Whitney Houston, Gorillaz, Hatsune Miku: What is a hologram tour?

Last updated at 10:03
Janelle MonaeGetty Images

Whatever music you like, nothing beats seeing your favourite band or artist live in concert, right?

You and your mates singing along to your favourite tracks with thousands of other fans.

But does the performer actually need to be there for the show?

Well not if they've got a 'hologram'. BTS, Janelle Monae and MIA are just some of the music stars using the tech in their shows.

Hatsune-Miku.Getty Images
Hatsune Miku is so famous she's described as a 'virtual idol'

Meet Hatsune Miku, a 16-year-old pop star from Sapporo, Japan.

She opened for Lady Gaga during her 2014 tour, released a remix of Happy with Pharrell Williams, and is off on her world tour on 14 October.

Miku regularly performs to thousands of fans at her sell-out concerts across the globe.

But Miku is a hologram. A special computer programme allows her to sing and perform and fans can even use this programme at home to make their own songs!

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The Gorillaz performed as holograms with pop superstar Madonna at the Grammys

But hologram stars aren't new. Back in 1998 musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett created Gorillaz - a virtual band.

The four members; 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle, and Russel Hobbs have had huge success as a virtual band.

Their 2001 debut album went triple platinum and they made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as Most Successful Virtual Band.

And holograms aren't just for celebs. A circus in Germany is using hologram animals instead of real ones in their shows.

And some tech experts reckon we could soon be using hologram technology instead of phones to communicate with each other.

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Fans of Whitney Houston will soon be able to see her hologram in concert

Hologram tours are also a great way for fans to experience a concert by music stars of the past.

Dates for a 2020 hologram tour by Whitney Houston have been released and rapper Tupac, Michael Jackson and 1950s singer Roy Orbison have all appeared as holograms.

Are there any downsides to hologram tours?

According to Danny Betsch, who works on big hologram tours, the problem is that they can only be seen looking straight on. So seats at the side of the stage can't be sold to fans.

The stage and arena must also be kept very dark so that the hologram is visible.

Some critics of hologram shows say the performance can feel a bit flat because it is lacking the atmosphere of a live performance.

What do you think?

Would you go see a hologram in concert? Do you like the idea? Or would you rather see the real thing?

Let us know in the comments below.

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