What is “phygital” clubbing and is it the future?
A new report on the future of nightlife suggests that the era of “hybrid” parties is around the corner.
As lockdowns tentatively ease across the world, for many clubbers the prospect of stepping onto a dance floor and feeling that vibrating bass from the sound system is thrillingly close on the horizon.
But what about all the effort that’s gone into digitising the rave? When the pandemic struck, club promoters and artists were impressively nimble in creating virtual party experiences, keeping dance music fans across the world connected from the safety of their own homes.
In collaboration with The Cultural Foresights team at Pernod Ricard (a team of anthropologists who focus on the future of socialising) and published via THE FACE and Mixmag, Reality Remixed – The Future of Conviviality is an in-depth report on the future of nightlife, for which over 50 industry figures (including DJs, artist managers, promoters, curators, digital developers, hospitality entrepreneurs, mixologists and representatives of nightlife industry associations) were interviewed. In a section entitled Hybrid Partying: A Phygital Future, the report finds that there’s a strong desire to combine physical events with live streams and VR experiences.
“What I envision happening is collectives, crews and promoters having virtual extensions of their physical events,” says Ryan Miller of Club Qu. “That extends their curation/reach, builds their brand and their community outside of just their region. It’s an additional revenue stream and can reduce their carbon footprint by having less people travel from abroad… The possibilities are limitless, and when people view them as a totally different thing, there will be hella fun to be had.”
“Nothing will ever match the anticipation, atmosphere or creating those moments on the dancefloor that come with real-life events,” Jeff Gray says in the report. Gray is head of events at LWE, the group behind Tobacco Dock Virtual. “The possibilities that can come with digital events, however, are genuine social and gamification experiences that can be created with people from the four corners of the world. This is where I find what we are putting together completely unique and extremely exciting… for any venue or brand which is looking to achieve global exposure and profile, running hybrid shows is going to become very much the norm in the not too distant future.”
Pernod Ricard believes the core of conviviality occurs through responsible consumption