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Happenings

Here’s How to Watch the LA Philharmonic in Virtual Reality for FREE Over the Next 5 Weeks

September 10, 2015 by Brian Champlin

Never had a chance to watch the Los Angeles Philharmonic in concert? Never seen a Beethoven orchestra performance in your life?

Well, now you can knock out two birds with one stone… in virtual reality at least!

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The LA Phil’s VAN Beethoven will be hitting the streets tomorrow to offer complimentary virtual reality experiences to the entire city at stops scheduled all throughout Los Angeles.

Wait, so what’s a VAN Beethoven, you ask?

In a nutshell, it’s a big air-conditioned van filled with Disney Concert Hall seating and Oculus technology where you step inside, and strap on a VR headset to enjoy a 360° 3-D performance featuring the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony performed by the LA Phil, and conducted by Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel (see video preview below!).

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VAN Beethoven will be making stops all over the city of Los Angeles from September 11 to October 18 as as part of an awareness building campaign for the Immortal Beethoven Festival, which begins on September 29.

And the best part? It’s all FREE. No reservations or RVSP required, just show up to one of the scheduled stops (we’ve listed them below) and enjoy the 4-minute experience.

Christina and I had chance to test out the virtual experience at a media preview on Wednesday, and I have say, it’s pretty unique.

This was my very first time using an Oculus headset and my initial impressions were:

  1. The headset is heavy at first, but after a minute or so you forget it’s there.
  2. I really loved the POV from where Dudamel was standing. It gives you a sense of what it’s like from his perspective and underscores the potential of VR (imho).
  3. It’s a bit disorienting once you get settled into the environment, then you raise your hand up in front of your face and it’s not there. Trippy!
  4. The total performance time (your experience) lasts about 4 minutes, but the takeaway is stronger than that short timespan would indicate. I’m eager to test out more Oculus and VR experiences in the near future.

All in all, very definitely worth the price of FREE!

Keep in mind this experience has been approved for use by people 13 years or older without a history of epilepsy, seizures, or convulsions, and you’ll have to sign a waiver beforehand.

Scheduled stops listed below.

Enjoy!

  • SEP 11 (10AM-3PM) Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • SEP 11 (6PM-10PM) Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles
  • SEP 12 (10AM-12AM) LA County Fair (Crafters Village)
  • SEP 13 (10AM-7PM) Museum Mile near LACMA (Wilshire Blvd. between Spaulding & Curson)
  • SEP 15 (10AM-4PM) Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • SEP 16 (5PM-9:30PM) Hollywood Bowl
  • SEP 17 (11AM-2PM) Grand Park (Block 4 Marketplace)
  • SEP 18 (10AM-3PM) Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • SEP 18 (6PM-10PM) Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
  • SEP 19 (6PM-10PM) Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles
  • SEP 20 (10AM-6PM) Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • SEP 22 (DAY) Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • SEP 23 (DAY) Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • SEP 24 (DAY) Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • SEP 26 (DAY) Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • SEP 26 (EVE) Street Food Cinema Exposition Park
  • OCT 1 (EVE) LA Korean Festival / Seoul International Park
  • OCT 2 (EVE) LA Korean Festival / Seoul International Park
  • OCT 3 (EVE) Brewery Art Walk
  • OCT 4 (EVE) Brewery Art Walk
  • OCT 8 (EVE) Downtown Artwalk
  • OCT 9 (DAY) Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • OCT 10 (EVE) Street Food Cinema Exposition Park
  • OCT 15 (DAY) Grand Park
  • OCT 16 (DAY) Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • OCT 16 (EVE)The Oddmarket @ the Autry
  • OCT 18 (DAY) CicLAvia
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