K-pop girl group aespa are set to premiere their first virtual-reality (VR) concert at this year’s South By Southwest (SXSW) festival.
On January 13, VR concert production and distribution company AmazeVR announced that the girl group’s ‘aespa VR Concert at Kwangya’ was chosen for the SXSW festival taking place in Austin, Texas this March.
Per the programme’s description on the SXSW website, the 20-minute concert is the quartet’s first VR concert and will be set in Kwangya, an infinite, lawless virtual space that features in the K-pop agency’s and in particular aespa’s lore.
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Viewers will be flown from the Real World into the FLAT, a controlled virtual plane where aespa’s ‘æ’s, or virtual counterparts originate. In the FLAT, aespa and their æ-counterparts are able to “synk” or enter a state of connection between humans and their avatars.
These concepts were introduced in SM Entertainment’s ongoing SM Culture Universe (SMCU) series on YouTube, which stars aespa in its first two episodes.
Our “@aespa_official VR Concert at Kwangya” has been chosen as an official selection for the 2023 @sxsw Film & TV Festival’s XR Experience Competition. We can’t wait for you to meet aespa at Kwangya inside the metaverse this March!#aespa #VRConcerts #VRhttps://t.co/jkciwLYyjC
— AmazeVR (@AmazeVR) January 12, 2023
According to a January 13 report by The Korea Economic Daily, a variety of aespa’s songs, including their debut single ‘Black Mamba’, will be featured during the concert. Filming has reportedly been completed, and final production for the show is underway.
“SXSW will be an opportunity to show AmazeVR’s technology and SM’s scalability toward metaverse contents. We plan to put up many more VR concerts in the future,” said Park Jun-young, SM’s Chief Creative Officer, per The Korea Economic Daily. The concert, which is produced by Studio A, a joint venture between SM Entertainment and AmazeVR, will also be made available on AmazeVR’s metaverse app.
Yesterday (January 16), aespa members Karina and Winter returned as part of SM supergroup GOT The Beat alongside senior artists BoA, Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon and Hyoyeon and Red Velvet’s Wendy and Seulgi with their first mini-album ‘Stamp On It’.
In a four-star review of the record, NME’s Tanu I. Raj wrote that ‘Stamp On It’ combines the strengths of its members, “making for a confident and tightly structured work replete with pleasant surprises.”