Childish Gambino (real name: Donald Glover) is no ordinary artist. The American do-it-all, who took his stage name from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator, has a stacked resumé which includes Golden Globe winner, Grammy winner and Star Wars character. It should be no surprise then that his live show is not your average stand-behind-a-microphone experience.
Glover announced via Twitter that he is bringing his concert experience PHAROS to New Zealand this year. Described as an immersive virtual reality, multi-sensory concert experience, the event will be held over three days from November 23-25 at Tapapakanga Regional Park — the home of Splore Festival. A shuttle service will be available to the beach-side venue — which lies one hour south of Clevedon — from the Auckland CBD and airport.
The festival was first held in Joshua Tree, California, where Glover debuted material from Awaken, My Love inside a VR dome with collaborators. Episodes of his award-winning series Atlanta screened inside an amphitheater and an "Illumination Forest" projected art from inside the dome. Mystery is a big part of the experience; the first edition saw attendees seal their phones in lock bags for the duration of the concert.
Glover told Vanity Fair that PHAROS is "meant to be a communal space—a place that evolves and reacts to the culture," "We aren't tied to a format and that lets us adapt in a way that others can't. We're selling real intimacy. We protect the experience and it becomes something you genuinely share with the people around you and you take away something special. We're looking at expanding the world in 2018—there will be more artists involved."