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Riot erupts after Lil Baby cancels headline set

A riot erupted at a hip-hop festival in Canada after rapper Lil Baby abruptly cancelled his headline performance due to illness.

The US artist had been due to close the two-day Breakout Festival at Vancouver’s 7,000-cap PNE Amphitheatre on 18 August, but pulled his set at the 11th hour, with organisers tweeting he was “too sick to perform”.

According to police, the announcement sparked fights among concert-goers inside and outside the venue, with seven people arrested for breach of the peace and “likely thousands of dollars” caused in property damage.

“Vancouver Police officers were already inside the venue and providing extra security when several hundred people began fighting and destroying property in the Amphitheatre, on the PNE grounds, and in the surrounding neighbourhood,” says constable Tania Visintin. “Dozens of extra officers were redeployed from other areas of the city to restore order, with some officers having bottles and other objects thrown at them.”

A criminal investigation into the disorder has now been launched.

“We will pursue criminal charges against people who participated in this violence and destruction”

“We will conduct a full and thorough investigation into the actions of anyone who destroyed property, put concert-goers in danger, or committed other criminal acts,” adds Visintin. “Though this investigation will take time, we will pursue criminal charges against people who participated in this violence and destruction.”

Artists including Polo G, Quavo & Takeoff and Saturday night headliner Trippie Red had performed at the event over the weekend. Breakout Festival had previously taken place in 2018 and 2019.

“Last night’s end to the 2022 Breakout Festival resulted in the worst case scenario of disappointment due to Sunday’s final performer cancelling and we want to apologise to everyone who peacefully left the venue, as well as the venue staff and the Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood for the way Breakout 2022 ended,” says a statement from organisers.

“We do not condone violence or destruction of property and are utterly disappointed with the way some of our patrons acted at this year’s event. Safety of our guests and venue staff is our number one concern. We did everything to make Breakout a unique and enjoyable experience for Vancouver’s rap fans.

“We want our audience to know we did everything in our power to make every festival a success and we want to thank every loyal fan and all of the staff who attended the events over the years. Stay tuned for information and details regarding partial refunds for two-day and Sunday Breakout 2022 ticket-holders.”


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Metaverse firm Everyrealm closes $60m funding round

Artist-backed metaverse firm Everyrealm has closed a US$60 million funding round.

The company (rebranded from Republic Realm) describes itself as “one of the most active investors in and developers of the metaverse ecosystem”.

The Series A funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, and individual investors in the platform include stars like Nas, Gunna, Baby Keem, Gene Simmons and Lil Baby.

The firm, led by CEO Janine Yorio was co-founded by TJ Kawamura, Julia Schwartz, Jesse Stein, and Kostas Ketikidis. According to the company, this investment marks one of the largest Series A rounds for a company led by a female CEO.

Founded in 2021, Everyrealm says that it has real estate holdings in 25 metaverse platforms, and that it has developed more than 100 metaverse real-estate projects. It also owns over 3,000 NFTs and manages an e-sports gaming guild.

Everyrealm’s metaverse real estate development projects include Fantasy Islands, an “ultra-luxury master-planned community” within the Sandbox platform which sold an associated NFT megayacht for 150 ETH (approximately $650,000).

The firm’s other projects include Metajuku, a shopping district in Decentraland; Realm Academy, an online educational campus in the metaverse, which is located in Somnium Space; and the GFT Shoppe, a multi-metaverse retail concept that sells NFTs “inspired by cult brands like Atari”.

“We are building the gateway to the metaverse”

According to data, sales of real estate in the metaverse topped $500 million last year and could double this year, according to investors and analytics firms.

Janine Yorio, CEO of Everyrealm, says: “Metaverse real estate development is all about placemaking.

“Everyrealm creates innovative and addictive social spaces that are futuristic and interactive like video games but still familiar to a mainstream audience, by invoking real-world architecture, culture and events.”

Yorio added: “Everyrealm is developing this interactive content across many genres, including sports, education, fashion, gaming, art and social experiences–all designed to draw users to the metaverse.

“We are also creating the infrastructure required to distribute that interactive content to a global, mainstream audience.

“We are building the gateway to the metaverse, to do for the metaverse what Coinbase did for crypto, what Netflix did for streaming entertainment, and what Google did for the internet.”


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