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The Psychedelic Dome Making Festivalgoers Freak Out at Coachella

The eight-minute 'Chrysalis' takes off inside a massive geodesic projection dome.

Taylor Lindsay

All images courtesy of Obscura Digital.

A psychedelic journey beginning with a "Shamanistic rite-of-passage ritual," and continuing through the sky and into the cosmos wowed attendees of Coachella's Antarctica dome, the largest-ever projection inside a geodesic dome. Expect nothing less than intense from Obscura Digital, the creative force behind the environmental light projections on the Empire State Building and the trees "on fire" in Santa Barbara. Thanks to their team, you can still kind-of experience Chrysalis, the eight-minute audiovisual journey created just for projection within the dome at the infamous spring festival. An added bonus: you get to skip the crowds of 500 allowed in the dome at a time—you can now watch a 360° video and a 90-second segment supercut of the best of Coachella-goers freaking out inside the dome.

Apparently it had the desired effect. Creative Director of the project Joshua Pipic tells Creators that the goal was to get into the minds of festivalgoers and poke at "what was missing" from Coachella. Fun fact: it's one of the few big outdoor fests where open fires aren't allowed, so the team took that idea and ran with it. "We started with the idea of campers gathering around a fire together in the wilderness, and embarking on this psychedelic experience after that."

Throughout the narrative, they also used imagery of choice iconic sculptures part of Coachella cannon, like the caterpillar (tying nicely into Chrysalis) and the giant robotic astronaut that cruises through the crowds.

"The power of the dome it is that it's not just a VR headset—it's giant and powerful and really takes up your complete field of vision," Pipic continues. "People overuse the word 'immersive,' but it's the most immersive thing I've ever worked on."

This may be just beginning of a new series from Obscura Digital. The dome was custom-built for Coachella and might make another appearance (with a new visual experience) next year. Read more on their website.

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