Calvin Harris taps Wave for a virtual concert on TikTok


Electronic music star Calvin Harris is the latest artist planning a livestream on TikTok, with ‘The Calvin Harris Experience‘ on 13 January.

Like The Weeknd before him, Harris is working with music/tech company Wave to give the concert an ‘immersive’ twist, with the promise of audio-reactive visuals and a “nature inspired luminous world”.

Wave started life as a startup focused on virtual reality music experiences, before pivoting towards using that technology for livestreams that could be broadcast on non-VR platforms – TikTok included.

More than two million fans tuned in for ‘The Weeknd Experience’ in 2020 over several broadcasts on TikTok, with 275,000 concurrent viewers at its peak. Wave has since worked with the likes of Dillon Francis, Justin Bieber and Riot Games (for its virtual band Pentakill).

The Calvin Harris concert will be streamed from the artist’s TikTok account, which has 463.4k followers at the time of writing.

Curiously there were no actual posts on the account in the run-up to today’s announcement as we wrote this story. However, Harris HAS been active on TikTok in the past – a video breaking down how he created his track ‘Potion’ was watched more than 4m times – so we suspect this is a case of profile-wiping marketing tactics ahead of today’s big reveal.

Wave’s history in VR will come in handy for the concert, since it will also be broadcast to Pico virtual reality headsets in Europe and Asia, within a custom-built world where fans will take avatar form.

Pico is the Chinese VR headset firm that has been a sister company to TikTok since August 2021, when it was acquired by the latter’s parent company ByteDance.

TikTok says that further “immersive 3D concert experiences” will follow on Pico, as part of ByteDance’s efforts to build it into a rival for Meta’s Quest / Horizon Worlds business.

Written by: Stuart Dredge