Metropolis Studios to host world’s first hybrid 5G Festival this weekend

A preview of the first ever 5G Festival is set to take place this weekend, with a newly formed band performing live from two separate venues – London’s Metropolis Studios and the Brighton Dome on the UK’s south coast.

Led by 5G specialist Digital Catapult, the festival is an on-going project that will continue into next year, with this weekend’s performance being one of several planned trials.

The band, aptly named The Remotes, have never met each other before and will perform together live on Saturday 12 June to test how video and audio latency affects their ability to perform when they’re not in the same space, and how 5G could eliminate this delay in future. 

The drummer will be based at Metropolis while the rest of the band will be in Brighton. They will collaborate remotely to write and perform a totally new song.

With the pandemic having changed the way we consume music, audiences are increasingly looking for remote, digital and blended experiences, say the organisers. 

The 5G Festival aims to showcase the ‘festival of the future’ where artists and audiences can gather and connect both in person and online, using 5G to mimic the live experience, wherever the audience is. The hybrid festival concept aims to bring blend of live and remote interactive and immersive experiences for in-venue audiences.

The project is part of the wider £200 million 5G testbeds and trials programme (5GTT) funded by the UK Government.

5G Festival aims to change our view of how to enjoy a live performance as the project looks to create the world’s first internationally accessible, immersive live festival experience powered by 5G,” said Digital Catapult CEO Jeremy Silver. This ambitious project aims both to help artists collaborate and create new music, and then to enable audiences to see their favourite artist, safely in-person at one of the UK’s best venues or from the comfort of their own home, in a totally new and different way.”

Warner Music Group is also involved in the collaborative 5G Festival project, along with telecomms firm O2, immersive audio experts Sonosphere, audio mixing consoles and AoIP networking firm Audiotonix, immersive and live streaming platform Mativision and blockchain ticketing firm LiveForm.

The on-going project aims to test the capability of 5G to enable music artists to rehearse and perform remotely, enhanced by Extended Reality (XR) experiences. These incorporates Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality and similar immersive experiences. 

Eventually, these XR aspects will enable people at home to access the virtual festival via mobile, tablet or VR headset.

“5G is not just about having a faster mobile phone – we’re funding groundbreaking projects across the UK to explore other ways in which this revolutionary technology can make people’s lives better,” said Matt Warman, UK Minister for Digital Infrastructure. I’m delighted that Brighton and London are hosting this innovative project to help our cutting-edge music industry seize the new opportunities 5G offers to transform live entertainment and connect with even more people across the globe.”