summit by Schwerin, who says that Electric Daisy Carnival on May 20 was selected to launch the new platform since it was the first festival to partner with Snap in 2014 for the launch of the “Our Story” feature. Other participating festivals include Austin City Limits; Beyond Wonderland and Day Trip Festival in San Bernardino, Calif.; Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn.; Reading and Leeds festivals in the U.K.;  Lollapalooza in Chicago and Lollapalooza Paris; Rolling Loud in Miami; Roots Picnic in Philadelphia; the Governors Ball in New York; Lights On in Brooklyn; and three Wireless Festivals in the U.K.