Brussels concert hall Ancienne Belgique (AB), faced with the coronavirus pandemic is undergoing a metamorphosis and becoming “Nouvelle Belgique,” a virtual concert hall.
Fans will be able to see their favourite artist live in an interactive gaming environment, the Brussels venue announced on Tuesday.
Nouvelle Belgique (which means ‘New Belgium’ as opposed to ‘Old Belgium’) is a virtual stage, which allows an artist to perform live for their fans in a 3D environment specially designed for AB.
The space was created with the support of visit.brussels, Proximus and the creative agency Poolpio.
“Thanks to the work of the AB’s sound and light technicians, the spectator has the impression of attending a real concert,” AB said. “The unique feature of this experience is that everything you see on the virtual stage takes place simultaneously in the real world.”
“The event is similar to an online game. Spectators will be able to move freely in the copy of the Ancienne Belgique (including the red balconies and the bar) and interact with each other, as well as with the artist,” explained Hervé Verloes, co-founder of Poolpio.
Belgian rapper Zwangere Guy, a regular at the AB, will kick off these digital concerts on 12 April.
“I haven’t been able to play for a year, but I’m going to set the AB on fire, even if it’s in di-GUY-taal mode,” Zwangere Guy said, making a pun in Dutch.
“Strange times bring new opportunities,” said Tom Bonte, AB’s general manager. “The opportunity to conduct experiments that explore the horizon. The opportunity to free up – under the impulse of the crisis – a space where something is, despite everything, possible. A place where one could, despite everything, dream again.”
“Our ’Nouvelle Belgique’ project is undoubtedly such an opportunity. It is a project that reconnects the public and the artist in a creative way. The ultimate goal is to reopen the physical and digital doors of our concert hall,” he added.
The Brussels Times