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The Sphere had a splashy debut. This year’s July 4th show may be better

Updated June 20, 2024 - 4:22 pm

The Sphere celebrates its one-year anniversary of igniting its worldwide fame by jumping into the stream.

“Sphere Fourth of July Celebration,” a new show on the Exosphere, will play at 9:3o p.m. and 11:4o p.m. on July 4. “XO Stream,” the official livestream of the Exosphere available at all hours, premieres at 9:30 p.m. July 4 and will be available at thesphere.com and on the venue’s official YouTube page. “XO Audio,” the custom sound system synced to the Exosphere shows, debuts along with the livestream, and can also be heard live on the Sphere property.

Prior to all that activation, Sphere officials honor the Las Vegas student artists who took part in the Sphere XO Student Design Challenge with an awards ceremony.

Sphere Entertainment Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Dolan said this upgrade to the bulbous wonder is just the beginning.

“Sphere has become a global landmark that has redefined the live experience, including the Exosphere, a captivating platform for storytelling since it first illuminated last Fourth of July,” Dolan said in a statement. “We’ve only scratched the surface of what Sphere is capable of both creatively and technologically. Now, with the addition of ‘XO Audio’ and ‘XO Stream,’ we are building on our commitment to immersive experiences that create a deeper multi-sensory connection – one that can be shared across the Las Vegas community and around the world.”

The show is presented by Verizon and the content was created and developed by Sphere Studios, which develops all live entertainment technology for the Sphere. The July 4 show “highlights America’s entrepreneurial and innovative spirit,” according to a news release, which spells out the July 4 program:

— The show will begin with a celebration of Sphere’s architecture and its impact on the Las Vegas skyline.

— This will be followed by creative focused on the stars and stripes and will continue with a nod to the history of Nevada and the Wild West.

— The Sphere’s most impressive Exosphere content over the past year will then be transformed into a montage, and followed by an innovative piece of creative that turns Sphere inside out and highlights the inside of the venue as a “temple to the arts.”

— The show will close with a digital fireworks celebration on the Exosphere.

The Exosphere was first animated on July 4, 2023, immediately garnering international attention and acclaim that has not abated. The world’s largest LED screen, the 580,000-square-foot Exosphere consists of approximately 1.2 million LED pucks. It is capable of displaying more than 1 billion colors.

“This Fourth of July we are celebrating the Exosphere and all the ways it amazes and connects with audiences around the world, building on its impact and reach,” Sphere President and Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Koester said. “With the launch of both ‘XO Audio’ and ‘XO Stream’ as part of the Exosphere experience, brands and artists can create an even more immersive experience both live and across social media.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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