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Metaverse Music Festival launches in South Korea

Korea’s leading mobile operator SK Telecom has launched the world’s first live virtual concert to use volumetric image capture technology.

The Metaverse Music Festival kicked off yesterday (27 June) and is being held at the Volumetric Concert Hall via SK’s Ifland metaverse platform every day from 8pm until 3 July.

Aju Business Daily reports the festival involves eight artists and an avatar girl group, as well as featuring live avatar performances and fan meetings.

The publication notes that audiences can enjoy the festival by moving 360 degrees to their desired location at the sphere-type hall, and can freely float in the air on a flying skyboard.

“We used volumetric technology that simultaneously captures 360-degree images of people with more than 100 cameras and creates a three-dimensional image based on live action”

“At the Ifland Metaverse Music Festival, we used volumetric technology that simultaneously captures 360-degree images of people with more than 100 cameras and creates a three-dimensional image based on live action,” says SKT, as per Korea IT Times. “Thanks to this, the audience can see the K-Pop star as huge as a building.”

The festival is part of SKT’s project to incorporate metaverse technology into K-pop content targeting Generation Z.

SKT, which demoed the content at MWC 2022 in Barcelona earlier this year, says that further volumetric concerts will be held in August.

Last October, virtual blockchain-based world Decentraland unveiled the world’s first multi-day festival in the metaverse – a virtual world made up of permanent, shared, 3D virtual spaces.

The event, Metaverse Festival, featured more than 80 high-profile artists and personalities across four days and five stages.

In addition, Electric Daisy Carnival promoter Insomniac Events partnered with leading 3D platform Unity earlier this year 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.

 


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Web3 firm teams with Elrow to launch Vatom Europe

California-based Web3 company Vatom has signalled its European expansion by unveiling a newly formed strategic partnership with Superstruct-owned Spanish events brand Elrow.

Vatom Europe will operate out of Barcelona, Spain, with Elrow president and board member Vicenc Marti taking on the new role of Vatom GM for Europe, overseeing all European operations.

The collaboration promises to bring immersive Web3 experiences to festival-goers, enabling both virtual and real life experiences.

“We love the idea of offering personalised experiences and awards to our most special fans of our shows through leveraging innovative technology such as Vatom’s,” says Elrow CEO and founder Juan Arnau Jr. “We’re always looking for new ways to engage fans like never before, so now having the ability to offer these next level experiences to attendees is very meaningful.”

“There is clearly a huge appetite for the immersive virtual experiences that Vatom enables”

Vatom plans to continue building its presence throughout Europe and launched its first collaboration with Elrow Town Madrid last month. Using Vatom’s cross-chain, NFT-focused digital wallet, accessible through the festival app, fans unlocked free, collectible NFTs and participated in an AR egg hunt on festival grounds to access exclusive offerings.

“When we first introduced the Elrow family to Vatom technology, the fan response far exceeded our expectations,” adds Marti. “There is clearly a huge appetite for the immersive virtual experiences that Vatom enables, and we’re excited to explore the endless ways this technology can enhance the future of music festivals and fan engagement.”

Vatom’s Web3 platform technology will be integrated into Elrow’s portfolio, with activations expected throughout the year at events in Ibiza, London, Amsterdam, Croatia, New York and San Francisco.

“Given Elrow’s status as a global powerhouse of music experiences, we felt they were the perfect partner to embrace Web3 innovations and further-scale Vatom’s metaverse platform internationally,” adds Eric Pulier, founder and CEO of Vatom. “Not only will our newfound presence in Europe allow us to create more innovative, interconnected, and rewarding experiences for Elrow attendees, but it will enable other global brands the ability to easily create and interact with their consumers in more immersive ways.”

 


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Roblox announces first music awards show ft Lizzo

Roblox will be hosting the first music awards show in the metaverse, featuring Lizzo’s debut performance on the platform.

The platform will bring into the metaverse Logitech’s second annual Song Breaker Awards, which honours “creators shaping pop music through dance challenges, memes and trends they have created and shared on social media, especially on TikTok and YouTube, over the past year”.

Hosted by popular YouTuber and influencer Bretman Rock, the show will see multi-Grammy Award-winning artist Lizzo make her metaverse debut with a performance of her new track ‘Special’.

