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WPGM Commentary: What Will Music Be Like In 2080?

Rewind 65 years and no one could have predicted the nature of today’s music scene. The evolution of music formats aside, imagine telling someone in the 1950s that their gig ticket would give them access to artists brought back from the dead (Tupac/Jackson style), that performers could multiply themselves to form their own backing group (all hail Queen B) or just that all music in general would pretty much be free.

Future-gazing is clearly a tricky business but in one of Instagram’s first fully contained digital magazines, ‘W‘, music influencers, DJs and artists have come together to predict how we’ll experience music in 2080. Check out some of the top prophecies from these muso clairvoyants.

DJ Robocop

Off the back of fast-moving advances in music tech, DJ Snoochie Shy foresees DJs taking on a more digital role: “In 2080 I wouldn’t be surprised if we have some sort of robots DJ’ing in clubs. Imagine going to a night and just having a pure line up of Robot’s as DJs? I feel like we are heading down that route. DJ Robocop headlining a night. Insane”.`

Although recognising human talent is irreplaceable, Snoochie reckons that in line with more advanced production equipment such as touch screen decks, DJs will also be able to run virtual tours: “You could have DJs touring as holograms if they can’t make every party!

4D Depth, 360° Backdrops and Personalised Sound

Gabriel Szatan, editor in chief at Boiler Room also picks up on how virtual reality will impact the future of music: “advanced VR gear could give DJ sets a 4D depth; the entire nature of communal music experience [will get] flipped on its head”.

Szatan also predicts that this multi-faceted interaction with music could result in a completely different relationship with live music; one that’s both communal and personal at the same time: “Instead of clubs or concerts as we know them, you might end up with group listening sessions where the sound of each individual band member is shaped for each individual hearing range”.

Musician Shura adds that in the future, we could see a shift away from traditional concert venues to something “more immersive like 360 degree backdrops with moving images”. With sales of virtual reality kits such as Oculus Rift, the Vive and even the more economical Google Cardboard set to take off this year, Shura’s predictions don’t seem mildly far-fetched at all.

Rave in Your Living Room

Mirroring the way that theatre and cinema have given way to TV culture, Snoochie Shy also raises the point that by 2080, you might not even have to leave your house to experience a really good night out: “I can also imagine some sort of streaming service, where you can buy a ticket and stream the rave inside your own crib. I could get some friends over, and instead of going out,I could enjoy raving with a sick hologram DJ in my own house with my mates, and a few of my pet cats running about“.

Long Live The Festival

Stepping away from the notion of partying in digitally cultivated surroundings, John Giddings, founder of Solo Music Agency and reviver of Isle of Wight festival, tells W instazine that despite the need to keep up with the increasingly sophisticated demands of festival-goers (decent loos, facilities, food, and more) no matter what year you’re in, open air, communal experiences will always be part of the way we interact with music as it’s “a bonding of people… a shared experience [where] you can talk to people you’ve never met in your life because you’re sharing the same experience”.

The Death of The Album and a Continued Domination of EDM

Despite championing the traditional music culture of the festival, Giddings envisions a different style of setlist based on one dominant genre: “Sadly for us iTunes has destroyed the album and music is being given away for free on the internet so in 2080 I’ve got no clue whether albums will exist and [music] will be more computer led as opposed to more guitar or keyboard led… Look at how strong the EDM market is. I met Calvin Harris at the Brits this year and I said, ‘was it really you?’ and he said, ‘what do you mean?’ and I said, ‘well all I can see is this silhouette against the screen with 50,000 people going crazy’ and you know I think they just bring an iPod and play a setlist but people seem to really like that”.

So by 2080 it could be a very diffierent musical landscae, with digital living room raves, the death of albums, extinct guitars and hologram-based tours. On the other hand as Gabriel Szatan, wisely concludes “guessing the specifics of what music in 2080 will sound like, or what shape it might take, is a bit of fool’s errand. If you track the same amount of time back as forward, then you hit 1950, when there was one uniform home listening format and not even a singles chart; the B.C. to today’s A.D”.

You can find more futuristic predictions on music and nightlife in 2080 in the latest issue of ‘W’ Instazine.

Words by Meike Smith

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