Reggae SumFest Jamaica in Live 360 VR

Reggae SumFest is the original and most authentic Reggae Festival in the world, taking place in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It attracts tens of thousands of people, internationally famous artists, and this year celebrated its 25th anniversary.

360 Designs produced a technically sophisticated and high production value, multi-camera, live VR broadcast, streamed live in 360/VR video, to YouTube, as well as the festival’s own website. Major artists included Sean Paul, Beenie Man and Stephen Marley among others.

We introduced an array of custom moving 360 cameras – including a Jimmy Jib 360, Polecam 360, stabilized gimbal 360 and motion track. We utilized three remote controlled cameras, three fixed cameras, switched live on site using our broadcast grade, Blackmagic Design-based 4K workflow, and streamed using our MixBox 4K encoders.

For over two years we’ve been vocal within the industry for the need to produce live 360/VR with no less production values than a normal 2D broadcast, and in particular to frame shots in a way that work well as a 2D broadcast. In other words, viewers on desktop, mobile, and those in a VR headset, all get a great experience.

Our client understood the importance of this, enabling us to do some pioneering work with sophisticated, customized equipment. As a result, the client saw engagement metrics that were 10 times the average viewing time of a typical live 360 broadcast. Comments from viewers and professionals within the industry focussed on how ‘watchable’ the broadcast was, with more than a few saying they’d never watched a live 360 broadcast for more than a few minutes before this one.

Please don’t take our word for it, the clip below demonstrates our pioneering 2D/3D 360/VR technique, which we expect one day to become standard for many productions.

The broadcast ran for a total of 24 hours of live, directed, 360/VR streamed content, a record for us, and we look forward to returning next year for Reggae SumFest 2018.