Virtual reality comes to the Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown
July 8, 2015

Virtual reality comes to the Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown

Experience a concert performance as you've never seen or heard it before thanks to the ground-breaking Oculus Rift

Virtual reality comes to the Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown as visitors will be given the chance enter a virtual world and experience South Africa's first live jazz performance recorded with cutting edge and ground-breaking technology that takes viewers "into" the concert.

Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz Nduduzo Makhathini's performance at The Orbit jazz club in Braamfontein was recorded in 360 degree spherical and 3D which will allow those who experience the concert feel that they were actually there and "stepping into" the video. 

The Oculus Rift is a headset that uses custom tracking technology to provide 360° head tracking, allowing users to seamlessly look around a virtual world, just as they would in real life. Every subtle movement of the wearer's head is tracked in real time creating a natural and intuitive experience.

It's a concert experience unlike anything audiences will ever have seen or heard. In a regular concert, the musicians are all on stage in front of you and all of the sound is coming from one direction. Thanks to Oculus Rift technology sounds are coming at you from every direction in a surround-sound soundscape. As you turn your head to see the various instrumental sections, you can clearly and accurately hear each section in both direction and volume.

Some of those who have experienced it feel that the virtual reality version is even better than the live event.

The first chance for the public to view Nduduzo Makhathini's recording on an Oculus Rift headset will be at the Grahamstown Festival from July 2 to 11 where Standard Bank has set up a public viewing booth on the Steve Biko lawns. Audiences can experience it daily from 10am.

Says Jenny Pheiffer, Head of Brand and Group Sponsorship at Standard Bank, "This is an exciting new collaboration that brings music and technology together, pushing the boundaries of the experience that live jazz can offer through this brand new technology. Nduduzo Makhathini's music takes audiences to another dimension through a fully immersive experience that engages most of the human senses."

To view the 2D version of the video with the ability to pan 360 go to using a Google Chrome browser. 

Audiences can also catch Makhathini live in person at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival.

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