The O2 London recreated in Fortnite
The O2 is set to become the first real-world arena to get its own venue in Fortnite, with players now able to explore the iconic London venue ahead of an in-game performance by UK act Easy Life this Thursday.
Created in Fortnite Creative, the Minecraft-like sandbox game within Fortnite proper, the virtual O2 is a faithful recreation from the outside, while inside players can discover “exciting gameplay additions” including hidden rooms, backstage areas and a new take on the O2’s bar, the O2 Blueroom.
Island Records-signed Easy Life’s in-game performance will available to watch from this Thursday (24 June) at 20.30 BST until 23.59 BST on Sunday 27 June. The show will then be posted to Easy Life’s YouTube channel from Monday 28 June.
Described as an “interactive music experience” rather than a virtual concert, the show promises an ever-changing virtual world influenced by Easy Life’s music and lyrics. During the event, Fortnite players will be transported to six unique areas, each inspired by a different track from Life’s a Beach, the band’s debut album.
The Leicester five-piece are the first British band to play a show in Fortnite, the hugely popular multiplayer video game, following the likes of Marshmello, Travis Scott, Steve Aoki, Deadmau5 and J. Balvin.
Simon Valcarcel, head of brand and consumer marketing communications for O2, the O2’s naming sponsor, says: “We couldn’t be prouder to work alongside both Island Records and Epic Games to bring such an incredible experience to O2 customers and music fans all over the world via Fortnite Creative.
“We were thrilled when we were approached with the idea to bring the O2 to Fortnite”
“O2 has a rich heritage in music and we’re committed to providing music fans with unique experiences so it’s only fitting that we’re bringing the world’s most popular entertainment venue into the world’s biggest game. We know how much everyone – us included – has missed going to gigs so we’re excited to bring the UK’s hottest up-and-coming band to music fans globally through Fortnite Creative.”
Nate Nanzer, head of global partnerships for Fortnite developer Epic Games, adds: “We were thrilled when we were approached with the idea to bring the O2, one of the most iconic entertainment venues on the planet, to Fortnite Creative. We’re always looking for exciting and authentic experiences to bring to our players, and we can’t wait for them to get hands-on with this interactive musical journey.
“We’re excited to have the UK’s break-out band, Easy Life, perform in the game and we think our players are really going to love exploring all that the O2 has to offer in Fortnite Creative over the next week.”
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150,000 buy tickets for virtual Nightwish show
Finnish metal band Nightwish were joined by more than 150,000 fans from 108 countries for their recent virtual concert experience, An Evening With Nightwish in a Virtual World, which streamed on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 May.
Six months in the making, the show – a co-production of promoter Fullsteam Agency, VR studio Zoan and the band’s management company, Till Dawn They Count – follows Fullsteam and Zoan’s previous collaboration with the city of Helsinki, which attracted 1.4 million fans to a free virtual show by rap group JVG last May.
An Evening with Nightwish welcomed fans of Nightwish, Finland’s most successful musical export, to a 3D virtual world designed in partnership with the band, where they could watch the concert while also moving around and interacting with other concertgoers. Tickets for the show were priced between €25 and €109.
According to Fullsteam, that translates to ticket income in the seven figures (more than €1m), equivalent to a “large stadium-sized concert”.
“The key is to understand that we are not trying to replicate a live show here – it is a completely different thing”
“We all knew that there would be a lot of demand for this show, but honestly I was blown away by how great it turned out and how many tickets we sold,” says Fullsteam’s Rauha Kyyrö. “I think there is a huge potential for virtual shows that can be very unique experiences for fans.
“I think the key is to understand that we are not trying to replicate a live show here – it is a completely different thing and has to be designed to be enjoyed at home and on your portable devices. And I personally don’t think anything will ever replace the live experience anyway.”
A 30-person team – half of them Nightwish fans – from technical producer Zoan was responsible for creating the virtual world, which included a virtual tavern, The Islanders’ Arms. Zoan used a combination of high-end technology, such as photorealistic scans, and the latest Unreal game engine to produce the experience.
“It feels amazing to have cracked the code on how to provide virtual live entertainment directly to the fans,” says Zoan CEO Miikka Rosendahl. “This is the beginning of an entire new segment in the music industry.”
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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Pokémon announces virtual show with Post Malone
Post Malone will headline a virtual concert celebrating 25 years of Pokémon on ‘Pokémon Day’, 27 February.
