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Live Nation and Snap announce AR partnership

Live Nation and Snap have announced a multi-year augmented reality (AR) partnership that promises to “elevate performances beyond stages and screens” at festivals such as Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), Lollapalooza and Wireless.

With the help of Snap Inc.’s creative studio Arcadia, fans can open the Snapchat Camera at select concerts for AR experiences built into the experience of attending a show, extending the artist’s creative canvas into the crowd.

Festival attendees will also be able to use AR to try on merchandise, find friends and discover exclusive landmarks around the festival grounds. The company first partnered with Snapchat in 2014 for EDC Vegas.

“Snap’s augmented reality offers artists an incredible new creative tool that will change the way fans experience their performances”

“For years, video screens have been a canvas for visual expression at concerts and festivals around the world,” says the company. “They help artists tell their stories and bring music to life. We believe Snap’s augmented reality offers artists an incredible new creative tool that will change the way fans experience their performances.”

The technology will be showcased from 20-22 May at EDC Las Vegas, which helped Snapchat create its first “Our Story” eight years ago. Other participating events to be confirmed include Rolling Loud in Miami and The Governors Ball in New York.

LN also teamed with Snapchat in 2016 to package footage from four of its European festivals as ‘Live Stories’ on the popular instant messaging app. It also began selling tickets via Snapchat later that year.

 


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Insomniac and Unity reveal metaverse partnership

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) promoter Insomniac Events has partnered with leading 3D platform Unity on a “brand new, persistent metaverse world”.

The link-up, which promises to create “the next generation of live entertainment”, will focus on expanding dance culture from the physical world to the virtual, teaming Insomniac’s vision and creativity with Unity’s cutting-edge technology.

“It is an honour to be partnered with an incredible company like Unity on this new journey,” says Insomniac founder and CEO Pasquale Rotella. “Our vision is to create a social experience in which everyone is a Headliner – where stories and music unite us in discovery, love and a true sense of belonging.

“Unity is helping us create a world’s first experience for our community as we work together to deliver the next level of what the metaverse can be for entertainment and music.”

“Pasquale and his team are revolutionary and always looking to expand their vision”

Unity’s platform creates and operates interactive, real-time 3D (RT3D) content, allowing creators “to make their imaginations come to life”. The company’s SVP and GM of sports and live entertainment Peter Moore will go into more detail about the partnership and what it means for live music during a talk at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. this Sunday (13 March), which will also feature a video message from Rotella.

“Partnering with Insomniac Events is a fantastic opportunity for us here at Unity,” adds Moore. “Pasquale and his team are revolutionary and always looking to expand their vision and bring extra value to their community. This partnership is the beginning of a long relationship that we believe will usher in a new level of interactive and immersive experiences within the world of live entertainment.”

Insomniac brought EDC to the metaverse last October, becoming the first-ever music festival hosted in Roblox. Taking place in a virtual space dubbed the Insomniac World Party, it was held concurrently with the physical festival in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 


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Pioneering festivals set to launch in metaverse

Virtual blockchain-based world Decentraland is preparing to host the world’s first multi-day festival in the metaverse – a virtual world made up of permanent, shared, 3D virtual spaces.

The event, simply titled ‘Metaverse Festival’, will feature more than 80 high-profile artists and personalities across four days and five stages.

Deadmau5, RAC, 3LAU, Nina Nesbitt, 3Lau, Alison Wonderland and Aluna (of AlunaGeorge) are all scheduled to make appearances.

The festival organisers have even secured Paris Hilton – whose in-game avatar was designed by avatar technology company Genies.

Alongside music, Metaverse Festival will also offer a funfair, games, merch stands, a VIP lounge, chill-out zones, a psychedelic sculpture garden and – in a world-first – virtual portable toilets.

“Every festival needs portable toilets – even in the metaverse”

According to festival coordinator, Sam Hamilton, “every festival needs portable toilets – even in the metaverse”.

“These are no ordinary portable toilets. Every toilet contains a different experience. Some good, some bad, some mind-blowing. Definitely worth your while checking them out,” he adds.

Hamilton says festivalgoers wanting to ‘experience’ the virtual toilets will have to “queue up like everyone else”.

“But the toilets change with each visit. No two Dump ‘N’ Pump experiences are the same,” he adds.

The central theme of the Metaverse Festival is Evolution and the event will “transform” throughout the four days, from Water on day one, to Earth, Space, and finally, Metaverse.

