Lil Nas X Becomes Second Artist to Bring Augmented Reality to His Tour

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On Tuesday night (Sept. 6), Lil Nas X kicked off his highly-anticipated headlining tour in Detroit and welcomed a surprise guest into the venue: augmented reality.

Thanks to Snap’s new multiyear partnership with Live Nation, which Billboard detailed in a cover story earlier this year, Lil Nas X becomes the second artist to incorporate the technology into his live show, following his friend and collaborator Jack Harlow. For the former’s Long Live Montero tour (presented by Live Nation), fans are not only treated to a pre-show experience but can also use the Snapchat app to access a first-of-its-kind AR experience that is choreographed to the set’s three distinct acts.

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Upon arrival, fans can scan the tangible Playbill handed out at entry to enter the creative world of Montero, the 2021 debut album from Nas. A voice message accompanies the visuals and explains what fans are about to see throughout the show. During the 70-minute performance, fans can use the app to see digital enhancements, such as a cocoon in act one, butterflies in act two and eventually Nas himself during the final third act.

Snap’s in-house creative team, Arcadia, partnered with the creative team behind Lil Nas X — Hodo Musa and Saul Levitz — to create cohesive these thematic visuals, which are geofenced to the venue at every tour stop, making them exclusive to attendees. For fans who want in but may not be at the show, Snapchat also developed a lens that adds butterfly wings to a user’s selfie.

Meanwhile, Jack Harlow’s tour kicked off Sept. 5 and features a commerce experience that allows fans to skip the line and shop his tour merch directly from his Snapchat profile. In addition, he’s offering a creative experience (a jet appears through AR above the stage during “First Class”) and a selfie experience (fans can use a lens that applies the artist’s signature sunglasses to their face).

Snap and Live Nation first announced their four-year deal in April at the annual Snap Partner Summit. The companies unveiled the partnership in May at Las Vegas’ Electric Daisy Carnival (promoted by Live Nation subsidiary Insomniac) followed by Chicago’s Lollapalooza (promoted by LN subsidiary C3 Presents) in August. Jack Harlow and Lil Nas X are the first artists to incorporate the tech into their tours.

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