Samsung Brings VR to Lollapalooza’s 25th Anniversary


Lollapalooza Samsung VR

For the upcoming 25th anniversary of Lollapalooza, the festival is getting into high gear with technology from Samsung’s Gear VR.

Samsung is staging an interactive VR experience so festival-goers can livestream performances from the stage using Samsung Gear VR. They can also participate in 360-degree VR experiences like 4D surfing in Tahiti, skateboarding, hot air ballooning and riding a roller coaster.

For those not physically in Chicago for the festival, the tech giant will also be streaming some of the event to its Samsung 837 New York City location. Red Bull TV will also live-stream Lollapalooza performances online and via its app.

“Lollapalooza is an excellent opportunity for us to connect fans to their favorite music using our mobile and VR technology,” said Marc Mathieu, CMO, Samsung Electronics America in a press release. “We are thrilled to partner with the festival in this unique way, delivering new possibilities in content creation and content consumption through Samsung products, and allowing fans to have a deeper connection to our brand.”

Lollapalooza Samsung VR

The on-site Galaxy Lounge will be available for Galaxy owners watching via VR headsets, who will be front and center at the Samsung Stage, where J. Cole, Radiohead, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and others will perform. The lounge only holds about 400 people, said Derrin Woodhouse, head of experiential marketing at Samsung US.

“If you have our devices, this is your ticket into something exclusive,” he notes. “We actually want to showcase the things we’re doing, and … (we’re) creating that envy.”

In the VR-Palooza section open to all, Samsung Pay Vending Machines offer festival upgrades and perks to the festival experience including festival gear, Samsung products, and more. A second machine is set up at the popup Lollapalooza store outside the festival on North Michigan Avenue.

As consumers increasingly eschew advertising, Samsung is betting on experiential marketing. “Marketing used to be about creating a myth and telling it, and now it’s about finding a truth and sharing it,” explained Mathieu. “We need to make sure that whatever we do and whatever we put out there is authentic, and at the same time is something interesting enough that [consumers] are going to want to pick it up but also share it. It’s one of the things that pushes us to create marketing that is not just about telling but experiencing.”

Of note, Betanews reminds us, “While this use of virtual reality is very cool, remember concertgoers, you should spend some time without the smartphones and VR as well. Lollapalooza is supposed to be a communal experience—listening to music and having fun with others in actual reality. While there is certainly room for things like VR and social networking, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses too.”


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