I took interest in a Wired article describing a San Francisco event called the Plug Music Festival. The festival is much like any other music shin-dig: a bunch of bands playing to a large, inebriated and engaged crowd of fans and their friends. Whether outside in a field or amphitheater, or inside some cavernous club, the audience is usually either singing along to the act or trying to scream out a conversation with somebodty over stacks of Marshall amps or B&W Matrix sub-woofers.
Yeah, you still have the rotating line-up of live acts. And you still have hundreds, if not thousands, of actively engaged audience-members. But instead of the cacophony and double-digit decibles over speakers, this music festival is experienced by the throng over headphones (which everyone brings to the event).
The Plug festival is part of a loose-knit global organization called Le Placard — or the closet, in French. Eight years ago, a Parisien musician streamed a concert from his closet. The myth is that three people in Japan tuned in to the inaugural concert in your head.
Since then, the idea has developed into a decentralised organization which puts on continuous open-source music festivals where anyone can come in and establish a streaming and/or listening room of their own.
This is an ideal concert medium to create an intimate and personal relationship between artist and audience. Ear phones provide a head-space that is unbroken by outside influences and distractions.
Listeners can, however, interact with others around the globe through chat rooms specific to the concert on Le Placard’s IRC channel.
The concert experience may never be the same.