July 21, 2019 / 7:54 AM

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Childish Gambino To Debut New Music At Pharos Shows In New Zealand



Donald Glover's alter ego, rapper Childish Gambino is set to release new music when he flies to New Zealand in November.

The Grammy-winning artist will bring Pharos, an immersive, multi-sensory concert experience. It was first introduced back in 2016 at the Joshua Tree in California where his team assembled a virtual reality dome in the middle of the desert. 

The event was held for three days and also offered screenings of new episodes of Glover's FX series Atlanta in a nearby amphitheater. An "Illumination Forest" was constructed to provide previews of the art projections from inside the dome.

Attendees were asked to surrender their phones into lock bags for the duration of the concert. This was to prevent people from documenting the show instead of enjoying the experience with the hip-hop artist and his creative team.

Later this year, he will bring the experience to his fans in New Zealand.

Pharos In New Zealand

"Pharos is meant to be a communal space — a place that evolves and reacts to the culture," he told Vanity Fair in an e-mail. "We aren't tied to a format and that lets us adapt in a way that others can't. We're selling real intimacy. We protect the experience and it becomes something you genuinely share with the people around you and you take away something special. We're looking at expanding the world in 2018 — there will be more artists involved."

The 34-year-old released songs from his album Awaken, My Love! in the first Pharos show in California in 2016. The next Childish Gambino, reportedly Glover's final work as the hip-hop artist, has not officially been released, but fans can expect "new music in some capacity" to be previewed at the upcoming show. 

"[N]ot committing to announcing a new album gives us more space to be able to shift while also not giving that much away," said one of the event's organizers Fam Rothstein.

The Pharos shows in New Zealand are set to take place from Nov. 23 to Nov. 25 at an undisclosed location near the airport in Auckland. 

Creating Pharos

Pharos was developed with the use of Microsoft's technology, particularly the Azure and the Kinect, to create the experience. In a blog post in 2016, the company boasted that it was able to create animation work within weeks instead of months by using an alternative to the traditional motion-capture technique.  

Microsoft also released a Pharos app for fans who were not able to attend the three-day event. The app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows 10 mobile devices as well as virtual reality headsets. 

Glover is set to appear in the second season of Atlanta and Solo: A Star Wars Story later this year. 


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