Mobile network O2 will pilot a series of gigs with an audience of customers’ mobile phones at its London super-venue in the former Millennium Dome.
The handset-only concerts will enable the 20,000 capacity venue to accommodate an audience of more than 100,000 using the two-way BeThere app.
With their handset ‘seated’ at the venue, BeThere will use its camera to relay the live event, while the screen enables artists to see the ticket-holders enjoying the experience at home.
O2’s head of customer intermediation, Steven Signale, said: “BeThere will give O2 customers a unique experience from their handset’s position in the O2, enabling them to enjoy all the benefits of seeing the world’s greatest performers with none of the downsides.
“Anyone who’s attended the O2 will agree that it’s a cavernous acoustic nightmare with vertigo-inducing seats, located in a windswept concrete wasteland with hopeless transport connections and few amenities.
“O2 customers on BeThere can attend from the comfort of their home, making it possible for corporate customers to enjoy the live event, while arriving and leaving with ease.”
Customers will be able to buy tickets online and deliver their phones to the O2 via collection from O2 shops around the UK as little as 24-hours before the event, being returned by post within a week afterwards.
The BeThere app for Android and iOS streams the live concert to customers and uses the device’s camera to relay their picture to the venue.
Ticket-holders will be able to watch at home with up to three other people, although O2 warned the BeThere app is able to count the number of faces and will disconnect if too many people are viewing.
O2 customer Alex Odd said BeThere would be the perfect solution for his two daughters’ obsessions with so-called ‘tweenie’ pop stars.
“When I bought my girls tickets to see Justin Bieber, it cost hundreds of Pounds and my wife and I argued for weeks about who would have to go with them,” Odd told Recombu.
“The little twonk turned up two hours late because he was playing Call of Duty, and I ended up snogging a bored mum from Croydon who was stuck there with her kids as well.
“I had to leave halfway through to get the girls home and they cried all the way back, then the stupid cow texted me a few days later and now the missus won’t look at me.
“With BeThere we could have sat on the sofa watching Downton with a glass of wine while the kids screamed at a laptop, and I’d still be getting some on a Friday night.”