Dio Hologram Debuts At Wacken

The Dio Disciples plan to go on tour with a digital projection of the late Ronnie James Dio, which premiered at Wacken Open Air festival in Germany.  

Photo: PG Brunelli

Dio Disciples were formed in 2011 after the passing of Ronnie James Dio. No original Dio members play in the band, which is managed byWendy Dio, the late singer’s wife. With the help of technology from the hologram entertainment company Eyellusion, they brought the singer on stage July 6.

Preparations for the gig took almost one year. According to Eyellusion, the Ronnie James Dio production “represents the world’s first rock hologram performance and the first time a hologram has been accompanied by a live band.” While the hologram version of Dio premiered at Wacken, the plan is to take it on a world tour next year.

Wendy Dio, who is also responsible for industry relations at Eyellusion, said: “The economics of making music are changing, with tours being more important than ever.

“For artists who have been blessed with legions of fans around the world, the question is how to continue meeting the demand for your music. At the same time, newer acts are thinking about how to build a following and reach more people. Today, all artists need to find new, modern ways to connect with fans and Eyellusion is supporting those efforts.”

Three of Dio’s original members – Vivian Campbell, Vinny Appice and Jimmy Bain – alongside singer Andrew Freeman formed a band called Last In Line in 2012 to keep Dio’s songs alive. In an interview with bigmusicgeek.com, Campbell said that “there is zero credibility with the Dio Disciples.”

One fan at Wacken said about the Dio Disciples gig: “At first I did not know what to think or to expect. But after I got over the initial surprise, it felt like Ronnie was still with us. It was wonderful, sad and emotional.”