Of all the arts, music is the one that has already been most impacted by the digital revolution. After Napster and Apple's iTunes, streaming platforms like Spotify dominate today’s consumer landscape. But that landscape continues to evolve. New start-ups and technologies emerge as an artificial intelligence capable of completing Mahler's unfinished 10th symphony. The have the potential to define the next era by turning listeners into musicians.
Gone are the days of dusty heavy-metal festivals crowded with bearded people dripping with beer. This year, at Hellfest, between the boots brands that offer virtual-reality concerts and TV channels displaying other innovative sensory experiences, between gluten-free burgers with cuttlefish ink sauce and buckwheat pancakes, a stand was packed from 10am to midnight. There, headbangers were testing an app that allows them to play with the greatest musicians.
For 14 years, Hellfest, in the small village of Clisson in Western France, has become "the place to be" for heavy-metal fans in mid-June, with this festival attracting 180,000 spectators. In 2019, it also became a demo space for a musical start-up, NomadMusic, which won the ArtTech Foundation prize in Geneva last year.