This metamorphosis will be visible in the main Evolution stage, presented by Bitcoin trading platform Kraken, which is sponsoring the event, along with drinks brand Heineken and crypto-exclusive fund Metapurse.

“The beauty of the metaverse is you never know what you’ll find”

“This is our way of expressing human evolution – emerging from the water onto the land, reaching space and of course the next big leap which is a pioneering exploration of the metaverse,” explains Hamilton.

The line-up will be added to up until the last minute, which Hamilton says is “the beauty of the metaverse – you never know what you might find”.

The event runs from tomorrow (21 October) until 24 October and is accessible through the festival home page or Decentraland Events page.

Elsewhere, Roblox and event promoter Insomniac today announced they will bring one of the largest electronic music festivals in the world – Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) – to the metaverse.

Taking place concurrently with EDC in Las Vegas, Nevada, sets will be streamed on Roblox after the in-person shows

The event will be the first-ever music festival hosted in Roblox and will take place in a virtual space dubbed the Insomniac World Party.

Taking place concurrently with EDC in Las Vegas, Nevada, sets will be streamed on Roblox after the in-person shows – mirroring the real-life festival – and artists will join the experience in Roblox after their sets to hold ‘meet and greets’ and interact with fans.

The festival will capture the environment that EDC is known for, replicating the event’s iconic stages and featuring interactive activities like dance battles. Joining the event will also give attendees the chance to win real and virtual merchandise.

EDC will be held in the metaverse from 22–25 October with the virtual space opening on 19 October.

Today’s news comes days after Facebook announced it plans to hire 10,000 people to develop a so-called metaverse, as the race to build the ‘next iteration of the internet accelerates.

 


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Banner festivals postpone in America

Burning Man, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas and Lollapalooza Brasil have become the latest high-profile festivals to cut their losses and cancel or postpone their respective 2021 editions.

Annual countercultural arts event Burning Man has been cancelled for a second consecutive year, though organisers say it will return in 2022.

The organisers of the festival, which typically draws tens of thousands of people to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert each year, had been considering making Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for the event in August 2021 but have ultimately decided to forego this year’s event.

In a statement, they said: “Although here in the United States we may be feeling the weight lifting and the light at the end of the tunnel brightening, we are still in the pandemic, and the uncertainties that need to be resolved are impossible to resolve in the time we have.”

Elsewhere in the US, the organisers of EDC Las Vegas have been forced to postpone the 25th edition from May to October due to local restrictions on large-scale events.

“We are still in the pandemic, and the uncertainties that need to be resolved are impossible to resolve in the time we have”

According a statement by EDC founder Pasquale Rotella, Nevada state officials announced they would lift social distancing requirements as of 1 May, permitting the festival to go ahead as planned at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The statement goes on to say that on 21 April, the Clark County passed a reopening plan that requires 60% of their residents to be vaccinated before restrictions over large scale gatherings can be lifted, casting uncertainty over the viability of the event.

“We currently have over 40 trucks en route to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway from all over the country,” wrote Rotella. “The lineup is fully booked and was going to be announced tomorrow [22 April] at 12 pm PT. The team and I are heartbroken, as I know many of you are as well. For those who have stayed with us on this journey, I thank you. Your trust & loyalty is what gives us strength to keep moving forward.”

EDC Vegas has now been rescheduled to 22-24 October.

Meanwhile, Lollapalooza, which has planted its flag in seven countries, has pulled its Brazil edition due to the pandemic.

“It became increasingly clear that it will not be possible to have the spectacular weekend you love in 2021”

“Our mission has always been and will always create amazing days and nights for you, passionate about music,” says a statement on the festival’s website. “Moments that shiver, that inspire, that fall in love, and that never leave the memory. We really wanted to make another unforgettable edition this year, but with the public health emergency of international importance due to the pandemic, it became increasingly clear that it will not be possible to have the spectacular weekend you love in 2021.”

The festival, organised by South America’s largest live entertainment company Time For Fun, would have taken place in September 2021 but fortunately fans won’t have to wait an entire year for its return.

The 9th edition will take place between 25 and 27 March 2022 at Interlagos Circuit, in São Paulo.

At the time of writing, Lollapalooza is still set to go ahead in Chile and Argentina in November 2021, while dates are yet to be announced for Berlin and Chicago, which typically take place late summer/early autumn. The Paris and Stockholm 2021 editions have already been cancelled.