The show will be free to view on the Pokémon YouTube and Twitch channels, as well as Pokemon.com, from 19.00 EST on 27 February (midnight 28 February GMT). The first Pokémon video game was published by Nintendo in February 1996.
The Post Malone show is part of P25 Music, a joint venture with Universal Music Group (UMG) that will see UMG artists, including Katy Perry, participating in a ‘global music experience’ celebrating the brand’s anniversary.
“The opportunity to headline the Pokémon Day concert celebrating 25 years is awesome”
“I’ve been a Pokémon fan for a long time, so the opportunity to headline the Pokémon Day concert celebrating 25 years is awesome,” says Post Malone.
In the lead-up to the concert, the Pokémon Company will spread the word through a series of events on Pokémon Go, Pokémon Sword and Shield (where players can collect a special Pikachu) and Pokémon TV.
Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys was one of the hottest tours of 2019. A follow-up trek, 2019–21’s Runaway tour was interrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.
LWE partners with Sansar for Tobacco Dock Virtual
London-based electronic music promoter LWE has launched Tobacco Dock Virtual, a virtual-world recreation of the Wapping venue of the same name.
Created by Sansar, the virtual live events platform behind other digital venues including Lost Horizon and Melatopia festival, Tobacco Dock Virtual replicates the 16,000m² Tobacco Dock in “minute detail, from the sweeping staircases to the cavernous dancefloors”, says LWE, which will organise shows, parties and interactive experiences in the new venue.
LWE has previous organised virtual concert experiences, taking its Junction 2 festival online first as J2v last summer and then as Junction 2: Connections earlier this month. The latter event integrated with popular racing game Asphalt, with Asphalt players able to stream DJ sets from within the game, and attracted an audience of 3.1 million people globally.
The long-term plan for Tobacco Dock Virtual (TDv) is hybrid, the promoter says, with a merging of “all three platforms: virtual, gaming and real” and shows taking place simultaneously virtually, physically and in mobile video games.
“TDv is our next step in the evolution of LWE and the development of our long-term event concepts, where we see virtual worlds sitting alongside the real world,” says LWE director Paul Jack. “Tobacco Dock has hosted some of our most exciting shows and led the way in the UK for vast daytime events.
“LWE is creating an entirely new event experience for fans”
“This next step on our journey will pave the way for hybrid events within a fully immersive digital and physical space, providing a huge new platform to showcase music.”
Sheri Bryant, president of Sansar, adds: “LWE is creating an entirely new event experience for fans with their series of epic 2021 shows in Sansar across multiple digital platforms and in real life simultaneously. They are leading the charge of innovation across the music industry. We couldn’t be more proud than to be their virtual event partner, providing them with the technology to do so.”
Details for the opening weekend at Tobacco Dock Virtual will be announced on Tuesday 9 February, promising “some of the planet’s biggest party brands and a programme of globally acclaimed artists and exciting new sounds” across mobile, PC, Mac and VR. In the meantime, fans are encouraged to create a TDv account at www.tobaccodockvirtual.com.
“Tobacco Dock is excited to be working alongside our long-term partner LWE to develop a cutting-edge virtual venue that will enable remote audiences to have a truly immersive, rich experience with the attributes of being present without the travel,” says Tobacco Dock commercial director Jonathan Read. “It is a bold new step on our journey to make Tobacco Dock a global destination for music, cultural, fashion and tech events.”
Game on for Czech fest Rock for People
Organisers of Rock for People, one of the biggest music festivals in the Czech Republic, has announced plans for an interactive, 3D virtual festival, Rock for People in the Game, on 31 January.
Open to anyone with an internet connection, webcam and microphone, Rock for People in the Game will allow fans to explore the festival area, sing along with both Czech and international performers, dance in front of the stage and interact with other attendees and festival partners.
The festival will act as a complement to, rather than a replacement for, the main, 30,000-capacity Rock for People event, which is scheduled for 10–12 June with performers including Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Weezer and more.
“It is not a replacement for summer 2021, but a unique get-together in a gaming environment”
“We will move our festival to the online world for one day. It is not a replacement for summer 2021, but a unique get-together in a gaming environment,” explains Rock for People (RfP) festival director Michal Thomes. “Those who know the Festivalpark in Hradec Králové can look forward to well-known places, from hangars to the runway, stages or even RfP merch to buy. You can dance, sing out loud, go to a bar, meet other visitors and our team.”
