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Carlow Arts Festival Announce Programme for Virtual Reality Cinema

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Carlow Arts Festival are excited to announce the programme for their Virtual Reality Cinema titled ‘From the Arctic to Australia’. The Virtual Reality Cinema will be hosted on Carlow Arts Festival’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/c/CarlowArtsFestival_Ireland) and will be accessible for all to view from 1 August until 31 August 2020.

The announcement of the Virtual Reality Cinema follows on from Carlow Arts Festival’s successful VR strand in 2019. XR Producer Camille Donegan has returned to curate the series of 360 films that will bring the viewer on an international exploration, from the Arctic to Australia and all the way to Mars, from the comfort of your home.

Carlow Arts Festival innovates again by offering their successful Virtual Reality Cinema to audiences in their own homes.  Working with Curator Camille Donegan, Carlow Arts Festival are presenting a range of specially sourced films licenced exclusively to the festival for the month of August. Audiences purchase a headset from the festival website that works with their smartphone to replicate the experience of the VR Cinema safely in their own homes. Carlow Arts Festival have ranged the globe to source the most extraordinary films for the 360 3D experience that these cardboard headsets provide. Plus they are entirely reusable and will work for any 360 content.

Go on a globetrotting Virtual Reality adventure with Carlow Arts Festival this year – become a puppet trapped in a stunningly offensive puppet show in ‘Extravaganza’, explore the movement of the solar system in The Guardian’s ‘Celestial Motion’ (Alexander Whitley Dance Company in association with Sadler’s Wells). In ‘Passenger’ step into a taxi in your new Australian home and be whisked away by a wise feathered friend in this surreal stop-motion adventure.

Immerse yourself in the acoustic delights of ‘- 22.7°C’- an experience inspired by the adventure of electronic music producer Molécule who captures the sounds of the Arctic for compositions. Soar through space from the Moon to Mars and beyond with 2nd Step.

Narrated by Colin Farrell, Gloomy Eyes, an animated VR-trilogy in 6DoF (6 degrees of freedom) and 3D real-time, tells the story of the sun who got tired of humans and decided to hide and never rise again. Carlow Arts Festival are delighted to announce a giveaway of 30 licenses for the wonderful Gloomy Eyes VR experience, available on Steam for Oculus Quest, Rift or HTC Vive headsets.

Festival Director Jo Mangan said: “We are in a way capitalising on the lack of possibility of movement of artists at the moment. We are suddenly on a level playing field when it comes to putting together a programme of events online, digitally and through Virtual Reality in the home. Our relative small size when compared to international festivals with many multiples of our budget would normally be a disadvantage. But through the medium of VR we are able to bring works such as the stunning Celestial Bodies made by Alexander Whitley Dance Company with Sadlers Wells and the Guardian into people’s homes, while we can hear the voice of our own Colin Farrell narrate the wonderful Gloomy Eyes. We are stretching the boundaries of what a festival can be, we are leaning into tech that expands our audience experience and I believe the festival will emerge stronger than ever from the learnings of this time.”


Don’t have a VR headset?  No problem… you can still share in the VR experience.  Carlow Arts Festival has a simple, inexpensive cardboard VR viewer available to purchase that will allow you enter the world of Virtual Reality using your smartphone and experience the 360 3D content.  VR viewers are available to purchase from www.carlowartsfestival.com now priced €10 plus postage and packaging.

Carlow Arts Festival organisers have embraced technology for 2020 and have been able to rethink, reset and reinvent the festival for this year. The Virtual Reality Cinema is SLICE #5 of Carlow Arts Festival’s #SLICES re-imagined programme for 2020. The festival is creating novel ways to share experiences with the special online and digital festival edition of the festival. Featuring 7 Slices of projects and events that organisers believe will connect audiences and artists… from a distance, and includes newly commissioned work, the Artworks visual art exhibition, exciting new interactive Digitally Native projects and a live one hour special alongside the Virtual Reality Cinema.

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