 


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EDC promoter Insomniac revives Okeechobee fest

Majority Live Nation-owned Insomniac Events is teaming up with Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival (OMF) founder Soundslinger to bring the event back for 2020, following a year’s break.

The multi-genre music and camping festival will to return to its home in Sunshine Grove, Florida, from 5 to 8 March, 2020.

Launched in 2016, Okeechobee attracted around 32,000 visitors annually to see headliners including Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire, Robert Plant, Kings of Leon and Skrillex. Despite sold-out editions in 2017 and 2018, Soundslinger announced the 2019 event would not go ahead.

“It’s official! I’m happy to announce that Insomniac will bring the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival back to Sunshine Grove,” says Insomniac founder and chief executive Pasquale Rotella.

“I’m a big fan of what [Soundslinger founder and DJ] Rechulski and the Okeechobee team have built, and honoured to be able to lead such a unique event and continue the journey,” continues Rotella. “As someone who tries to always put culture first, I recognise how passionate this extraordinary community is, and I’m excited to bring this festival back and make it better than ever.”


The partnership is the second move in Florida in as many months for Insomniac, which recently took control of historic Miami club Space. The promoter launched the Orlando, Florida edition of festival franchise Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) in 2011.

“I am so excited once again to enter the portal alongside Pasquale Rotella and the Insomniac team,” comments Rechulski. “The best years are ahead of us, and I am certain that together we will continue our beautiful story for many more years to come.”

OMF 2020 will kick off on Tuesday 5 March with a nighttime pre-party. In addition to the festival’s three main stages and Jungle 51 dance party, festivalgoers will have access to immersive art, yoga classes, workshops and artisan vendors, as well as a 24-hour supermarket, all-day food options and other facilities.

Tickets go on sale on the OMF website on Friday 23 August at 10 a.m. (ET), with four-day camping passes starting at US$249 and VIP packages from $649.

 


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Study: 1 in 4 people attend festivals sober

Streaming platform Cloud Cover Music has examined the changes in music festival experiences across the United States over the last few decades in a new survey asking respondents about sobriety, drug intake, sex, memorable acts and life-changing experiences.

The study finds that 24% of those surveyed reported being sober at music festivals. Alcohol consumption at festivals has been higher in the past decade than previously, rising from 64% in the noughties to 71%.

The survey finds that festivalgoers in the 1980s were more likely to consume marijuana or hard drugs, witness violence and rioting, have sex and witness nudity at a festival than they are now. 83% of attendees in that same decade described festivals as life-changing, compared to 53% in the 90s, 62% in the noughties and 65% now.

Burning Man consistently proved to be the least sober event, with 45% of festivalgoers saying they drank alcohol and consumed a mixture of drugs at the event

82% of respondents stated that Woodstock 1969 was life-changing, making it the most impactful music festival on the survey. However, the festival had only 17 survey respondents. Ultra Music Festival was voted the second most life-changing music festival with 78%, followed by Electric Daisy Carnival (75%) and Burning man (73%).

Burning Man consistently proved to be the least sober event, with 45% of festivalgoers saying they drank alcohol and consumed a mixture of drugs at the event. The results coincide with secondary ticketer TickPick’s survey of drug consumption at festivals last year. In contrast, 72% of respondents say they did not consume any substances at Warped Tour.

Across genres and festivals, Red Hot Chili Peppers were ranked the most memorable act at music festivals, with Jane’s Addiction, Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé and Tiësto also making the top five.

The full study can be read here.

 


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Electric Daisy Carnival heading for China

EDM festival juggernaut Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) will touch down in China for the first time this April, promoter Insomniac has announced.

In partnership with local promoter Zebra Entertainment Enterprise, Live Nation-owned Insomniac will transform Shanghai’s International Music Park with “awe-inspiring stages, incredible laser and light displays, imaginative theatrical performers and world-renowned dance music artists” for the inaugural EDC China on Sunday 29 and Monday 30 April.

“To bring EDC halfway around the world is a milestone for our entire Insomniac family,” says Pasquale Rotella, founder and CEO of Insomniac. “China marks EDC’s sixth international location, and I’m excited to connect and create beautiful new moments with the country’s passionate and ever-growing dance music community.”

Insomniac’s flagship EDC Las Vegas festival welcomes more than 400,000 fans over three days each year, with international events including past and present EDCs in Mexico, India, Brazil, the UK and Japan.

 


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EDC Japan is a go for 2017

EDC Japan, the delayed inaugural east-Asian edition of Insomniac’s Electric Daisy Carnival, is confirmed for next spring.