Festivalgoers will be represented by custom-created virtual avatars, while artists including Nothing But Thieves, Crown the Empire, Calva Louise, I Love You Honey Bunny, KennyHoopla and RedZep will play short concert sets.
Despite the events of 2020, Rock for People promoter Ameba Production was able to organise some 25 club and open-air concerts, as well as the Rock for People Home and Kefírek festivals, while showcase event Nouvelle Prague went online. Rock for People, which celebrates its 26th edition this year, is sold out.
CES: Sony bows VR concert tech, LG introduces virtual DJ
Among the music-related innovations at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is taking place online from 11 to 14 January, are an ‘immersive reality’ concert experience by Sony, a virtual influencer and DJ created by LG, and Samsung’s in-car Live Interactive Virtual Experience (LIVE).
Japan’s Sony Corporation used motion-capture technology to recreate US singer Madison Beer as a CGI avatar for a performance of her song ‘Boyshit’, placing her in a virtual replica of Sony Hall (1,000-cap.) in New York, as seen in the video above.
The event was spearheaded by a newly launched division of Sony Corporation of America, Sony Immersive Music Studios.
A longer performance by Beer, who is signed to Sony Music-owned Epic Records, featuring a medley of songs from her upcoming debut album, Life Support, will made available on Oculus VR and PlayStation VR, as well as 2D platforms, later this year.
Sylvia Rhone, Epic’s CEO, says: “Madison Beer is raising the bar of what’s possible in a virtual concert performance and we couldn’t be more excited. With this cutting-edge collaboration of music and technology, Madison has brought her innovative vision to life in a unique way while taking it to new heights.
“Madison Beer is raising the bar of what’s possible in a virtual concert performance”
“This is another example of Epic’s commitment to empower our artists with groundbreaking opportunities to expand their creative options and engage fans through immersive experiences.”
In addition to the Madison Beer event, CES also sees Sony make available a live performance by Zara Larsson (another Epic artist) in 360° immersive sound as an on-demand stream.
For Samsung, CES represented another opportunity to showcase Harman’s LIVE technology, which, as IQ reported last week, would enable concertgoers to interact with artists from behind their steering wheels.
Elsewhere, compatriot LG introduced Reah Keem, an entirely fictional person who hosted the company’s livestreamed CES keynote unveiling its range of CLOi UV-C robots.
As seen on her Instagram page, Keem introduced herself as a songwriter and DJ (as well as a keen international traveller) who’s “so excited to be showing you some of the latest and coolestfrom LG”.
Despite being entirely computer generated, Keem does have music to listen to: check out her (so far) only single, ‘Comino Drive’, on her SoundCloud account.
Roblox: “The concert market is going to get a lot bigger”
In late November, Roblox – a family friendly social videogaming platform with more than 150 million monthly users worldwide – staked a claim as the virtual concert platform to watch with its first in-world live music event.
The headline show, by ‘Old Town Road’ singer Lil Nas X, took full advantage of Roblox’s technical capabilities and diverse, engaged user base to deliver a must-see set by the double Grammy winner which was viewed over 30m times, rivalling Fortnite’s record-breaking Travis Scott event held earlier in the year.
With fresh concerns over the coronavirus already casting a shadow over live music in 2021, IQ caught up with Jon Vlassopulos, Roblox’s global head of music, to discover how artists, promoters, venues, festivals and labels can “reinvent” themselves for an online-first future; how the so-called ‘Metaverse’ will spawn a new wave of digital-native artists; and why the next generation of fans won’t have to choose between virtual and physical shows…
IQ: For the uninitiated, how would you describe Roblox? Is it a game? A way of creating games? A virtual world? Or something else?
JV: All of the above. I’d say Roblox is first and foremost an online community where people come together to play, create and explore millions of 3D virtual worlds together with their friends. Our vision for this online community of shared experiences draws inspiration from gaming, entertainment and social media. People come here to be who they want to be, and we provide them with tools to create their unique identities (avatars).
In addition, most of the virtual worlds on the platform have been created by our developer community – we have built a proprietary, next-gen tech platform that allows anyone to create and experience 3D content, forming the Metaverse, and we have invested heavily to build the technology and infrastructure for that.
You’ve seen huge growth through the Covid-19 pandemic. Why do you think that is, and how do you see that continuing in future?
This year has been an extremely challenging time for our global society. What we’ve seen during physical distancing is that people are turning to Roblox for the social connection, play and learning opportunities that they aren’t getting in their real lives right now.
