Venues: Your Ticket to LIVE Entertainment in VR

Oculus Blog
September 10, 2020

We launched Oculus Venues in 2018, and it’s been amazing to see people come together to watch concerts, comedy shows, sporting events, and more. Your all-in-one ticket to live events in VR, Venues is a unique social experience where people can come together from all over the world to enjoy a moment in time together. Since last year, people have attended NBA games and live performances from Billie Eilish, Wiz Khalifa, Pete Davidson, and more. And we’re working on an improved version of Venues that’s rolling out now.

Venues (Beta Early Access) is focused on helping you be more social. There’s a new lobby where you can socialize before, during, and after the show—because we all know that one of the best parts of an event is chatting about the experiences with others who were there.

It’s easier to connect and share with others at the event with features like interactive emoji expressions, confetti rain, fist bumps, high fives, and the ability to take photos and selfies.You can also send your friends an invite to join you in the lobby or in an event.

And now there’s always something to watch with our new 24/7 always-on events, featuring a rotating set of themed content like comedy, exploration, and more. You can join us for a concert with Steve Aoki on September 30, and upcoming events like VRML Echo Arena, Onward events, and eNascar iRacing.

Today we’re expanding Venues (Beta Early Access) to even more people, and we will continue to do so in the coming weeks.

Watch Facebook Connect in Venues

Whether you’re new to the experience or a Venues veteran, we hope you’ll join us for our seventh annual AR/VR conference, Facebook Connect, on September 16. People can watch the all-virtual conference in Venues, including the keynote, developer sessions, a special avatar panel discussion, John Carmack’s annual talk “Carmack Unscripted,” and an exclusive concert by Jaden Smith. We’ll have trivia in the lobby, and people viewing the event in Venues (Beta Early Access) will also get custom Facebook Connect avatar T-shirts for their avatars and a dedicated social lobby.

Safety and Privacy in Venues

Two weeks ago, we announced the roll-out of the Facebook Horizon invite-only beta, and we shared new features designed to put people in control of their experience in social VR, which expanded on what we’d already been doing in Venues over the past two years. We’ll bring these same new features to Venues (Beta Early Access) as well, as we expand the social interactions people can have in VR. As has always been the case with Venues, people must follow the Oculus Code of Conduct. And these new features will make it easier to submit reports and address issues.

You can access a personal Safe Zone through your wrist menu at any time in Venues. Our research over the past few years has found that when people experience something overwhelming or surprising in VR, they want the option to step away first, and then take action second. Once you’re in your personal Safe Zone, you can mute, block, or report people around you.

We also know things can happen quickly in VR, and reviewing reports takes time. So, similar to the functionality we’ve had in Venues for several years now, we’ve improved our system to provide a helping hand and address issues as they happen. If you mute, block, or report someone, a trained safety specialist, who will not appear as an avatar, may remotely observe and record the situation to ensure your safety. This way, they can submit additional evidence for us to review, and they can temporarily ban someone from Venues while we review reports.

And finally, we’ll soon introduce a feature to make it easier for you to submit reports in Venues. We know it’s difficult to record a painful incident while it’s happening, which is why your Oculus headset will capture the last few minutes of your experience in Venues on a rolling basis. When you submit a report, you can include this captured information as evidence of what happened. This information is collected through a rolling buffer that’s processed locally on your device and overwritten over time. Captured audio data from this rolling buffer is not stored on our servers unless a report is submitted; however, we may store other data about your experience in Venues in accordance with the Oculus Terms of Service and Notice of Monitoring and Recording to Improve Safety in Venues. When you submit a report, our trained safety specialists will use the information to take appropriate action and then delete the recordings.

See You in Venues

Venues is a great way to get closer to your interests with all the sounds, lights, and energy of really being there. With Venues, you can connect with friends and a fan community of thousands to watch concerts, sporting events, stand-up comedy, movies, and more. Check out the new and improved Venues (Beta Early Access) and experience the action like never before from the best seat in the house.