The festival was originally slated for this year but was put on hold in March, along with the cancellation of EDC Puerto Rico and Beyond Wonderland Bay Area.

“Dance music has become a global phenomenon that we are fortunate enough to share with our EDC communities around the world in India, Mexico and the UK,” says Rotella. “Taking EDC to Japan has been a goal that’s years in the making, and I can’t wait to deliver something really special in 2017.”

The festival will take place at Tokyo’s Zozo Marine Stadium (30,000-cap.) and Makuhari Beachon 28 and 29 April, co-promoted by Insomniac, Creativeman, Live Nation Japan and GMO Internet Group.

The confirmation of EDC Japan comes alongside news that EDC New York will not go ahead next year.

“Although EDC New York 2016 was one of my favourites hosted in the Big Apple, we’ve decided to take a break in 2017,” writes Rotella in a Facebook post outlining Insomniac’s plans for 2017. “We hope many of you east-coast headliners will join us in Vegas.”

Insomniac this year held its first event in India, at Delhi’s Buddh International Circuit. Ajay Nair, of local promoter OML, told IQ earlier this month the event was affected by India’s demonetisation crisis, with ticket sales down an estimated 1,000–1,500 per day as a result of the shortage in cash.

 


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Loss of festivals no big deal, says Goan minister

There will be no decline in tourism in Goa this Christmas, despite the state government having forced two of India’s biggest musical festivals to relocate, its tourism minister has declared.

Rival dance music festivals Sunburn and Supersonic – the former of which attracted 350,000 festivalgoers in 2015 – will both move to Pune (Poona), in Maharashtra, this December after Dilip Parulekar declared they would no longer be welcome in Goa in 2016.

Speaking to the IANS news agency, Parulekar says the impact on tourism should be minimal. “People come for Goa’s culture, not because of EDM,” he comments. “It will not affect [footfall] much.”

“People come for Goa’s culture, not because of EDM”

Announcing Supersonic’s move, Saugato Bhowmik, of promoter Viacom18, praised Pune for its “openness towards modern influences” – in contrast, perhaps, to Goa, where one local politician accused dance music of being “against [Indian] culture and [pro-] pushing drugs” – and a “world-class destination” for the festival.

“Deeply-rooted in culture and traditions, the city is known for its openness towards modern influences and thought, Pune is a seamless blend of local culture and global influences, thereby making it an apt destination for the upcoming edition of Vh1 Supersonic,” says Bhowmik. “We also see this as an ongoing journey to provide transformative experiences to today’s youth by creating the Supersonic world at the kind of world-class destinations that Pune is providing to us. We are looking forward to a very successful Vh1 Supersonic, celebrating Pune as our new home.”

Insomniac held its first event in the subcontinent, Electric Daisy Carnival India, at the Buddh International Circuit near Delhi last weekend.

 


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EDC continues global expansion with Indian event

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), one of the world’s largest dance music festivals, will this year expand to a fifth country with the launch of EDC India.

The festival, a joint venture between Live Nation’s Insomniac Events and local promoter Only Much Louder (OML) and sponsored by Budweiser India, will take place in an as-yet-unannounced venue in New Delhi on 12 and 13 November.

Since its inception as a one-day festival in Los Angeles in 1996, EDC events have been held in cities across the US, as well as internationally, in the UK, Mexico and Brazil. (A spin-off festival was also announced for Tokyo but has since been called off.)

“I know India is a place where the magic of EDC can come alive in a truly unique way”

Vijay Nair, CEO of OML, says attendees can expect “one of the largest line-ups of international and Indian artists” at the “Vegas-style festival”, in reference to EDC’s flagship event in Las Vegas, Nevada. “We can’t wait to bring that experience to Indian fans and blow their minds,” he adds.

“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by [India’s] colourful and exotic culture,” comments Insomniac founder Pasquale Rotella. “I know it’s a place where the magic of EDC can come alive in a truly unique way, and we’ve got amazing partners in OML and Budweiser who can help make that happen.”

The location and timing for EDC India are key, as two of India’s biggest existing dance music events, Sunburn and Supersonic, are at loggerheads with the government of Goa after the state announced that their traditional Christmas/New Year slots are off limits in 2016. The Delhi event is, however, still comfortably within northern India’s cool season, meaning a repeat of the sweltering 109°F heat seen at this year’s EDC Las Vegas is unlikely.

 


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