When we surveyed our community (nearly 3,000 teens responded to the survey) as part of our Digital Civility Initiative, we saw some positive trends around the use of the Roblox platform during this otherwise difficult time. For example, over half (52%) said they were spending the same amount or more time with their real-life friends via Roblox, voice/chat programs and other online gaming platforms during Covid-19. They also reflected on how meaningful online friendships can be for them, with two in five reporting that their relationships with online friends on Roblox got even better during COVID-19. Nearly 30% said parents are showing more interest in their online lives, including learning about and playing Roblox with them, and a similar number of teens reported that they started building their own games or learning how to code during this time.
You just hosted your first in-world concert. Was music always a focus from the outset, or is this something that’s naturally developed over time?
Music has been present on the platform and embedded in different ways and formats since the beginning. Our developers can access a broad catalogue of music to use in their games, and we have been adding to that recently with great licensed partners like Monstercat. There are also a variety of music-themed worlds on the platform, like the Dance Your Blox Off dance competition game and the AI game Splash: Music World, where people can DJ and create music. Splash actually did a fun collab with Tones & I before Christmas.
When I joined Roblox, mission one was to double down on what we were already doing and grow our music offering significantly so music becomes an organic part of our users’ daily experience on Roblox. We want to connect fans with each other and with their favourite music and artists in new and unprecedented ways. Getting into virtual concerts, like our recent Lil Nas X show, is a natural area of focus for us. We want to make the virtual concert experience even better than the real-world experience for our fans. I’m very excited about what we are going to be rolling out in 2021.
“We want to make the virtual concert experience even better than the real-world experience”
Will the new concert venue be used for other shows in future?
The Lil Nas X concert space was custom-built for this event, but a lot of the new features we debuted will soon be available to the developer community to leverage in their games. We do have our Launch Party product that artists and labels can use to create their own custom [album] launch party on Roblox. Warner and Ava Max used the code to build out a custom venue for the launch of her recent album, Heaven and Hell. It was a big success, with more than 2.5 million visits of the experience.
We have lots of interest from labels to do their own launch parties in 2020. It is such a fun way for the kids and teens on Roblox to get closer to their favourite artists and discover the best new music. We are working towards making the experience turnkey. For example, an artist could choose a pre-made set (ie a stage in the desert or floating in space), drop in some customised merch and then encourage fans to attend and watch their performance or enjoy their new music videos.
For the Lil Nas X event, how many people did you have capacity for?
We are a virtual platform so hopefully don’t have to think about having to turn people away from our events. We had our main concert and three encores, and the total number of visits of the experience has surpassed 33 million. Some people may have come back multiple times to catch additional shows or experience the pre-show events, including the scavenger hunt and Lil Nas X music video performance, but it’s millions of people who were able to experience the artist’s world and performances, which is a unique advantage of these virtual co-experiences.
They represent a massive opportunity for artists to reach their fans around the world and extend their brand into the Metaverse, especially during this time when larger real-world social events and artist tours are not possible.
Was it a pre-record, or was Nas actually performing live?
It was pre-recorded but presented as-live to the Roblox community. There were a lot of engaging real-time features baked into the experience that made it fun to experience live with your friends: You could dance together using custom, exclusive emotes, throw snowballs at each other, dress up in custom merch, hunt for coins, etc. The main concert featured a photorealistic motion-capture avatar of Lil Nas X dancing and singing across four different worlds that tied to his top songs: ‘Old Town Road’, ‘Rodeo’, ‘Panini’ and ‘Holiday’, his new single, which he performed for the first time during the concert.
The different worlds for each song were built using the latest shadowing, lighting, and physically based rendering (PBR) facial-recognition technologies available on the Roblox platform. The entire experience was designed to give Roblox users and Lil Nas X fans a unique way to discover and enjoy music together with their friends and connect with their favourite artist like never before.
“We were encouraged to see seven figures in merch sales for our first concert event”
What is the economic model for a show like this? Is it a straight revenue split on things like merch and other in-game items?
Yes, we split revenue from anything that is sold related to the concert with the artists and the label. It’s a net new revenue stream for our partners in addition to their current sales of physical merch, tickets, sponsorships, etc. We were encouraged to see seven figures in merch sales for our first concert event. Moving forward we plan to experiment with other types of monetisation around concerts and events.
