Roy Orbison returns to the stage - 30 years after his death

Roy Orbison will return to the stage as a hologram for a UK arena tour - Getty Images Fee
Roy Orbison will return to the stage as a hologram for a UK arena tour - Getty Images Fee

Thirty years after his death, fans of Roy Orbison will be able to see him on tour. In what is being billed as a first of its kind, a hologram of the late star will perform a series of arena concerts around the UK.

He will be backed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra on hits including Pretty Woman, You Got It, Crying and Only The Lonely.

The technologyhas been used before for one-off performances - rapper Tupac Shakur was resurrected for the Coachella Festival in 2012, and a likeness of Michael Jackson appeared at the 2014 Billboard Awards - but not for a full-length gig or tour.

Peter Cushing's Star Wars character, Grand Moff Tarkin, was also brought back for the recent Rogue One film.

Traveling Wilburys - Credit: Film Stills
Roy Orbison (second from right)with fellow members of the Traveling WIlburys Credit: Film Stills

Rather than use old footage, Roy Orbison In Dreams: The Hologram UK Tour will use a combination of techniques to create a ‘new’ Orbison performance, including CGI.

Orbison’s family have endorsed the tour. Alex Orbison, president of Roy Orbison Music, said: “My dad was one of the first people to combine rock and roll with orchestral sound, so to see the full meal deal of having the big orchestra with my dad is really a dream set-up.”

The promoter, Danny Betesh, who promoted Orbison’s shows in the 1960s, said: “It’s immensely exciting to see Roy back on the stage in such a modern and creative way. His music never went away and now fans can enjoy seeing the live show and hearing all those much-loved songs.”

Orbison had 31 Top 40 hits in the UK, including three number ones. In his later years he was a member of the Traveling Wilburys supergroup with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne.

He died of a heart attack in 1988, aged 52.

The tour begins at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena on April 8 next year before moving to Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Nottingham, Liverpool, London and Bournemouth. Tickets go on general sale on Friday October 27.

Sony Music are also releasing an album, A Love So Beautiful: Roy Orbison with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.