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On November 4, the Beyond King Tut immersive experience will launch at the Vancouver Convention Centre. It will delight fans of immersive experiences, especially those interested in Egyptian history.
What makes the Vancouver debut so exciting is that November 4, the day the experience launches, is the 100th anniversary of when King Tut’s tomb was discovered in the Valley of the Kings by Howard Carter and his crew.
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A journey into the afterlife
While the Beyond King Tut experience shares a similar foundation to the Immersive Van Gogh and Picasso experiences, the similarities end quickly.
Those demonstrations were based on static paintings, whereas the Beyond King Tut experience comprises history, stories, photos, drawings, diagrams, and recreations of historical artifacts.
On the note of artifacts, no genuine artifacts are present at the exhibit.
Before the pandemic, Egyptian authorities approved using genuine artifacts for a travelling tour. However, the pandemic cut those efforts short. Egyptian authorities have since kept their artifacts back at home in Egypt, with no intention of letting them out anytime soon and perhaps ever again.
While artifacts would be cool and all, there’s still lots to see and experience during your time at Beyond King Tut in Vancouver. Artists have done a tremendous job of recreating the look and feel of some of the more significant artifacts.
Your journey at Beyond King Tut will take you through different rooms and experiences.
You’re initially seated in a room with walls lit up by a series of projectors and a short backstory about King Tutankhamun.
Then, without warning and like magic, a door you didn’t know was even there opens up, beckoning for you to commence this historic journey.
Got a sneak peek of #BeyondKingTut in Boston, heading to Vancouver next month.
Another immersive experience, but a darker one, as a large portion of it is about the afterlife. pic.twitter.com/eAAcPvtT2k
— Amir Ali ⌨️☕️ (@AmirsDoingItAll) October 3, 2022
The walls inside are ordained with Egyptian hieroglyphs in stunning detail.
The experience seemingly blends history with well-preserved photography that will soon be 100 years old.
Giving the entire experience a boost of academic knowledge is the collaboration between event organizers and National Geographic. The latter’s wealth of knowledge on the subject of Egyptology added much-needed authenticity to the entire experience.
We spoke with Kathryn Keane, the VP of public experiences for National Geographic, about the Vancouver event’s historic milestone.
“We have had this anniversary moment of November 2022 on our radar for a long time,” said Keane.
National Geographic also had a lot of input on how the exhibit was put together.
“Trying to decide how to tell the story in a new way, that is to the conscious decision to kind of lean in on this afterlife element of the story, which is quite strong in this exhibition, and you know, something that we might not have done if we didn’t have access to great animators and media producers and the ability to create, essentially new content.”
Mark Lach is the creative producer of the event, and his excitement for the project was tangible.
“What’s interesting about and what’s fantastic about doing these types of shows is you learn a little. You watch people’s habits; what are they noticing? What are they not noticing? What’s affecting them? What are they talking about? What did they miss completely? So that will be the case when we move to Vancouver.”
The final portion of the experience is the immersive room, where Lach says over 40 projectors are set up, which makes you feel like you’ve entered a different world.
— Amir Ali ⌨️☕️ (@AmirsDoingItAll) October 3, 2022
This is when you follow King Tut into the afterlife.
During some parts of this phase of the experience, it felt like the entire room was moving.
When purchasing your ticket, you can go with the VIP experience, which entitles you to an exclusive virtual reality adventure and a merchandise package.
Go inside the tomb in VR
We tried the King Tut VR experience, which offers an excellent perspective of the inside of King Tut’s tomb and the adjacent rooms leading up to it. Earlier in the experience, you get to see pictures and diagrams of the tomb, so it was cool to feel how it was inside the tomb, thanks to virtual reality technology.
The VR experience called Tutankhamun: Enter The Tomb, is designed by CityLights, who were involved in Darren Aronofsky’s Spheres project.
The VR experience is included if you purchase a VIP ticket, and if you truly wanted to get a sense of the scope of the tomb of King Tut, it’s worth the price of admission. It’s narrated by Downtown Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville.
Regardless of your ticket option, Beyond King Tut should be an enlightening experience for all who enter King Tut’s tomb.
Beyond King Tut launches on November 4, and you can purchase your tickets here.
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