When Virtual Reality brings people together to celebrate live music, you get "Alone Together" by Jean-Michel Jarre.

World’s 1st live VR concert


An audience of 600,000

Jean-Michel Jarre, supported by Freddy and Mohamed, performed live from his studio on Sunday, June 21, pushing the boundaries of what new technologies can bring to music performance. He performed in a virtual world created especially for the occasion before a worldwide audience of 600,000 people.

JmJ’s concert was broadcast live on VRChat in the VRrOOm world, designed by Pyaré, and also on his Youtube channel, his Facebook page, on the website of the French Ministry of Culture (co-producer) and on a large outdoor screen in the courtyard of the Royal Palace in Paris.

This event was a world first since the concert was really performed live and not pre-recorded.

The audience could participate and enjoy the experience in two ways: 

In the VRrOOm world on VRChat equipped with a VR headset or not (2800 people connected at the same time at its peak and about 10,000 in all!) for total immersion in the virtual world.

Or in the traditional way via simulcasts on other media such as Youtube and Facebook.

A few lucky VIPs had access to the front of the stage in the form of a private area equipped with connected headsets to interact and be represented by their avatars in front of Jean-Michel Jarre’s avatar. This room also served as a broadcasting room to all other media platforms.

A world first and only 3 weeks to complete it all!

The concert was produced under the High Patronage of the French Ministry of Culture and co-produced by VRROOM and Aero-Productions. This event required the collaboration of several artists, startups and specialized companies, all of which were orchestrated by VRrOOm (details of the team at the end of the article).

Everything had to be created from scratch in 3 weeks!

International teams from France, Russia, Portugal and Italy created the graphical elements of the show and integrated them into the VRChat platform.

The role of SoWhen?: Synchronizing Jean-Michel Jarre and his avatar for an effective live performance.

The role of SoWhen? was to allow Jean-Michel Jarre to have an avatar that was precisely synchronized to his movements so that it could appear to move completely naturally during its live performance. 

The co-producer of this event, Louis Cacciuttolo from VRrOOm, approached SoWhen? as he had heard about our other achievements in the field of VR (“Encounters” by the director Mathieu Pradat, “Lifeline” which received 1st prize for best 360° short film at the 2016 Paris Court Devant Festival, the Michelin Life Experience and Sea Prayer productions which received a Silver and a Bronze Halo award at the International VRDays show in Amsterdam).

R&D, Mixed Reality, VRChat compatibility, Consulting

We had to manage the R&D and digitization of Jean-Michel Jarre’s performance in order to translate it into the virtual world. Several motion capture systems were tested for this project to find the best possible combination of precision, simple set-up, quality of movement reproduction, and movement freedom for Jean-Michel Jarre on stage. JMJ was therefore able to choose the technology best suited to his performance from an artistic and practical point of view (fluid hand movements, but more “artificial” leg movements was the dynamic he wished to see).

We also created a process that allowed him to see his physical and virtual instruments in Mixed Reality in sync. JMJ was truly in both worlds: he played his real physical instruments while his movements were being accurately mirrored by his virtual avatar in the VRrOOm world, where he could communicate with the audience’s avatars. 

To do this, we opted for light equipment with movement trackers on his hands to convey the playing of his compositions which was the most complex element to capture. For his head, we used a Vive Pro headset.

One of the challenges for us was also to develop a system that was compatible with the VRChat platform so we could have real-time data transmission from the real to virtual world with the least possible latency.

SoWhen?’s co-founders Freddy and Mohamed also accompanied and coached Jean-Michel Jarre throughout this project so that he could optimize the use of all the experience’s connected technologies and find the best ways to control and fully embody his avatar.

Watch the interview of Jean-Michel Jarre with Freddy Koné, co-founder of SoWhen? on France 2.


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