“We’re always looking for new ways to bring unique, immersive experiences to our community,” says Jon Vlassopulos, Roblox VP and global head of music.

“Logitech hosting the first-ever music award show on Roblox is exciting as we continue to push the limits of creativity on our platform and celebrate creators worldwide.”

“We’re always looking for new ways to bring unique, immersive experiences to our community”

Other creators coming together for this year’s celebrations include the Peachy Princess of Roblox MeganPlays, Twitch streamer Shroud and musician and activist Jaden Smith. There will also be a music performance by singer-songwriter Gayle, best known for her Billboard number-one hit ‘abcde-forget-u’.

In the pre-show experience on Roblox, fans can ride a rollercoaster, collect Creator Coins, earn badges through gameplay to unlock special items, take a selfie XL photo with friends and buy exclusive merchandise – proceeds from which will go to MusiCares.

Honourees for the awards appeared on the Billboard Song Breaker Chart, a monthly music industry chart co-created with Logitech For Creators. See the full list here.

The Song Breaker Awards will premiere on Roblox on Saturday 30 April at 10:00 PST with three additional performances throughout the weekend. The pre-show experience opens today (26 April).

Roblox’s Jon Vlassopulos will be appearing in The Metaverse & Live Music session tomorrow at ILMC.


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Roblox secures 24kGoldn for next virtual concert

Roblox and Sony have announced a virtual concert experience starring Billboard chart-topping recording artist, 24kGoldn.

The 24kGoldn El Dorado Concert Experience will feature the rapper’s debut performance of new single In My Head, as well as metaverse-spanning pre-concert quests and exclusive verch (virtual merchandise).

The American rapper and singer follows in the footsteps of artists such as Lil Nas X, Twenty One Pilots, Royal Blood, David Guetta and Ava Max

“I grew up on Roblox and have been a big fan my whole life,” says 24kGoldn. “It’s been amazing to be a part of the full experience to make this virtual concert come to life. From coming up with the storyline and transforming my hometown to designing verch, I wanted to give my fans a one-of-a-kind experience.”

Jon Vlassopulos, VP, global head of music, Roblox, adds: “It was so exciting to see how passionate Golden was to extend his creative vision to Roblox where he also grew up playing.

“Roblox is changing the game for artists, freeing them to express themselves in a way they can’t do on any other platform and allowing them to connect with millions of fans who would never be able to get to see them play in the real world!”

“[Roblox allows artists] to connect with millions of fans who would never be able to get to see them play in the real world”

The 24kGoldn El Dorado Concert Experience will also feature a full storyline pitting 24kGoldn against an evil version of himself in a battle to save the city of ‘San Dorado’ which is inspired by a mashup of 24kGoldn’s hometown San Francisco and El Dorado, the city of gold.

During the concert, 24kGoldn will take fans through the overgrown city, perform at reimagined iconic locations, and give each song a unique, creative backdrop.

Pre-concert quests that include 24kGoldn-related themed challenges are available starting today. Fans can access the quests via portals to popular Roblox experiences where they can collect badges redeemable for prizes in the 24kGoldn El Dorado Concert Experience and acquire 24kGoldn’s unique verch items. Each day, two more portals will open.

Fans who collect all badges and attend the concert experience will get to unlock a special limited-edition emote after the premiere performance.

The virtual concert will kick off at 16:00 PDT on Friday (25 April) with additional performances re-airing every hour after over the weekend with the last show airing at 23:00 PT on Sunday (27 March).

Roblox’s VP, global head of music, Jon Vlassopulos, is due to appear at this year’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC) as part of The Metaverse & live music workshop.

 


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Unity’s Peter Moore on reinventing live music

Unity’s Peter Moore has urged the live music business to take advantage of the opportunities of the metaverse in the wake of the company’s partnership with Insomniac Events.

The link-up will see Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) promoter Insomniac team with 3D platform Unity to focus on virtual concerts, promising to bring an “interactive and immersive experience” to music fans.

“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,” said Insomniac founder and CEO Pasquale Rotella, upon last week’s announcement.

Liverpool-born Moore was chief executive of Liverpool Football Club from 2017-20 and was previously CEO of video game company Electronic Arts. He has also held senior roles at Reebok, Sega and Microsoft.

