Jeff Brown, a partner in the Chicago office of the Michael Best law firm and a specialist in intellectual property matters, said it may well happen. However, he cautioned that there's more to holographic tours than simply turning on a projector on from city to city.
"If they can get an arena full of ticket buyers putting up metal horns to a Dio hologram, that will be incredible," Brown told Eyes On Events.
However, the legal hurdles can be daunting. When a performer dies, the name, image and likeness rights held while they were alive may or may not still apply, and those rights must be secured. Brown added that if the hologram is created with third party images, it's necessary to acquire those rights as well.
There's also the added legal layers of performance rights, musical composition rights and trademark rights in the individual performer's name.
Eyellusion CEO Jeff Pezzuti explained that the technological hurdles that must be overcome aren't small either. His company is overseen by special effects artist Scott Ross, formerly of Lucasfilm, and co-founder of Digital Domain with "Avatar" director James Cameron.
"We scour archive footage and photos, then build several physical models that can be scanned and animated," he told Eyes On Events.
"The actual display of the hologram involves use of an invisible film that is stretched at an angle with an LED projector, projecting an image onto it to create the 3-D effect and illusion," he explained. "This is an incredibly complicated process."
Pezzuti said other artists, as well as the estates of deceased ones, have approached Eyellusion for similar treatment as album sales dwindle and revenue streams dry up. Yet many live artists are not up for the punishing physical demands of a 100-day world tour — especially older performers.
"Some don't want to tour as extensively, or they want to create unique live music experiences," Pezzuti said, adding that holograms and the use of technology "open up a realm of possibilities" beyond a simple live music show.
Eyellusion is aiming to raise $1.5 million in a first round of venture capital funding. He described the company as being led primarily by music fans, and he sees its overall mission as one of delivering artist legacies to future generations.
"This is an entirely new frontier in live music, and we believe it is the future," Pezzuti said.