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Touring Entertainment: New illusions

Touring Entertainment: New illusions

Chair: Christoph Scholz, SEMMEL CONCERTS (DE)

Guest speakers included:
Rob Challice, Coda Agency (UK)
Matias Alberto Loizaga, Pop Art (AR)
Jeff Pezzuti, Eyellusion (US)
Patrick Ross, Music Ally (UK)
Nick Zuppar, The Monster! (UK)

After host Christoph Scholz (Semmel Concerts/SC Exhibitions) introduced the panellists, Music Ally’s Patrick Ross, an American alternately based in the UK and Norway (“I left because of Bush, missed Obama and now have no reason to go back”), began by speaking on emerging digital technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR), a Minority Report-style meshing of the virtual and real worlds in which he currently sees the most potential.

Matias Alberto Loizaga, from PopArt Music in Argentina, then introduced the company’s new 90-minute show, Messi10, produced by Cirque du Soleil, which opens in Barcelona in October, before heading across Europe and then to the Americas. “It’s definitely the best thing we’ve ever seen so far – we’ve been producing and promoting shows for 20 years – and it’s the best thing we’ve done.”

Jeff Pezzuti from Eyellusion, who was accompanied by colleague Ahmet Zappa (son of avant garde artist/activist Frank Zappa), presented his company’s new hologram tour, The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa, which kicks off in the US in April, following on from its Ronnie James Dio show. Zappa Jnr described how his late father originally came up with the idea of creating a hologram of himself: “What he started, I’m seeing it through to completion, so it’s been a very emotional process for me,” he said.

"we’ve been producing and promoting shows for 20 years – and it’s the best thing we’ve done”

Coda Agency’s Rob Challice also talked holograms, appearing in his role as booking agent to BASE Hologram’s roster of digital artists (Amy Winehouse, Roy Orbison, Maria Callas), who are represented by Coda and its US partner Paradigm. “It’s like planning any other tour,” he told the promoters in the room.

“The Monster is the world’s biggest inflatable assault course for adults,” said its creator, Nick Zuppar, who said the concept taps into the current zeitgeist of “nostalgia, fitness, retro, disco, cocktails, street food…” “It’s silliness and madness and people love it. They come off the Monster absolutely elated, just loving life,” he explained.

Other bonus presentations came courtesy of audience members Corrado Canonici (World Touring Exhibitions) and Talent Concert International's Sergey Podgorny, who is promoting Sleeping Beauty Dreams in Russia.