Elvis Presley hologram live shows: Creator explains how it will work without motion capture

8 January 2024, 13:21

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By Mayer Nissim

The upcoming Elvis Evolution show won't be anything like ABBA Voyage.

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When it was recently announced that an Elvis Presley "hologram" would be coming to the London stage, eyebrows were certainly raised.

The wildly successful ABBA Voyage residency has led to much speculation that other acts will follow in their digital footsteps, but the likes of Elvis, The Beatles and many others have a clear disadvantage.

While they weren't eager to get back on stage themselves, Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad are alive and healthy enough to have put in extensive work rehearsing what would become the Voyage live show, covered in motion capture sensors.

With Elvis tragically dying in 1977 before many could have even imagined that sort of technology, that's obviously not been possible for the Elvis Evolution show.

At the same time, fans have been promised something much more realistic than the already-successful Elvis in Concert shows that combine an in-real-life live band and orchestra with big-screen footage of past shows by The King.

Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee in 1956
Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee in 1956. Picture: Getty Images

Founder of Layered Reality Andrew McGuinness has now explained how they've worked to make a truly immersive experience unlike either the ABBA Voyage experience or the Elvis "live" shows held since his death.

He told BBC News that his company had been given thousands of hours of live footage and home video of Elvis, along with many still images, which had been combined with AI to make their holographic version.

"ABBA Voyage had the luxury of capturing live performers, but we're not that fortunate, McGuinness said.

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"The AI generates an authentic version of Elvis, born of original material, but it [also] allows you to do new things with him."

Of the current progress on the hologram, he quipped: "He's lines of code for now, he's not walking around Harpenden, buying a coffee from Gail's."

While the ABBA Voyage experience and Elvis in Concert shows are very much set up like a traditional live show, Elvis Evolution is being billed much more as an immersive experience, similar to the company's other events.

Elvis Presley in the mid-1960s
Elvis Presley in the mid-1960s. Picture: Getty Images

"You're going to be stepping in to intricate sets that make you feel like you've time travelled," McGuinness said

"It's more about how we want people to feel, we use temperature, taste and smell to make people feel like they are in Memphis in 1958."

Ticket prices for the Elvis Evolution experience – which will take place in Central London from November this year – are yet to be announced, but Layered Reality's other shows are priced from £40-82 for standard tickets, with higher-priced VIP tickets also available.