Holograms to Make Virtual Appearances at Future Events

During the Coachella Music Festival in April 2012, Tupac Shukar, a hip-hop star who passed away in 1996, made a surprise appearance as a hologram, performing “live” along side hip-hop/rap stars Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre. You may be asking yourselves, why is this musical festival relevant to virtual trends, much less the meetings and events industry?

 While virtual technology has progressed to become part of a larger strategy to engage audiences, I believe the holographic performance came closest to achieving the goal of this technology – seamless blending of “virtual and live” experiences.


Coachella is a 3-day music festival known for its music – up and coming and legends, cutting and bleeding edge, folk/acoustic to rap and hip hop. Levering innovative technology to showcase a performance by a holographic Tupac was relevant to the nature of the festival and its audience.

It evoked an immediate response

Our industry is about evoking a response with our audience through engagement. Tupac’s performance not only evoked a response – initially shock that transitioned into elation, but also promoted conversation and engagement (between the festival and audience members and the general community) long after the festival concluded. That is the ultimate goal for our industry.

Blended well into the “live” aspect of the festival

The technology was used strategically as part of the festival’s penultimate performance that also included Snoop Dog, Dr. Dre, Eminem, and 50 Cent. The temptation to do a whole set by Tupac or have him “walk through” the crowd must have been high. Rather, the festival featured Tupac for two songs – achieving the desired result while blending well into the overall nature of the festival. Any more could have negatively impacted the event.

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