Roy Orbison Hologram To Tour UK

Backed by the British Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a holographic Roy Orbison is going to perform the iconic singer’s biggest hits at 10 UK venues in April 2018.  

Roy Orbison
– Roy Orbison
file photo

Pollstar spoke to Danny Betesh, founder and MD of Kennedy Street, who promotes what has been dubbed the “Roy Orbison In Dreams: The Hologram UK Tour.”

Betesh promoted concerts with the original Roy Orbison in the ’60s, including a concert tour with the Beatles. So when U.S. company Beat Entertainment, which produces the show, approached him with the concept of a hologram tour, he fancied the idea.

The tour stops at theater-style venues and cut down arenas to ensure the sight lines to the stage are ideal for the holographic illusion. “The capacities range between about 2,200 and up to 4,500,” Betesh said.

From April 8-20, the tour will stop at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, Birmingham Genting Arena, Manchester O2 Apollo, Edinburgh Playhouse, Glasgow SEC Armadillo, Leeds First Direct Arena, Nottingham Royal Centre, Liverpool Echo 2, London Hammersmith Eventim Apollo and Bournemouth BIC.

The tour will expand to additional countries later in 2018.

Betesh can see hologram shows becoming a viable live entertainment model. “Hopefully we will be involved in more in the future. I know we’re not the only ones looking at this,” he said, pointing to recent reports of Frank Zappa and, indeed, Abba returning to the stage in holographic fashion.

“I can see this being something for future shows with different artists. I think you’ve got to get it right that the artists you go with have the attraction. Abba would be enormous I’d imagine.”

While sending deceased artists on tour is still a fairly new thing, releasing posthumous records is not, and Sony Music is putting out a Roy Orbison greatest-hits album featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Nov. 3.

The track list resembles what audiences can expect at the tour next year. It includes “Oh, Pretty Woman,” “You Got It,” “Only The Lonely,” “Crying,” “I Drove All Night,” “It’s Over” and “In Dreams” – all of which contributed to Orbison’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

It was Bruce Springsteen, who held the laudatory speech back then, saying: “Most of all I wanted to sing like Orbison. Everybody knows that nobody sings like Roy Orbison.”

Talking about the upcoming hologram tour, Alex Orbison, president of Roy Orbison Music, said: “My dad was one of the first people to combine rock and roll with orchestral sound so to see the full meal deal of having the big orchestra with my dad is really a dream set up.”