Welcome to the virtual AB!
It hurts that we haven’t been able to welcome an audience to AB for so long. Concerts for real live audiences are still not possible, but doing nothing is not an option either. For this reason, we’ve been working hard on an alternative over the last few months. The result is Nouvelle Belgique, AB’s brand-new, virtual concert venue. It seems unreal to be flinging the doors open in these times, but you read it right: our new concert venue is totally ready to welcome an audience. Without having to worry about viruses.
A… virtual concert venue?
What is it, and what can you expect from Nouvelle Belgique? If you are an experienced gamer, this virtual concert will be a familiar experience. It’s somewhat comparable to The Sims, the famous computer game in which your self-created character wanders around a virtual city.
Just like in The Sims, in Nouvelle Belgique you walk around in a virtual environment. But instead of a city, this is the main hall of Ancienne Belgique which we have reproduced down to the details. The floor, the stage, the unmistakable red balconies, even the sound systems have been reproduced. To avoid confusion with the real Ancienne Belgique, we have christened this virtual venue Nouvelle Belgique.
What do you need?
You don’t need much to be able to attend a concert in Nouvelle Belgique: an internet connection, a computer, some headphones or speakers and your concert ticket. You can buy the concert ticket in the same way as you would buy a ticket for a normal concert in AB. The difference is that tickets for shows in Nouvelle Belgique have a unique code attached that you need to enter in order to access the virtual venue.
To get into the venue, you must first install an app called Yabal on your computer. Take note that your computer must meet a number of minimum requirements. This is why it’s important that you make the necessary preparations a few days before the concert. Check all the practical information and a step-by-step tutorial here.
Staying with the comparison to The Sims, you also need to create a virtual character before attending a concert in Nouvelle Belgique: your avatar. Once you have created this - with clothes, shoes and a hairstyle of your choice - you’re ready to attend a concert. If you have any questions about your avatar you can check out our page with practical information.
Last but not least: what will a concert at Nouvelle Belgique be like? In contrast to a livestream, in which we film an actual concert, you will not see a real live artist on the Nouvelle Belgique virtual stage, but a virtual version. The artist is also an avatar, just like you. The artist will perform the show completely live, however, wearing a special suit with sensors that convert their movements into the virtual environment of Nouvelle Belgique. Behind the scenes, a whole team uses special systems to convert light, sound and movement directly into the virtual world of Nouvelle Belgique.
Would you like to dance in the front row or prefer to stay at the back of the venue? During the concert, your avatar can wander around freely, along with the avatars of the other people attending the concert. You can communicate with them through the chat function.
Is all this music to your ears? On Monday 12 April, Zwangere Guy plays the first concert in Nouvelle Belgique. Tickets are still available. This page has a comprehensive overview of all the practical information regarding Nouvelle Belgique.