Swing at The Kimmel's New VR Experience

Press Release

Photo: Thrill Laboratory

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Philadelphia, PASwing @ The Kimmel's New VR Experience - The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is excited to announce Swing @ the Kimmel, an interactive and FREE 6-week, virtual reality swing installation in Commonwealth Plaza. In collaboration with Thrill Laboratory and “Thrill Engineer” Professor Brendan Walker of England, Philadelphians are invited to visit the Kimmel Center for this unique, artistic experience that conjures up memories of favorite childhood pastimes, blended with cutting-edge technology and imaginative designs.


This extended FREE programming on the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus is an expansion of ongoing Plaza programming that includes early childhood music education, jazz, Latin dance, and more.

“We welcome the Philadelphia community through our doors with Swing @ the Kimmel, a free, interactive installation intended to engage the public with performing and visual arts set in our Commonwealth Plaza,” said Ed Cambron, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “This is a product of the Kimmel Center’s strategic planning initiative to engage guests with free programming, and donations from these virtual reality swings directly benefit our Kimmel Center Education department and institution.”

Swing @ The Kimmel is free with a suggested donation. Participants, age 10 and above, will be encouraged to donate by texting K-I-M-M-E-L to 444999.

The virtual reality swings are designed by Dr. Brendan Walker, director of Thrill Laboratory (based in England) and feature a brand-new virtual reality, or VR, experience that combines art, aeronautical engineering, and design. In coordination with the participant’s swinging, Dr. Walker’s VR strategies include music brought to life in 3D and realistic geometric landscapes.

“Dr. Brendan Walker is touted as the ‘world’s first Thrill Engineer’ and we discovered his work as a result of the Kimmel Center being the only U.S. member of the international arts organization In Situ,” said Jay Wahl, Producing Artistic Director of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “As we strive to present unique and innovative arts experiences that defy the traditional perception of art, we are thrilled to welcome Professor Walker’s VR swings back to the Avenue of the Arts after first premiering during the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) 2018 Street Fair.”

Additional details including Swing @ the Kimmel schedule and ride restrictions are below:

Dates and hours of operation:

Monday, January 14 – Sunday, February 24

  • Monday/Wednesday/Thursday – 5PM – 9PM
  • Friday – 5PM – 10:30PM
  • Saturday/Sunday – 12PM – 9PM

Swings are available for general use without virtual reality headsets by guests to the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus any time during normal building operating hours not explicitly listed as Swing @ the Kimmel times noted above.

Restrictions include: All VR participants must be 10 years old or older, 50” or taller, and less than 280 lbs. Waivers will be provided on site.

VR Swings by Thrill Laboratory is made possible with support from the University of Nottingham.

 

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