Other virtual worlds/games, such as Fortnite, Minecraft and Sansar, have also hosted virtual shows. How is the Roblox experience different?
First, Roblox is a platform not a game – we have global scale, with millions of people from around the world coming to Roblox to hang out, chat, play, create and explore new places. They love to dress up and check out events together, so concerts are a perfect use case for us. It’s similar to the way kids and teens do in real life, where the majority of them go to shows just to be with their friends or show off a new outfit.
We think we can bring and potentially improve on these real-life shared experiences. We can make discovery of music and artists super-interactive and special for the Roblox community, delivering experiences that may be unattainable in the real world. For example, at a real concert very few fans have the opportunity to do a meet and greet with an artist or dance on stage. We can make these things happen and give our community tentpole moments and connections with their idols that they will hold with them all their lives.
Each of our community members have their own unique identity (avatar) that they take with them as they move across different virtual environments and worlds, which means they get recognised by friends. That means they love customising their look and getting unique merch that will stay in their virtual collection.
Finally, Roblox has millions of developers on the platform, so artists can create their own unique experiences or connect with existing developers to collaborate to reach their fans around the world.
What does the core Roblox user look like?
An average of 36.2m people from around the world come to Roblox every day to connect with friends, and it’s a truly global and diverse community. For example, over 40% of our users are female – this is pretty unique in the world of online gaming. Over half of all kids and teens under the age of 16 in the US are on Roblox. While our user base has historically skewed younger, we are seeing people staying on the platform as they are growing up. Entire families are using Roblox to connect and have shared experiences like the Lil Nas X concert; older demographics attracted by incredible new content.
We are focused on retaining those users and bringing on new demographics to the platform as we continue to innovate in creating more immersive experiences, introducing new realistic avatar technology, spatial audio and other new features available both to our creators and users.
“Virtual shows can be a great way to kick off a real-world artist tour”
More broadly, what do you see as the possibilities for virtual live music events in future? Do you see the trend towards these kind of shows continuing even once we’re all vaccinated against Covid-19?
Absolutely. We believe discovering and enjoying music in the Metaverse together with friends from all over the world is a unique experience that can bring millions of people together, and often can’t be replicated in the physical world. I don’t think fans will need to pick real world or virtual once lockdowns are over – they can have both.
Virtual shows can be a great way to kick off a real-world artist tour. If you can aggregate tens of millions of fans over a weekend online, you can then drive them to buy tickets for the tour. If you attended the virtual concert you could unlock special experiences at the live concert. Then, post-concert, you could go back to Roblox and have a post-show artist experience and meet fellow fans from around the world.
The concert market is going to get a lot bigger and more exciting for fans moving forward. Remember, most concerts are 18+ or 21+, and we have a large community of users under 18, so everything we do is additive. We are helping many of our kids and teens experience a concert for the first time – and no one forgets their first show!
It’s all very exciting. And as the Metaverse expands, we’ll see new forms of entertainment emerge; new Metaverse artists will be able to launch careers virtually without ever having to play a real-world show.
I think it is important to note that we are right at the beginning of a massive new industry. We are just scratching the surface with shows like our Lil Nas X concert. I have been through the birth of the internet in the ’90s and the impact it had on the music industry, then we have had mobile for the last 20 years. I believe the Metaverse has the potential to be bigger than all of them.
Artists, labels, publishers, venue and festival owners, video platforms, etc., all have a chance to reinvent themselves and capture first-mover advantage on platforms like ours. For 2021, we are looking to work with forward-thinking partners who can help us create some amazing case-study experiences that others in the industry can learn from and follow. We look forward to a future where kids can reconnect with music at a very core level, and artists are able to express themselves fully beyond what they can do on streaming platforms. Along with all of this innovation will come new and lucrative new revenue opportunities. If you have creative projects that you think would be a fit for Roblox, please get in touch!
Lil Nas X to perform first-ever Roblox concert
Lil Nas X, the double Grammy award-winning rapper behind worldwide smash ‘Old Town Road’, will perform live in Roblox this weekend, marking the first in-game concert for the popular online gaming platform.
The show, in partnership with Nas’s label, Columbia Records, will see the star perform his upcoming single, ‘Holiday’, live for the first time. The free-to-access concert experience will air three times: at 1pm PST on Saturday 14 November (for North America), 10pm PST later the same day (for Asia), and at 9am PST on 15 November (5pm GMT on 14 November) for European viewers.
