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Sansar introduces tipping, announces December shows

Virtual live events platform Sansar has announced it will introduce artist tipping with its latest slate of concerts, set to kick off tomorrow (16 December) in partnership with Lost Horizon.

The December concert series, which features performances from the likes of the Martinez Brothers, Infected Mushroom and Kill the Noise, will also premiere Sansar’s browser option, which gives viewers on any device with an internet connection, including Mac and PC, the full Sansar experience, in addition to mobile and VR devices.

Tipping is already available in several other livestreaming services, though the Sansar functionality is the first in a virtual world-type online events platform. It will enable fans to “shower performers not only with love emotes” but with hard cash, from 1¢ up to US$50.

“Sansar is focused on ways artists can monetise their performances”

The platform already offers other money-generating features for artists, including ticketing and virtual merchandise sales.

“Today, when musicians are amongst the hardest hit, Sansar is focused on ways artists can monetise their performances with touring and festivals just about completely shut down,” comments Sheri Bryant, president of Sansar.

“We’re thrilled our incredible partner Lost Horizon is bringing such a diverse and stellar line-up to a vast, global audience, who is eager to see and support artists in any way they can.”

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Live music to start 2021 with a (virtual) bang

Tomorrowland, Big Hit and Lost Horizon have each announced virtual New Year’s Eve events to close a year of hugely successful livestreamed events.

Belgium EDM giant Tomorrowland has announced New Year’s Eve celebration ‘31.12.2020’, which will see more than 25 DJs perform across 27 time zones to usher in the new year.

The festival will start at 8 pm local time in all zones and will close at 3 am after performances from Armin van Buuren, CamelPhat, Charlotte de Witte, David Guetta, Diplo, Major Lazer, Martin Garrix, Snoop Dogg aka DJ Snoopadelic and more.

The festival will be hosted on Tomorrowland’s website and performances will be streamed from four stages in Naoz, a brand new digital entertainment venue in which “some of the festival’s most iconic themes” will feature.

Tomorrowland held its first-ever digital festival, Tomorrowland Around the World, in July and saw 1 million fans pay to attend – 150% more festivalgoers than usual.

K-pop superstars BTS are also expected to expand on the success of their 2020 virtual events, which have seen them break records and earn millions.

The group’s management Big Hit yesterday announced that artists from its roster would come together under one banner for the first time for a hybrid New Year’s Eve event.

Big Hit announced that artists from its roster would come together under one banner for the first time for NYE

The concert, presented by Weverse, will be livestreamed and limited seating will be available, in accordance with the government Covid-19 restrictions. If restrictions change, preventing the in-person aspect, the event will go fully digital.

Nu’est, Enhypen, Txt and Gfriend have already been confirmed for the event, with more line up announcements expected tomorrow (12 November).

BTS performed on New Year’s Eve last year, headlining Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest in New York’s Times Square alongside Post Malone, Sam Hunt and Alanis Morissette and more.

Lost Horizon, the VR music venue created by the team behind Glastonbury’s Shangri-La, will also be hosting a special New Year’s Eve event to end a season of virtual events in December.

The season will take place in VR event platform Sansar and will play host to DJs, underground acts and visual artists, before culminating with ‘Chasing Midnight’, a 24-hour global celebration on New Year’s Eve, taking in 12 time zones and 12 countdowns.

Lost Horizon launched its premiere festival in July, a four-stage event in Sansar featuring artists including Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim, Pete Tong, which reached 4.36m viewers, according to organisers.

 


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Lost Horizon announces season of VR events

Lost Horizon, the VR music venue created by the team behind Glastonbury’s Shangri-La, has announced its first season of virtual events in VR event platform Sansar.

The season will take place throughout December, playing host to DJs, underground acts and visual artists, before culminating with ‘Chasing Midnight’, a 24-hour global celebration on New Year’s Eve, taking in 12 time zones and 12 countdowns.

Lost Horizon launched its premiere festival in July, a four-stage event in Sansar featuring artists including Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim, Pete Tong, which reached 4.36m viewers, according to organisers.

Commenting on the upcoming season of events, Robin Collings, co-director of Lost Horizon, says: “We are incredibly excited to launch the second phase of Lost Horizon with a raft of exciting shows in December, plus we have some huge plans for 2021 and beyond. In these troubled times, our mission is to bring some joy and real culture into people’s lives.

“In these troubled times, our mission is to bring some joy and real culture into people’s lives”

“Lost Horizon’s virtual platform offers so much more than other VR events, allowing people to connect with their friends and meet people from around the globe, you can literally chat, live using your computer’s mic and speakers, to other people in the virtual world, while watching some amazing DJs and live music! Real events in a virtual world”.

The acts, which are yet to be announced, will perform across six customisable areas in the virtual venue, including festival stage Freedom; 360-degree digital arena the Gas Tower; media centre SHITV; underground club Nomad; plus a virtual open-air art gallery and the interactive Landing Zone, which features merch stalls, art, seating and info points recreating the festival experience.

Viewers can explore the interactive, multi-stage venue in Sansar via PC and VR, web browser or app. The season’s events will also be streamed live, globally.

Prior to Lost Horizon’s season of events in December, the virtual reality venue will host the 18th edition of London Mela, the UK festival of South Asian culture.

For 2020 London Mela – usually held in Southall Park, west London – becomes Melatopia, a VR event taking place online on 7 and 8 November 2020, and featuring the same mix of music, dance and culture from the Indian subcontinent and surrounding countries.

