When thinking to world-class outdoor venues, Colorado’s Red Rocks and Washington’s Gorge Amphitheater certainly come to mind. As far as indoor US venues go, Las Vegas is the soon-to-be most-coveted destination for live music enthusiasts from across the globe.
Introducing: The MSG Sphere, a new 18,000-person capacity, 360-degree stadium seating performance hall housed in The Venetian. As the new, innovative, and wildly ambitious project led by the company behind Madison Square Garden, the dome-shaped venue has already broke ground and is scheduled to open sometime in 2021.
Now, new details over the revolutionary space have emerged in a recent Rolling Stone interview with MSG Ventures founder James Dolan and CEO David Dibble. The idea is to “reinvent the live entertainment business,” says Dibble, in an industry where “[t]echnology has been an afterthought.”
As for the venue’s sound, its “157,000 ultra-directional” speakers are being built by a German start-up called Holoplot. But what does “ultra-directional” mean exactly? Well, the company specializes in building narrow sound beams so that different sections of the venue can hear different things. For MSG, this means audio in multiple languages can be beamed to certain sections.
Not only that, the speakers will hide inside the venue’s walls and behind the venue’s main video display, which itself is a sphere made up of “three-and-a-half acres” of ultra-high-res LED panels that arc up “like a planetarium times ten,” according to Dibble.
Still not impressed? How about some vibrating floors? Those are being built for the bass frequencies to travel through the floor rather than through the air. “We have developed a haptic flooring system,” Dibble told Rolling Stone. “It’s still a bit of a work in progress, but the lowest bass response [is transmitted] directly into your feet or onto the chair in which you sit, and it’s a remarkable experience.”
The MSG Sphere also has a similar model planned for East London.
“Stick 157,000 ultra-directional speakers, a three-and-a-half-acre spherical ultra-high-res video screen and vibrating floors [together] into an enormous dome built from scratch” — and what do you get? An audio engineer and lighting designer’s wet dream. Not to mention, a completely immersive environment that will transport participants out of this world.