Britons flocked to Somerset in their thousands this weekend to enjoy Glastonbury Festival in the sunshine.
Elton John and Lana Del Rey are one of many famous faces to perform, with fans eagerly camping across the giant field.
But will Glastonbury always remain the same in the midst of a so-called ‘artificial intelligence (AI) revolution’?
Top performers like Megan Thee Stallion and Lil Nas X are already using the power of virtual reality (VR) to stage a show, with fans watching with just a headset.
And ABBA raked in millions after selling out lifelike ‘hologram’ performances of their younger selves.
So what now? MailOnline has asked experts to look into their crystal balls and predict what the famous festival could look like in 30 years.
Virtual reality performers
The futurist Andrew Grill, who himself enjoyed ABBA Voyage, believes mixed reality concerts could soon become ‘the norm’ at Glastonbury.
While VR headsets are currently on the clunky side, he claims that by 2050 they will be much lighter and easier to dance with.
“I believe this kind of technology can be used in more settings, extending the lives of existing artists or bringing old favorites that have long since passed away,” he told MailOnline.
By 2050, AR technology will likely have shrunk to completely unobtrusive and will have removed the friction that has held back the mass adoption of VR and AR headsets in recent years.
“As the “next gens” — who become middle-aged alphas and betas — the thought of experiencing an enlarged concert will become the norm.”
Professor Edith Van Dyck, from Ghent University, also believes that VR could have a place at Glastonbury in 30 years.
In a survey of 74 people, she found that most see VR as “the future of the music industry,” and in some cases welcomed it as a possible alternative.
Andrew Grill: ‘The thought of experiencing an augmented concert is becoming the norm’
Lower ticket prices, more mobility and less unwanted contact were among the benefits mentioned by concertgoers.
Yet Professor Van Dyck still believes there are some things about attending festivals in real life that VR can’t match.
‘Too much is missing. Things people mentioned: “accidentally meeting people at the bar,” “dancing with others,” “eye contact,” “immersion,” “the energy,” and much more,” she told MailOnline.
“Unless there’s a pandemic or something, people will need a ‘living’ Glastonbury in 2050. Humans are social animals; experiencing music and dance together with others is a very rewarding activity. It just makes us feel good.
‘But organizing a secondary online event in VR for those who live further away (both to save costs and emissions), who like the technological aspects, etc. also makes a lot of sense.’
Digital encounters with VIP fans
VIP packages have been a staple of music events for years, allowing mega fans to meet their favorite celebrities in real life.
Experts also believe this will take a place at tomorrow’s Glastonbury – but not in the way you might expect.
Futurist Bernard Marr believes that ‘digital celebrities’ will play a major role at festivals, holding meetups with only a headset.
This comes at a time when several influencers are already renting out virtual clones of themselves for fans to talk to for $1 (80 pence) per minute.
Bernard Marr: ‘Celebrity experiences are likely to evolve with technology’
He told MailOnline, “Celebrity experiences are likely to evolve with technology. We’re already seeing many celebrities selling rights to their digital versions, including their looks and voices.
Virtual celebrity avatars can interact with fans in the Metaverse, offering a new kind of engagement.
“In addition, the combination of VR and AI can enable fans to have more personalized and immersive experiences with virtual representations of their favorite celebrities.”
Artificial intelligence help stations
With thousands of people flocking to Glastonbury every year, there is no doubt that many people get lost.
But don’t worry, the festival of 2050 might just have AI bots to help you with that and provide all the help you need.
Will Fenton, the CEO of Midder Music, told MailOnline: “AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle customer inquiries, provide information about the festival, help with ticket sales and answer frequently asked questions.”
Will Fenton: ‘AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle customer queries’
“AI algorithms can analyze video feeds from security cameras and detect suspicious activity,” says Will Fenton
“Using natural language processing and machine learning, these AI systems can provide efficient and accurate support, reduce the burden on human customer service agents and directly assist attendees.”
Mr Fenton also added that AI can manage traffic flow, crowding and even waste by assessing historical and contemporary data.
He continued, “By analyzing historical data and real-time information, AI algorithms can suggest optimal routes, predict crowd density and identify areas that require immediate attention, improving overall efficiency and reducing bottlenecks.”
Finally, Mr Fenton also believes security at Glastonbury 2050 could be stepped up a notch.
While Avon and Somerset Police are already patrolling the festival, he claims AI-powered surveillance systems could also be introduced one day.
Troops could use these to monitor crowd behavior and uncover any security threats or ‘anomalies’.
He added, “AI algorithms can analyze video feeds from security cameras, detect suspicious activity and alert security personnel to take appropriate action.”