Google announced a new virtual reality series earlier this week, officially debuting Austin City Limits: Backstage and providing owners of its VR solutions with an opportunity to take a more in-depth and immersive look at longest-running music program in the history of television. Developed in collaboration with Austin, Texas-based storytelling startup SubVRsive Media, the series is planned as a ten-episode affair, with its first three chapters already being available for viewing on YouTube free of charge. As is usually the case with Google’s VR creations, Austin City Limits: Backstage can technically be viewed without a VR headset seeing how YouTube boasts built-in controls for adjusting one’s point of view in 360-degree videos but was still designed to be experienced in conjunction with one of Google’s two VR platforms – Cardboard and Daydream.
The series appears to have a relatively documentary approach to tackling its subject, being made with the goal of allowing viewers to find out more about the musicians, crew, and fans that participate in the making of every Austin City Limits episode. The show also explores the capital of Texas, having been designed as a culturally immersive experience for fans of the show that want to find out more about the programme’s physical and creative environment. Austin City Limits: Backstage is said to feature the most immersive digital look at the Moody Theater to date, in addition to boasting segments that cover the local music scene which largely gathered around the cult show. In that regard, the series deals both with established musicians performing in the Moody Theater and talented youngsters seeking to make it big in the Silicon Hills.
The first three episodes of Austin City Limits: Backstage are now available for viewing in all parts of the world and can be seen below. The episodes star Ed Sheeran, the Zac Brown Band, and Unsung Heroes, in that order, though Google has yet to reveal other musicians set to be featured in later parts of the season. Each episode will focus on a single performer or a group of musicians and it’s still unclear whether Google is considering a second season of the show if the first one does well, or if the series is only meant to be a one-time experiment.