Apps, installations and virtual reality await — #FutureFunk is here - DC


May 2, 2017 9:49 am

Apps, installations and virtual reality await — #FutureFunk is here

D.C.'s annual Funk Parade is celebrating the future this year.

Funk Parade 2016.

(Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

Every year the Funk Parade organizing team gets together to decide on a theme. And this year? That theme is the future. This year, on May 6, we’re getting #FutureFunk.

“Given the election and the way people are feeling we felt like this was a time to look toward the future and the vision of what kind of community we want to be a part of,” parade cofounder Chris Naoum told

The music itself is getting more futuristic and technical, Naoum said, and so the team was inspired to integrate some additional tech components. For example, this year’s parade will feature a VR lounge based at iStrategyLabs on S Street. “I was inspired by something at South by Southwest,” Naoum said. There he saw people using Google’s TiltBrush to draw images of community — a concept he wants to shift and use for a virtual reality “My vision of the future” wall (a take on those “Things I want to do before I die” walls). The space will also provide an opportunity for the Funk Parade to join forces with the creative, artistic VR component of the #dctech world — companies like NotionTheory and Bonsai and Sunnyside VR will all be there.

“I think our tech component is really going to grow from here,” Naoum said. “I want to have a robot breakdancing competition one day… Why not?”

But Funk Parade 2017’s tech component doesn’t end there — the parade has a brand new app built by the folks at Deloitte Digital (just as that Boombox app was last year). The app, Naoum said, is mainly informational. It has a schedule and a map of events ad Naoum hopes it’ll help people realize how much happens at Funk Parade beyond the eponymous parade. It also aims to help attendees get deeper into the music — individual artist pages allow users to listen to an artists music on Soundcloud or follow the artist on social media.


Going forward, though, Naoum hopes the app can grow and develop — this is just its first iteration. Check out that first iteration here (or, you know, in your app store), and get ready for some #FutureFunk.

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