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(Credit: Ryan Arnst)

Music

Interactive VR experience about acid house set to launch in Coventry

An interactive VR experience centred on the acid house movement to launch in Coventry later this year. Entitled In Pursuit of Repetitive Beats, the experience comes as a part of the city’s celebrations for holding the ‘City of Culture’ title. 

The exhibition will invite audiences to go and search for an illegal rave, one night in Coventry in 1989. There are poster-adorned bedrooms, pirate radio stations, police headquarters and warehouses that you will visit as you step into the shoes of British rave culture’s pioneers. 

In Pursuit Of Repetitive Beats is “in an immersive exhibition and explorable virtual world set in Coventry. Combining Acid House tracks with interactivity and multi-sensory simulation, it brings to life the stories of the promoters, police officers, and rave-goers, whose rivalries and relationships drove a revolution in music and society.”

The experience is helmed by Darren Emerson and produced by East City Films alongside BPM XR LTD. It will premiere on March 28th, and the hour-long adventure will be situated at The Box in Fargo Village until May 1st.

Per an account by Emerson, the soundtrack will feature everyone from Orbital to Neill Howard, alongside more contemporary cuts. He told NME: “I didn’t want to be slavishly tied to just using music from 1989, and instead wanted the soundtrack to convey the feeling I was after.”

“I really loved the concept of using technology like VR to take audiences back to a time where technology was not as pervasive as it is now. No mobile phones, no GPS, no Internet,” Emerson explained. “All you have to find a party was a rumour, a phone number on a flyer, pirate radio, a road map, roadside telephone boxes and a great deal of determination. Yet still, with all those barriers, thousands upon thousands of people found parties up and down the country every weekend”.

He continued: “It doesn’t feel that long ago, but the world is very different now; to not be tracked, geo-located or on CCTV everywhere you go would feel like a gift. I think the resurgence in interest in the acid house movement is bound up in this mix of nostalgia, and a longing for a society that has more civic freedoms, and more physical collective connections. It’s not lost on me that there is a certain irony in using VR to try and recreate it.”

In Pursuit of Repetitive Beats is sure to be one of the highlights of Coventry’s ‘City of Culture’ celebrations. We can’t wait to jump into the heady days of the Acid House movement. 

Listen to Orbital’ Halcyon On and On’ below.