GrimesAI Coachella 2024

Production Design, XR & AR Visuals, VJ & Live Visuals, Lighting Design, Motion Capture, Technical Integration & Live Operations

XiteLabs and Grimes: Pioneering XR and AR at Coachella

In an exciting collaboration with Grimes and her team, XiteLabs orchestrated a dynamic creative technology pipeline for the music artist’s set at Coachella 2024. XiteLabs was involved with various aspects of technical and creative coordination, including production and technical design of the artist’s DJ booth, show previsualization, lighting design, live visuals, and VJ services. Most notably, XiteLabs delivered captivating XR and AR visuals for both in-person and broadcast audiences, as a Grimes fairy broke free from the confines of the artist’s DJ booth and flew above the Sahara Stage in a breathtaking finale sequence that blended digital and physical realities. 

Robust Previsualization:

Utilizing Carbon for Unreal Engine, the Xite team previsualized show programming for live media inputs and lighting design through some 50k parameters, helping Grimes and her team seamlessly creatively direct the visual experience of her set. Within the previsualization environment, the Xite team was also able to program and accurately preview the various extended reality (XR) and augmented reality (AR) elements created for the show. 

MOVE AI (Motion Capture) Breakthrough:

The team harnessed Unreal Engine and MOVE AI to help animate the Grimes fairy, allowing Grimes herself to perform and directly bring to life to her “digital twin”, as her captured choreography was directly translated into animated movements for the digital fairy character featured on the DJ booth and ultimately, in the AR finale moment of her set.

XR / AR Live Visuals:

The Grimes fairy, while initially “trapped” in the DJ booth, danced and moved around to the artist’s music in a real-time digital environment. Digital lighting and both the choreography of the fairy responded to live DMX and cued mocap data inputs. Further blurring digital and physical realities, livestream audiences were treated to a spectacular surprise, as the fairy seemingly broke out of the DJ booth and flew above the real-world audiences; a unique showcase of real-time AR media synchronized with timecode. 

Cutting-Edge Hardware:

For technical integration of the aforementioned show components, XiteLabs delivered three custom system racks equipped with:

  • Unreal Engine servers
  • Resolume media servers
  • Timecode, Showcontrol, SDI routing / networking
  • Live VJ (Visual Jockey) performance
  • LD (Lighting Designer)
  • Comprehensive project management

Ultimately, XiteLabs brought to life a mind-bending fusion of art, technology, and live performance that left Coachella audiences spellbound.


Shoutout to our onsite team Diego Castro (VR/AR/TD Production Director), Bobbie Bunn (VJ Programmer)

Vello Virkhaus (Creative Director and VJ), Josh Lowenstein (LD, Programmer), Amber Robertson (LD, Programmer), and Elisa Mendoza (Studio Manager/PA)



XiteLabs Artists and Team:

Vello Virkhaus, Creative Director / VJ

Greg Russell, Executive Producer

Bobbie Bunn, Artist, Programmer, VJ

Diego Castro, TD, VP/XR, Production Director

Steve Geer, Project Management

Amber Robertson, LD, LJ

Josh Robertson, LD, LJ

Rodel Aragon, Lead Unreal Character Animator & VFX

Valerie Aragon, Engine Artist

Liam Fang, 3D Design

Myokyung Shon, 3D Design

Matt Baamonde, 3D Design and Roto VFX

John Craig, Production Concept Artist

Manuel Castro, Booth Production Tech

Jonathan Castro, Booth Production Tech

Elisa Mendoza, Studio Manager, PA



3D GrimesAI design by Grimes & Laliett

Creative Direction Koto & Grimes

Motion Capture by MOVE AI and MetaLVX

Mocap Character Cleanup Rodel Aragon & Pixelalabs