Wales Millennium Centre has unveiled it’s first set of immersive experiences for its 20th year, alongside a new innovative partnership to encourage under-represented communities to explore opportunities within a growing artform.

BOCS, WMC’s dedicated venue for immersive arts – including XR (virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality), 360 films, projections and other interactive media – will host a range of free experiences throughout 2024 that aim to engage and inspire through new forms of storytelling.

These are experiences are not only fantastic but also FREE.

BOCS at the Wales Millennium Centre (Photo: Polly Thomas)

Through April, a world of immersive experiences will be available through StoryFutures’ XPERIENCE, over a dozen experiences covering diverse themes including music, sport and climate change and range from beautifully animated 360 films to full interactive immersive experiences.

Xperience runs from the 1st to 21st April – details HERE.

In May, the UK premiere of interactive and narrative VR experience EMPEREUR takes you inside the brain of a father suffering from aphasia, a language disorder that leaves someone unable to communicate effectively with others. Empereur won the Venice Immersive Achievement Prize at the 80th Venice Film Festival in 2023.

Empereur is from 1st to 19th May – more information HERE.

During the summer, INVISIBLE OCEAN will bring together a series of shared interactive experiences to take you beneath the surfaces of the ocean. One of them, the social VR experience DROP IN THE OCEAN, takes us down to the marine depths of the Midnight Zone – and directly into the plastic pollution crisis plaguing the world’s oceans – while another, CRITICAL DISTANCE, uses mixed reality (MR) to bring audiences into the world of Southern Resident orcas in North America. Throughout Wales Millennium Centre, you’ll be able to embark on a digital scavenger hunt with INTERACTIVE OCEANS and use mobile devices to reveal some of the world’s most remarkable marine creatures.

Invisible Ocean runs from the 27th July to the 8th September. More information can be found HERE.

Further immersive experiences in 2024, including as part of the Centre’s annual Llais international arts festival, will be announced in due course.

David Massey, Senior Digital Experiences Producer at Wales Millennium Centre, told us…..

“Wales Millennium Centre is quickly becoming recognised as a centre for XR excellence by audiences, producers and distributors around the world and Bocs is seen as a real destination to premiere new and inspiring work.

As interest continues to grow in this new form of storytelling – arguably the first new artform since cinema – we’re aiming to widen access to this kind of work through our rolling programme of experiences, events and workshops. There’s never been a better time to try something new!”

Wales Millennium Centre’s new partnership with the Ida Network will establish IDA HWB, a community for women, non-binary and trans people within the immersive XR sector to be celebrated and welcomed. WMC will host a first in-person meetup in May 2024, and continue to act as a focal point to share information for a growing community with the aim of encouraging new connections, collaborations and ventures.

Abi Fitzgerald, Assistant Digital Experiences Producer at Wales Millennium Centre, said…

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Ida XR Studio to establish Ida Hwb in its new home with us. It will be an accessible, inspiring space, hosting a community full of creatives in various stages of their career who are ready to connect, collaborate and empower.”

BOCS at the Wales Millennium Centre (Photo: Polly Thomas)

Leah Kurta and Victoria Eyton, Co-Founders of the Ida XR Studio, added….

“Ida XR Studio is delighted to partner with Wales Millennium Centre to support the development of under-represented communities in immersive technology and to establish the Ida Hwb, a home for the Ida Network in Cardiff. Peer networks are a vital ingredient in career progression and empowerment and we’re excited to grow our community in Wales and the South West alongside the team at WMC.”

This announcement comes hot on the heels of the unveiling of Immersive Arts, a £6 million project unlocking the creative potential of new technology in which Wales Millennium Centre is a producing partner.

For more details on all of the experiences at BOCS, go HERE.

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