Behind the scenes: Coachella in VR180

Last weekend, fans from all around the world made the trek to Southern California to see some of music’s biggest names perform at Coachella. To make those not at the festival feel like they were there, we headed to the desert with VR180 cameras to capture all the action.

Throughout the first weekend of Coachella, we embarked on one of the largest VR live streams to date, streaming more than 25 performances (with as many cameras to boot) across 20 hours and capturing behind-the-scenes footage of fans and the bands they love. If you missed it live, you can enjoy some of the best experiences—posted here.

VR180 can take you places you never thought possible—the front row at a concert, a faraway travel destination, the finals of your favorite sporting event, or a memorable location. This year at Coachella, we pushed the format even further by adding augmented reality, AR, overlays on top of the performances—like digital confetti that falls when the beat drops, or virtual objects that extend the into the crowd.


AR Confetti in the VR180 stream.

To add these overlays in real time, we used our VR180 cameras together with stitching servers running a custom 3D graphics engine and several positionally tracked cameras. This allowed us to add a layer of spatially relevant visuals to the video feed. Simply put, it's like AR stickers for VR180.

In addition to the responsive AR elements during performances, we also featured Tilt Brush art by artist-in-residence Cesar Ortega, who drew his live impressions of the iconic Coachella landscape at daylight, dusk and night. We then inserted Cesar’s designs into the video stream in VR180 to allow the viewer to see the art.


Cesar Ortega’s recreation of Coachella in Tilt Brush

Watch the festival footage, including performances and behind-the-scenes footage from the point of view of both the fans and the bands, here. And for the most immersive experience, check it out in VR with Daydream View or Cardboard.