Pregnancy and a pandemic won’t slow down Katy Perry and for that, we are grateful. Despite the challenges that 2020 poses, the popstar has found unique ways to perform live for fans. With the help of incredible creative directors and cutting-edge technology, Katy has adapted her larger-than-life, arena spectaculars to our current COVID reality, bringing love and light into homes all around the world.
Amidst the pandemic, Katy released ‘Daisies’ in May, debuting the single on the ‘American Idol’ finale. It was also the debut of ground-breaking technology that had never been seen on television before. Using a combination of augmented reality and virtual reality, an out-of-this-world performance was brought to life. Katy created a portal into another dimension, transporting viewers from the ‘American Idol’ virtual stage to a world of colour, daisies and no limits.
Filmed in an empty warehouse, her team ensured it was a COVID safe environment, protecting the health and wellbeing of Katy, the crew and of course, her unborn baby girl. Oh yeah, did we mention that Katy has consistently performed with high energy during a pandemic, whilst pregnant!? Incredible.
This energy continued in the countless performances that followed; from her living room concert streams, to those that celebrated the graduating class of 2020 and Pride month. The visuals are of such high quality it’s almost hard to believe that every aspect of these performances was created during a global pandemic.
If you’ve seen Katy live on tour, you know her costumes are playful and detailed, her production is bold, bright and innovative, and each moment on stage is a colourful explosion of joy and charisma. These elements are present in every performance Katy has shared with the world in 2020 and solidifies her as one of the most remarkable popstars in the industry.
When joining ‘Good Morning America’ to kickstart the ‘Summer Concert Series’, an added intimacy was present in Katy’s performances. Instead of filming in a warehouse, Katy invited us into her private garden at her home in Los Angeles. Surrounded by flowers in full bloom and dreamy backdrops of clear skies, Katy effortlessly moved through the sunny space as each movement was broadcast in New York City’s Time Square.
It was refreshing to see the singer performing amongst nature, as opposed to being confined to a studio environment. Again, virtual reality technology was utilised in Katy’s performance of ‘Never Really Over’ to create multiple visions of the singer as she danced around her garden, reminiscent of the music video. Who needs back up dancers when you’ve got incredible technology?
With such innovative technology available for artists to incorporate into performances, the future of live music is exciting. Freedom and creativity are at the forefront, with the bonus of safety and convenience making these technologies even more valuable. Live performances can be streamed anywhere, anytime, making the world more connected through music than ever before. The opportunities are endless.
Virtual reality and augmented reality allow stages of all shapes and sizes to be created. Though really, this isn’t limited to stages. These technologies give artists a unique platform to express themselves through all kinds of imagery and environments. Artists will only be limited by their imaginations. Any world imaginable can be created using virtual and augmented reality.
These technologies were used to create Katy’s most recent live performance for Tomorrowland. The music festival, which was originally set to take place in Belgium on July 25th and 26th, was transformed into a digital event. Much like traditional festivals, tickets were required for entry and an impressive timetable of artists was distributed to event-goers. The best part of the digital event? Virtual reality and augmented reality placed each artist on a virtual stage, in front of a virtual crowd. The presence of a virtual crowd takes the live performance to new heights, making the experience feel more comparable to the reality of a music festival.
Katy rocked orange hair and a glamorous, clown inspired dress to perform a medley of songs, including her latest single ‘Smile’. She engaged with the virtual crowd as she would in any performance, adding to the experience for fans watching at home. Multiple camera angles highlighted Katy, the stage, the audience, and overall atmosphere of the festival during her set, which included a hot air balloon and an impressive fireworks display. Very on brand for Katy.
Katy Perry – Smile (Tomorrowland 2020) pic.twitter.com/fAuqUGthBj
— KPN Mídia (@KPNMidia) July 25, 2020
Nothing can replace the feeling of being in a crowd of thousands, dancing as you watch your favourite artist performing in front of you. However, Katy Perry is utilising technology to its full potential, evoking the sense of connection, freedom, and euphoria that fans feel when engaging with live music. It is a testament to her creativity, passion and dedication; awe inspiring to witness.
Through each performance Katy welcomes fans into these safe spaces, allowing them moments of escapism and comfort that can only be found through music and human connection; reminding fans of all that is waiting for them on the other side of this pandemic.