Oculus Go gets its first killer app as MelodyVR puts you in the front row at rock and pop concerts

Rag N Bone Man, The Who, One Direction members and London Symphony Orchestra among bizarre assortment of VR live acts


The Oculus Go has barely been launched, it's already had four stars from us, and sold out at Amazon, and now someone's come along with a potential killer app for it. MelodyVR lets you have access to a catalogue of live performances shot in 360 degree HD, putting you right there at the gig, but without the danger of having a tall person in a hat standing right in front of you, or a drunk spilling cheap lager down your back.

I actually saw MelodyVR what feels like years ago (okay, it was late 2016), and it seemed like a nifty product. Evidently what it needed was a platform with lots of buzz and many users. And lo, merely 18 months later, along came Oculus Go and so it is now officially launching.

There was a lot of talk at the Oculus launch about social apps, video and 'experiences' – Netflix is on board, alongside various America-only streaming experiments. The UK's MelodyVR fits neatly into that, being "the world’s first dedicated virtual reality music platform". 

A simple interface allows you to choose from a growing library of gigs and 'VIP sessions' from 'all over the world' – so not just downstairs at the Underworld in Camden, where the company is based. 

You can choose where you want to stand, and then move at will to a new one, without having to squeeze past a load of sweaty men holding dangerously full pints of cheap lager in those squashy plastic cups. You can be in the front row, deep in the crowd, or 'up-close-and-personal with the band on stage', without fear of being aggressively dismissed by venue security. 

As MelodyVR puts it, you can 'stand alongside KISS amidst an explosion of confetti,' although having once met Gene Simmons of KISS, I might give that one a miss. You could also 'catch a moment alone with Sigrid as she plays catchy choruses under clear blue skies.' These are not just the best seats in the house, says MelodyVR, they're 'better than the best seats in the house.' 

The service is initially compatible with Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR, with Vive, Sony PSVR and Microsoft Mixed Reality support 'coming soon'. It's free to download and gigs generally seem to cost £10 although the more 'established' (elderly) rock acts are £13.

I'll leave the last word to Roger Daltrey of The Who, whose Wembley Arena gig is yours to view in VR splendour for just 13 quid, which is about a tenth of what you'd have paid to get in. 

Because he failed to die before he got old, Roger has seen everything, and he has this to say about MelodyVR: "In 1971, Pete Townsend wrote a science fiction musical called Lifehouse about a future where people didn’t have to leave home to get real life experiences from outside their four walls… we thought it was mad! But he proved to be right and MelodyVR have managed to bring this to life.”

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."