Jean Michel Jarre to perform virtual New Year's Eve concert from inside Notre Dame Cathedral

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Jean-Michel Jarre's press conference on the fourth day of the 2019 Web Summit in Lisbon. (Reinaldo Rodrigues / Global Images/Sipa USA)
Jean-Michel Jarre's press conference on the fourth day of the 2019 Web Summit in Lisbon. (Reinaldo Rodrigues / Global Images/Sipa USA)

Electronic music pioneer Jean Michel Jarre is staging a unique New Year’s Eve gig that will see the French legend appear as an avatar from inside Notre Dame Cathedral surrounded by a spectacular 3D light show.

Jarre, who has been at the forefront of innovative electronic music for five decades, will perform live at a studio near the famous Paris landmark while his virtual self “performs” inside the cathedral.

The one-off gig is free and can be watched like a normal show, but viewers can also wear virtual reality headsets and “enter” the cathedral to watch Jarre perform live.

On Tuesday, Jarre posted a short video of the dress rehearsal on Twitter, which shows him in the midst of the spectacular laser display.

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Called “Welcome to the Other Side”, the 45-minute show will feature tracks from Jarre’s recent Grammy-nominated album Electronica, as well as new reworked versions of his classics, Oxygène and Equinoxe.

Jarre, who has partnered with French start-up VRrOOm and UNESCO to put on the show, told the Times earlier this week: “I think VR today is exactly what the cinema was at the beginning of the 20th century. It is a new mode of expression. It’s never going to replace the excitement of shoulder against shoulder at a music festival, but people who are isolated socially or geographically can gather through their avatars in a VR world.”

The concert starts at 10.25pm GMT on 31 December and can be watched on Jean Michel Jarre’s YouTube channel, Facebook page as well as Twitter page and VR Chat.

Watch: Tune in - Is the music industry taking a "virtual" turn?

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