A multi-sensory joyride into the heart of a working class revolution in dance. Coventry City of Culture presents a euphoric interactive VR adventure that transports you into the heart of the Acid House movement, where finding the party is the only thing that matters.
Directed by Darren Emerson and produced by East City Films and BPM XR LTD, it is supported by the BFI awarding National Lottery funding and Coventry City of Culture Trust. World Premiere exhibition is presented by Coventry City of Culture Trust and East City Films as part of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.
Tickets will go on sale for In Pursuit of Repetitive Beats on 28 Jan 2022 at coventry2021.co.uk
The experience of tracking down and arriving at an all-night illegal warehouse party at the height of the
rave scene in Coventry, 1989, is being recreated in an interactive virtual reality experience by award-winning film-maker Darren Emerson for Coventry UK City of Culture.
The project will put audiences into the shoes of rave culture pioneers, exploring environments from poster-strewn bedrooms to pirate radio stations, and police headquarters to secret warehouses.
The Midlands rave scene was one of the most important in a youth culture movement that shaped a generation. Thousands from all over the country would make the pilgrimage each week to Coventry and party in woodlands, fields and disused buildings.
In Pursuit of Repetitive Beats takes audiences on a multi-sensory joyride into the past, bringing to life the stories of the promoters, police officers, and rave-goers, whose rivalries and relationships drove a revolution in music and society. Multi-sensory room scale interactive VR will enable participants to feel the anticipation, trepidation, excitement, and euphoria that was Acid House In Pursuit of Repetitive Beats has been created with extensive involvement of some of the leading figures of the Midlands rave scene at the time, including Coventry’s legendary promoters Amnesia House.
Director, producer and co-founder of East City Films, Darren Emerson is one of the UK’s leading VR filmmakers, with previous productions including Witness 360: 7/7, which was selected in competition at IDFA Doc Lab; VR documentary, Indefinite, winner of the first-ever VR commission by Sheffield Doc/Fest; and Common Ground which has been recognized by the UKRI as one of the Best of British immersive works of the last 20 years. Common Ground also won the award for Best Immersive Storytelling at Sandbox Immersive Festival in China, the Grand Prix Innovation at Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Outstanding VR Narrative at the World Press Photo Awards, and Best VR Experience at the Broadcast Digital Awards 2020.
Darren Emerson says:
With In Pursuit of Repetitive Beats I want to take audiences back to the thrill of one night in 1989, to use this immersive experience to re-examine what this moment means through the intersection of storytelling and interaction. It is a familiar tale of the Acid House experience, understood and lived by many, which contains universal themes of community, politics, and class disruption. It also serves as a revisionist take on this familiar story, because it is set in Coventry, a city not readily celebrated within the books, documentaries, and legends of Acid House. But for those that knew the score, they knew Coventry had its part to play.
This is my most ambitious and complex work to date, and it is a thrill to have been commissioned by Coventry City of Culture and supported by the BFI Film Fund. The East City Films team, working with our long-term collaborators All Seeing Eye, are striving to push the concept of what a VR narrative can be within an immersive environment. We are creating a piece of work which will take audiences on an amazing journey; utilising immersive cinematic filmmaking, jaw dropping animation, sonic aural landscapes and euphoric music, combined with embodiment and interaction.
Like the distant memories of Acid House itself, this experience will capture the feeling and energy of the setting, create new contextual narratives about the scene, and inform and delight in equal measure.
Kristin Irving, BFI Senior Production & Development Executive, is said:
“We are excited to be working with East City Films to bring this project to audiences in such a unique way, thanks to funds from the National Lottery. Through the partnership with Coventry City of Culture, In Pursuit of Repetitive
Beats promises to bring innovative interactive VR to new audiences. It will not only challenge their perceptions of how we engage with stories through the moving image, but also celebrates a vibrant and important scene that although anchored to a place and time, has had such a huge impact on music and culture beyond Coventry in the 80s and 90s.”
Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of Coventry City of Culture Trust, says:
“The epic rave scene that swept the country and shaped a generation had one of its epicentres in
Coventry. We are so excited to be working with Darren, one of the UK’s leading VR filmmakers to
recreate that hedonistic time and allow audiences to be fully immersed in the energy and euphoria of
For more info visit Coventry City of Culture on: https://coventry2021.co.uk/