DreamHack Melbourne converts fans to AR/VR tech with hololive VTube performance

    DreamHack returned to Melbourne for its third year running. This year did not disappoint with over 35,000 fans in attendance; nearly 10,000 more than last year. Here’s what went down at DreamHack Melbourne 2024.

    This year, DreamHack Melbourne went bigger than ever. The fans showed up, more than ever before descending on Melbourne Park and Rod Laver Arena. Over 600 content creators took part in summits, panels, live streaming, and meetups.

    Tech-nerds got a good taste of some of the latest technology, artist alley was popping – I might have spent some money on local artists – and esports was high on the priority list, with some of the best in the region competing for the crown.

    The main stage, however, was one place people really wanted to be. It was the location for Trash Taste and Cold Ones, popular podcast groups which held live performances that wowed fans. The main stage was also the place for Australia’s first-ever hololive production concert.

    Image: ESL Australia.

    Hololive – a virtual phenomenon

    It became popular during the pandemic and now people from all around the world take to their cameras in favour of meeting up IRL (In Real Life). Some groups have taken this to the extreme, with virtual bands, and virtual performances. Hololive a group of streamers called VTubers using a blend of VR and AR technologies. COVER Corporation operates hololive which is a group of VTubers consisting of hololive, hololive Indonesia, hololive English, HOLOSTARS, and HOLOSTARS English.

    The production went live on Saturday night to a sold-out crowd. Performers from Australia, Japan, and other parts of the world delivered the show from their own countries. Using the power of the metaverse, AR, and VR, the audience saw something that is only possible with the technology we have today. Hololive converted many fans in Melbourne this year, as shown on Twitter/X.

    The crowd at the hololive performance on Saturday, April 27 (Image: ESL Australia)

    Japanese culture coming to Melbourne

    The whole thing feels like a Japanese production, with cute anime-style characters and mostly sung in Japanese. When I arrived at DreamHack Melbourne, there were life-sized anime cutouts of the hololive performers, and the screen in the background was playing some of their shows.

    I literally felt like I was in Japan, and I said this out loud. One of the organisers overheard me and exclaimed “yeah, that’s the idea”.

    After recently coming back from my honeymoon in Japan, I’ve felt the Japanese culture all around me. One only has to walk into Melbourne Central to see it taking over; Million Life claw machine shops, anime and pop culture merchandise stores, a Japanese bakery alongside a sushi store and a Japanese curry store near the train station. DreamHack Melbourne featured many kawaii (a Japanese word meaning cute) stores in their artist alley. Corsair released a Cherry Blossom keyboard, and there’s even a Sake festival coming to Melbourne.

    As someone who loves Japanese culture, I am definitely not complaining. I love seeing the mix of cultures we have here in Japan. Unfortunately, I missed the hololive performance in Melbourne this time, but according to the hype on Twitter/X, it was a lot of fun.

    I’ll definitely be looking out for the next performance. If you missed it, you can purchase a ticket to watch the VOD, available until May 26.

    Michelle Mannering
    Michelle Mannering
    Mish is the Hackathon Queen, having participated in more than 100 events. Between being a Developer and Twitch streamer, Mish also finds time to pursue her keen interest in driving entrepreneurial culture in Melbourne's Melbourne’s esports industry and has founded several tech companies.

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