“Sport figured out 30-odd years ago that you don’t need to come to the stadium to be able to experience the event itself, and I think music is ripe for that coming out of the pandemic,” Moore tells IQ. “We’ve been working nine months on a virtualisation experience primarily in the festival world. It’s going to take a while to get it right. It’s going to take a while to scale it. But I think we’re going to change that mentality.

“I was president of Sega when they launched the Dreamcast [console] and everybody was going, ‘How are you going to make money out of online gaming?’ And here we are 20-odd years later and online gaming is a $150 billion business. Now look, it’s taken 20 years to get there, and hopefully it doesn’t take 20 years for music, but that’s exactly the journey I think music is on right now.”

Now Unity’s SVP for sports & live entertainment, Moore was central to the return of concerts to Liverpool’s Anfield stadium. The ground welcomed Bon Jovi, Take That and Pink in 2019 and will host 50,000-cap shows by the Rolling Stones, Elton John and the Eagles in 2022.

“If there is a silver lining out of this tragic pandemic, it is that it has accelerated are thinking and acceptance of the digital world”

“In my last year at Liverpool, I got very involved in the music industry and again saw the opportunity at Anfield, so we blew out our stadium exits at outfield to accommodate the concerts,” he says. “I got an insight of the complexity of a physical concert and Pink’s concert, in particular, is a wonderful experience, but it’s so labour-intensive and cost-intensive. We had to shut down our stadium for four days to build it out and then another two days to break down. It’s like, is there a better way of doing it? Or is there a way of having millions of people enjoy that in real time? And that’s what we’re working on.”

Moore cites research by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company that the speed of society’s adoption of technology has multiplied by seven due to Covid-19.

“If there is a silver lining out of this tragic pandemic, it’s that it has accelerated our thinking and acceptance of the digital world,” says Moore. “You’ve got to embrace change. You’ve got to take a look at your customer and figure out what they want and you’ve got to be willing to break away and disrupt your existing business models.

“The legacy of what music is – the back catalogues, the libraries – can all be brought to life in new and innovative ways. It’s in a phenomenal place – as long as it recognises this is an opportunity to yet again reinvent the way that we, as fans, consume that product.”

The California-based exec, who gave a keynote on Next Gen Tech & The Live Entertainment Revolution at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas last weekend, is neighbours with American Idol creator and Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller of XIX Entertainment.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of everything that he’s done to change the music industry,” adds Moore. “And my sampling of my pretty powerful next-door neighbour, is that the music industry is self aware and understands it has to evolve the same as everything else.”

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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Tomorrowland partners with global crypto exchange

Belgium’s biggest festival Tomorrowland is partnering with leading global cryptocurrency exchange FTX Europe to “make the leap into web3 and NFTs”.

According to Tomorrowland, the partnership will explore a variety of applications of Web3 and blockchain technology including NFTs for art, music, and ticketing, events in the metaverse, and cryptocurrency payments.

The partnership will kick off with an activation called The Quest by FTX, which will allow Tomorrowland Winter festival attendees to collect the first 1,500 NFTs of a 6,500 collection and earn a unique experience.

There will be five locations hidden throughout the mountains that festivalgoers will have to find and then scan their event bracelet for entry, with 250 winners selected each day of Tomorrowland Winter. These tickets entitle 1,500 attendees access to exclusive concerts held at a secret location over three nights.

“The evolution to web3 opens a lot of possibilities for our endless imagination”

Tomorrowland Winter will take place in the Alpe d’Huez ski area between 19–26 March 2022.

Michiel Beers, founder of Tomorrowland, says: “Since day one it’s within the DNA of Tomorrowland to never stop pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation, to create the most unique experiences and important moments for our global community, The People of Tomorrow. The evolution to web3 opens a lot of possibilities for our endless imagination and also the opportunity to tighten the bonds of our community in the coming years.”

Some 600,000 visitors are expected at this year’s Tomorrowland in Belgium, after tickets completely sold out just 30 minutes after the on-sale.

The marquee festival will take place in De Schorre park in Boom, Antwerp, during three weekends rather than its usual two.

The 16th edition of the Belgian festival will take place this year from 15–17 July, 22–24 July and 29–31 July and will feature more than 700 different artists spread over fourteen stages.

