Club 21st Century

Launched in 1998, Club 21st Century was HyperJAM’s flagship project a showcase for interactive technological innovation around live music and performance events. Based for the first 2 years at the Vibe Bar in Brick Lane’s Truman Brewery it kick started the now vibrant scene there.

The events were consistently broadcast on the Internet at a time when webcasting still had the wow factor. However, recognising that simply broadcasting an event on the web was merely a replication of TV on the Internet that would soon become commonplace, Derek Richards was more interested in the potential for interaction. Club 21st Century accompanied its broadcasts with a chat room and, because we didn’t have smart phones then, computer terminals were installed at the venue so that online and real world audiences could communicate.

Most significantly audiences were able to participate remotely. One such feature included online VJing whereby Internet audiences could upload images for the club’s VJs to use as assets. The visuals were mixed with live camera feeds of live music performances enabling the online audiences to witness how their images were being used in the club.

The first event was featured on BBC1’s Tomorrow’s World programme – a prime time national TV programme in the UK that featured technology that glimpsed the future.

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