 


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London Mela announces Melatopia festival

The 18th edition of London Mela, the UK festival of South Asian culture, will be held in a virtual-reality venue created by the team behind Lost Horizon.

For 2020 London Mela – usually held in Southall Park, west London – becomes Melatopia, a VR event taking place online on 7 and 8 November 2020, and featuring the same mix of music, dance and culture from the Indian subcontinent and surrounding countries.

As with Lost Horizon, which was seen by four million people in 100 countries, Melatopia viewers will be able to experience live artists, DJs and dance performances in a virtual world created especially for the event, and on a range of platforms, including smartphone, tablet, computer or virtual-reality (VR) headset.

Like Lost Horizon, Melatopia will be built using Sansar, Wookey Technologies’ platform for virtual live events.

“We want to build festivals that the whole world can attend”

Performers will include headliner the Raja Kumari, bhangra legend Panjabi MC, Juggy D and Pandit Ram Sahai Sangeet Vidhyalaya, qawwali star Chand Ali Khan and BBC Future Sounds artist Celina Sharma. All artists will be recorded exclusively for the festival.

Remarkable Productions’ Julian Rudd, producer of London Mela, comments: “Remarkable Productions is really excited to be working at the coalface of digital, VR and online festival production with such impressive partners.”

“In these dark days for artists around the world, Melatopia represents hope and opportunity that there is a future for our sector,” he adds. “Alongside Nutkhut and Mela Partnership, we are proud to present Melatopia, the world’s first truly global VR mela festival of desi culture.”

Lost Horizon’s Chris Macmeikan MBE says Melatopia is a proof of concept that, once built, “like a real venue” can be used multiple times.

“We want to build festivals that the whole world can attend,” adds Macmeikan. “In July of this year, our innovative work with VR and streaming at Lost Horizon attracted over 4m people from over 100 countries.

“Melatopia is an exciting new opportunity to bring this international diaspora of people together”

“That is why we are so excited that our second project is with London Mela. London Mela is already a hub to the entire Asian diaspora. Now, we will create the world’s first global mela together.”

“When a global diaspora meets new technology, change happens,” comments Ajay Chhabra, artistic director of Melatopia. “The South Asian presence in Silicon Valley is completely engaged with Mela, and Melatopia is our way of bringing people together in a time of isolation.

“Change creates challenging new opportunities. With so much change occurring all around us, from the very personal loss of loved ones to the major change artists and communities are facing the world over, Melatopia is our way to keep fearless ambition alive, to be bold, to take risks and to create a new platform for what we know best: the coming together of community and artists to create a new utopia – Melatopia.

“The South Asian diaspora is international, with a footprint on every major continent, in every major city globally. In a time of isolation, Melatopia is an exciting new opportunity to bring this international diaspora of people together, by using new technology and cross arts to form connections to a new and intergenerational audience.”

 


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Shangri-La’s Lost Horizon records 4m+ viewers

More than four million people worldwide tuned in to Lost Horizon, the new virtual festival by the team behind Glastonbury Festival’s Shangri-La, which took place on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 July.

According to organisers, a total of 4.36m viewers, from over 1,100 cities in 100 countries, attended the event, which took place over six stages built in VR events platform Sansar, some of which recreated real places in Glastonbury’s after-hours Shangri-La area. That figure includes viewers on Sansar/VR, PC, iOS and Android, as well as streams on Beatport, Twitch and social media services.

More than 70 DJs and artists, including Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox and Frank Turner, performed at Lost Horizon, which transformed performers into in-world avatars or green-screen holograms. Those who attended the festival in Sansar could visit six virtual worlds, with nine camera angles apiece, purpose-built for the occasion.

Tickets were free, though fans could buy merchandise for their avatars, as well as ‘premium’ tickets, which raised money for the festival’s charity partners, the Big Issue and Amnesty International UK. Streams of the content remain available online, and catch-up viewers can still donate to the charities.

In addition to the music, those who visited the in-world freedom stage could see a virtual-reality exhibition, Yours Truthfully, while 50 films were available to view.

“It was spooky how similar it was to the real thing”

Kaye Dunnings, creative director of Shangri-La and Lost Horizon, says: “I don’t think you can ever recreate the feeling of being in a crowd of people, and how powerful that is, but it was spooky how similar it was to the real thing.

“I met up with friends, made new ones, was able to make an avatar that could dance – with moves I could never pull off in real life – and the classic festival experience of bimbling between areas, overhearing conversations and marvelling at the wonderful looks people had created for themselves was just like people watching at a festival.”

“Lost Horizon broke so many firsts we’re still counting,” says Chris ‘Tofu’ Macmeikan MBE, Lost Horizon and Shangri-La director. “It is the closest you can get to being at a festival without leaving your lounge. We all worked really hard to create this next-level thing to see our friends and raise money for the Big Issue and Amnesty. I’m old and remember seeing colour TV for the first time, but this is 100 times better.”

Ed Jenkins and Jolyon Klean, from Orca Sound Project, jointly add: Programming the Gas Tower in Lost Horizon felt like putting together a dream festival line-up. The goodwill and excitement surrounding such an innovative and experimental project just goes to show how the rule book has been rewritten by the challenges we all face in the entertainment industry.

“Hopefully we’ve proven that there are new frontiers to explore and ways to communicate with fans that continue to push boundaries.”

 


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