When Columbia Records approached us a couple of months ago with the idea to stream an intimate and interactive live 360 experience with Bee Gees legend Barry Gibb, we jumped at the opportunity.
As big fans of disco and the Bee Gees, we were excited to hear that Barry Gibb was open to the idea of doing something in 360, and in a way which had not been tried before.
Working with an incredibly talented team of engineers, musicians, representatives from Columbia Records, Sony Music, and others, we set out to create an experience that would teleport fans inside the very studios where legendary songs from Saturday Night Fever and Grease were made almost 40 years ago.
For fans, this was a historic occasion, and an emotional one… Just a week earlier, Barry Gibb had lost his mother Barbara Gibb after illness, who had been instrumental in shaping Barry and his talented brothers’ music careers. It was also the first time fans would hear material from a new Barry Gibb solo album, in over 30 years.
Everyone involved in the production was in agreement that this was an opportunity to create a new kind of intimate live 360 experience – one where the live 360 event was the focus, rather than an afterthought. In doing so, this enabled our cameras to get much closer to the action than is typical, and indeed design the entire event around the 360 live broadcast. Such access was unprecedented in our experience, and we think the results demonstrate the improvement it makes.
With two Mini EYE 3‘s, including one on a motion track, and 360 Designs’ bespoke live 360 stitching and encoding racks, we produced and transmitted the 1 hour event live to YouTube. Working with Grammy nominated producer and engineer John Merchant, we captured ambisonics audio for future use, and a dedicated stereo mix for live broadcast. 360 Designs also consulted on lighting and creative design for the event.
The location was the famous Hit Factory Criteria Studios in Miami, and a select group of lucky fans and prize winners were invited to attend. Fans were treated to a six song set featuring 4 songs from Barry Gibb’s new album, including the title track ‘In the Now’, ‘Star Crossed Lovers’, the very catchy ‘Grand Illusion’ and ‘Home Truth Song’, as well as 2 classics from the Bee Gees era – ‘How Deep is Your Love’ and ‘You Should be Dancing’. This was followed by an interactive Q&A with host Beverly Keel.
A family affair, Barry performed his set alongside eldest son Stephen on guitar, and daughter Ashley on the production crew. Fans were able to live chat and pose questions while watching on YouTube.
We were thrilled to be associated with this groundbreaking event, and our sincere thanks to everyone who worked on the production – all consummate professionals and a genuine pleasure to work with.
You can watch an archive of the live stream (best viewed in the YouTube app + search ‘Barry Gibb 360’). We also recommend pre-ordering the album – we’ve been fortunate to hear much of it during setup, and it’s… really really good!