According to Roblox, the concert will feature a set of stages inspired by Lil Nas X’s songs and videos, created using the latest shadowing, lighting and physically based rendering (PBR) facial recognition technologies available on the Roblox platform.
The shows will be preceded by an artist Q&A at 4pm PST on Friday 13 November, with Lil Nas X fielding fan questions from inside the virtual concert venue.
Rather than a single game, Roblox is a collection of more than 50 million user-created video games (sometimes compared to YouTube, but for games rather than videos). The platform’s popularity has exploded this year, particularly among children, and now boasts more than 150m monthly users.
“This partnership is an exciting opportunity to share Lil Nas X’s new music with over 150 million kids and teens globally”
“We’re thrilled to partner with Columbia Records to bring Lil Nas X fans and the Roblox community together in an entirely new way,” says Jon Vlassopulos, global head of music at Roblox. “This concert with Lil Nas X will transport players and their friends into the metaverse, and bring to life the future of what immersive, social experiences can look like.”
Ryan Ruden, SVP of experiential marketing and business development for Columbia Records, adds: “Columbia Records is always driven to find new and innovative ways for our storied artists to share their creative vision. This partnership is an exciting opportunity to share Lil Nas X’s new music with over 150 million kids and teens globally through this first-ever high-fidelity concert experience on Roblox.”
New Roblox users will need to create an account to access the concert venue, which also features mini-games and other activities ahead of the first pre-show event on Friday, as well as a virtual merch store.
Eventbrite: 30% of ticket sales still for virtual events
Eight months on from the shutdown of nearly all live events, a third of ticket sales on Eventbrite are still for online experiences, according to the US-based ticketing/event-management company.
Even as major events return to markets in Asia and Australasia – and following a temporary return to semi-normality in Europe and North America over the summer – up to 30% of Eventbrite’s ticket volume in the third financial quarter (Q3) of 2020 involved virtual events, says the company’s CFO, Lanny Baker.
Speaking to investors during Eventbrite’s Q3 earnings call, Baker said the continued popularity of online events could point to a “structural” change in the business, even after a vaccine for Covid-19 becomes available.
“When the in-person events have recovered and people have moved from their computer screens back into the real world, we’ve seen that next shift back [to physical], but we’re still talking about 10%, 20%, 30% of ticket volume being for virtual events,” he explained. “Whereas pre-Covid, that number might have been 2%, 3% or 4%.
“So I think there’s been a structural opening of a business opportunity and habit around online events. There are new creators [which were] not necessarily [in] the event marketplace in the past.”
“I think there’s been a structural opening of a business opportunity … around online events”
This continued demand for virtual experiences hasn’t, however, affected ticket sales for physical events: the company reported in September that it saw paid ticket volume grow 17% in August alone, as more fans went to Covid-secure in-person shows.
Eventbrite, which has offices in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Spain and the Republic of Ireland, reported a 75% year-on-year decline in revenue, to US$21.8 million, in Q3 – an improvement on Q2, where the figure was just $8.4m.
The company says it has also achieved expense savings “ahead of plan” for its $100m cost-cutting scheme, announced in April, reducing net loss to $19.1m, compared to $30.1m in Q3 2019.
“The continued improvement in our results reflects creators’ ingenuity and their confidence in our platform to deliver when it matters most,” comments Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz. “Activity on our platform rebounded in the third quarter, as creators hosted more events than they did this time last year, and total consumer ticket volume began to approach pre-Covid levels.
“We believe that our platform is uniquely positioned to serve the needs of independent creators, helping them to grow their businesses and lead the recovery of live experiences.”
This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.
Virtual K-pop band inaugurate new Shanghai stadium
K/DA, a virtual girl group composed of four League of Legends characters, performed during the opening ceremony for the League of Legends World Championship grand final at the new Pudong Football Stadium in Shanghai on 31 October.
The competition, one of the biggest dates in the esports calendar, was the first event at the 33,765-capacity venue, constructed ahead of the AFC Asian Cup in 2023.
K/DA, created by League of Legends developer Riot Games, performed via augmented reality (AR), appearing on a physical stage in front of a crowd of 6,312 fans, according to tournament operator TJ Sports. The event was watched by an addition 3.8 million people online.
In addition to the virtual performers, the opening ceremony featured a number of real-world artists and dancers, including Chinese pop star Lexie Liu.
K/DA made their debut during a similar AR concert at the 2018 World Championships, which were held in Incheon, South Korea.