The Future of Nightclubbing?
By Louis Parker
As lockdown has forced nightclubs to close for over a year, this company has been getting creative in finding ways to bring the party to your home. And not just the all-too-familiar Zoom call or Houseparty, but a whole new concept: VR clubbing.
Clubmixed, the digital music platform based in the UK are in the process of launching the brand new VR experience: ‘Experience a new global virtual clubbing experience. Non-stop music, giant screen broadcasts, worldwide DJ’s, multi-room environments!’ (Clubmixed website).
Ian Manson, the Chief Marketing Officer of Clubmixed says that they have big plans for the future including 24/7 music, millions of users and an ever-changing virtual reality nightclub.
“It’s built for Oculus Quest which is the main VR headset out at the moment… it’s the first one which seems to be going ‘mainstream’ out of the VR headsets and they have apparently sold around five million headsets so far,” says Manson.
Statistics by roadtovr.com
“The key thing is it's a stand-alone, in fact, our club which we have done, you can actually connect up to your phone and go clubbing in your local park.”
“You can actually connect up to your phone and go clubbing in your local park”
“So far we have built two rooms in the club, we have got a VIP chill-out room which is very much a beach bar room, and we have also built our main room. What we are able to do is stream DJs into the 3D environment, users can walk around, dance, chat to people, so you can pretty much do anything you could in a real club.”
Whilst VR clubbing offers a nightlife experience not available during the COVID-19 lockdown, some are worried about the long term implications of the technology.
Georgia Bailey, 21, is studying Education Studies at the University of Derby and is currently researching technology and child development. She believes that the rise in technology such as VR could be extremely damaging in the long run for people’s health.
“VR will be everywhere at some point, but it feels as if this is going to come at a major cost to the planet and people’s health.” Bailey explains, “If you’re able to go ‘clubbing’ inside your house by just putting on a headset, we’ll see major increases in obesity and vitamin D deficiency because people wouldn't be going outside as much.”
Ian Manson talks about the Clubmixed VR experience.
Bailey thinks that VR can be an amazing tool if it is utilised in the right way, for example, people with disabilities may have increased access to things like nightclubs and other activities that they may not have had access to in the past.
“Overall, I think the main focus for the implementation of modern technologies should be accessible and there should also be major education incentives to ensure that everyone using these technologies has enough of an understanding to properly use and safely enjoy them.”