By Steve Baltin,
March 14, 2018
Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell estimates he began telling me about his vision for a new Las Vegas immersive experience called Kind Heaven five years ago. The project is one he has excitedly been working on for several years.
Yesterday, it took a big step to opening in August of 2019 when Farrell and his partners, Immersive Artistry and Caesars Entertainment, held a press conference at the Linq to introduce and explain Kind Heaven, a one-of-a-kind immersive complex that will transport attendees into another world, taking them deep into a Southeast Asia-inspired fantasy that is a complete
playground for the senses, featuring multiple musical stages, 40 food stations, bars and much, much more.
“It’s a very hard thing to explain because we’ve become almost abused with words like immersive, experiential,” Immersive Artistry’s Cary Granat told me. “VR and AR companies define themselves as immersive and experiential and yet they’re really only visual. This is the greatest moment because we get to finally explain to everybody what we are and fulfill Perry’s vision.”
The epic scope of Kind Heaven came into play as the different speakers at the 30-minute press conference explained the 18 months of construction would create 200 jobs, the finished experience would employ 670 people and the project was beginning with a $100 million investment, including some of Farrell’s own money. “I’ve got skin in the game,” he says matter of factly.
He is betting that immersive theater is the next step for live music. It’s hard to argue with his track record given Lollapalooza became the blueprint for tours like Warped and Ozzfest then reinvented itself as one of the premier music festivals in America. So the smart money is going with Farrell. After the conference he and I spoke at length about the inspiration for the show, the many facets of Kind Heaven, from acting to holograms, and why this will be his ultimate playground.
Steve Baltin: When did this go from being a concept to a reality?
Perry Farrell: The idea was immediately story boarded. The idea came from a very vivid dream. I saw Kind Heaven as a city from overhead as if I was a bird or an angel. I came down upon the city, landed on the city, watched a girl pickpocket someone who was passed out on the street, run away and there I was in this place. So I started to storyboard the whole thing. When I finished the storyboard came the music. I did the tracks with Tony Visconti, but that came later, after I met up with Cary. I brought the idea to my friend Kraig
Fox, who was, at that time, with the Guggenheim Partners. He said, “I want you to meet this friend who I think would be a great partner for you.” So over to Cary’s I went, Cary loved the idea. I felt a great rush of confidence and excitement cause I come from the music industry. The film industry has hundreds of people that all work together collectively to make a film. This project needed film industry knowledge, coordination, management and production because it was a hybrid of theater, festival and film. So it needed his expertise and my expertise. But what’s so fascinating is here’s a guy in film coming my way. You don’t get that, you don’t see people in the film industry coming towards music because people have not, up until now, thought to make immersive theaters musicals. That’s what changed it.
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