 


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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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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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Foo Fighters, PinkPantheress to join the metaverse

Foo Fighters and PinkPantheress are the latest big name artists to announce virtual concerts in the metaverse.

The Foos will perform a free VR concert in partnership with Meta (Facebook/Instagram) via the Horizon Venues virtual space after the conclusion of the Super Bowl in the US this Sunday (13 February).

Directed by music video director Mark Romanek, the gig was shot specifically for VR, with multiple 180° cameras positioned around the stage and “XR elements blended into the concert scene”.

Additionally, the BRIT Awards has teamed with Roblox on a “virtual VIP Party”, which will feature an exclusive virtual performance from rising UK star PinkPantheress. Premiering in Roblox this Friday (11 February) at 6pm CET, and repeating hourly throughout the weekend, the show will feature PinkPantheress in avatar form in a neon lit underground London Virtual venue.

Created in collaboration with leading metaverse developer studio Dubit, the “concert experience” will take place in an immersive virtual world inspired by London, featuring neon-lit skyscrapers and landmarks such as the London Eye.

“Through our pioneering virtual concerts, we want to shine a spotlight on artists of all sizes”

“When planning the BRITs 2022 digital campaign we knew we wanted to enter the metaverse with Roblox,” says Luke Ferrar, innovation director, Polydor Records and co-chair of the BRITs digital committee. “What Dubit has built within the Roblox platform is an immersive BRITs experience. It has far surpassed our expectations with wonderful detail and flourishes in the world. It’s fantastic to have PinkPantheress, who reaches a huge Gen Z audience, perform in it.”

Ahead of PinkPantheress’ performance, fans can take part in scavenger hunts, collect hidden BRIT Award statuettes, browse exclusive virtual BRITs merchandise, and interact with artists and celebrities in virtual meet and greets.

“Through our pioneering virtual concerts, we want to shine a spotlight on artists of all sizes — from established stadium acts to up-and-coming viral stars — and connect them to millions of new and existing fans across the globe on Roblox,” adds Jon Vlassopulos, VP and global head of music at Roblox. “We’re thrilled to have PinkPantheress — one of the most exciting, innovative and groundbreaking young UK artists on the scene — perform in Roblox in celebration of the revered, iconic British institution that is the BRIT Awards.”

 


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Serbia’s Exit festival launches NFT series

Hot on the heels of Coachella joining the non-fungible token revolution, Serbia’s Exit Festival has signalled its entrance into the metaverse with its own line of NFTs.

Exit’s first NFT collection is being created in collaboration with “major music stars of today” and trading platform SolSea on the Solana blockchain. The NFTs will be available in the SolSea virtual store in a few weeks.

Most of the tokens will be made for use in the “multiverse” – an “exciting and innovative 3D web reality”, which the festival is involved in the development of.

“In cooperation with the world’s leading IT companies, we are developing a community that will place artists and creatives at the epicentre of events through various platforms,” it says in a statement. “This will give fans and those about to become fans unprecedented experiences and ways to interact and communicate.

“The festival’s NFT collection will be multidimensional, as it will feature a specially created live experience”

“In line with Exit’s philosophy that live experiences are irreplaceable, the festival’s NFT collection will be multidimensional, as it will feature a specially created live experience in addition to cutting-edge digital art. This will bring with it many exciting surprises relating to the EXIT festival and its music stars, which few have had the opportunity to experience so far.”

Exit is also offering an exclusive limited NFT series as a gift to those who are the first to sign up to its new Discord digital community, launched today, which you can join here.

“These will be distributed only on this occasion and provide owners with exclusive content and other benefits, as well as a special status within Exit’s digital community,” it adds.

Last year’s 20th anniversary edition of Exit, held in a 17th-century fortress in Novi Sad, attracted 42,000 festival-goers from more than 70 countries on the opening day alone. It returns from 7-10 July with artists such as Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

Earlier this week, Coachella announced it was auctioning off 10 lifetime passes to the event as part of an NFT series. The ‘Coachella Keys’ collection grants admission to the 125,000-capacity festival in Indio, California US every year, along with other benefits. The auction begins on Friday, 4 February at 10am Pacific time (7pm CET) and will last for one week.

New York’s Governor’s Ball festival also offered NFTs through a partnership with Coinbase for its 10th anniversary edition in 2021

 


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