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Roblox has partneed with music event promoter Insomniac to create electronic music festivals for its platform.
The companies plan to create the “world’s largest dance music festival, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), to the metaverse.” That’s a pretty ambitious statement, but with 43 million daily active users, Roblox is a pretty good contender for the metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One.
Premiering in a new persistent experience dedicated to music and imagination dubbed World Party, EDC Las Vegas 2021 will become the first music festival to be held on Roblox. As more than 500,000 attendees gather Under the Electric Sky in-person at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend, fans can join the festival in the metaverse on October 23 through October 25, with a virtual pre-show event airing October 22. The World Party space opens today.
In the first-ever persistent music festival on Roblox, fans will be able to immerse themselves in the magic of EDC’s globally-recognized festival stages and areas like Cosmic Meadow, Circuit Grounds, Camp EDC, Pixel Forest and more.
Fans entering virtual EDC will get a sneak-peak of this year’s Kinetic Field stage design matching the theme of the festival, Kinetic Zen. Festival fans not in attendance at the physical event will be able to watch and enjoy sets on the virtual stages in the World Party metaverse. Performances will begin on Roblox starting at 4 p.m. Pacific time on October 22 in a limited pre-show, with the majority of EDC sets to begin broadcasting the following day. The artists themselves will also jump into the metaverse through server hopping and meet and greets inside the World Party experience throughout the festival.
“To partner and create with a metaverse leader like Roblox is an exciting opportunity for Insomniac. Bringing people from all over the world together through art and experience is a goal we’re always working hard to achieve, and together with Roblox we are able to expand this into the digital world,” said Pasquale Rotella, CEO of music promoter Insomniac (not the video game developer), in a statement. “This experience takes the creativity and inspiration behind EDC and all other festivals and events to new heights.”
In partnership with Wonder Works Studio, creators of the top experience Overlook Bay, EDC on Roblox will feature five “party all-night tents” inspired by this year’s festival theme with over 50 artists — including Kaskade, Zedd, Alison Wonderland, Louis the Child, Slander b2b2 said the sky, Rezz, Loud Luxury, DJ Snake, Alan Walker, Phantoms, Wax Motif, Oliver Heldens, and Benny Benassi — streaming their performances across virtual stages.
Over 25 unique accessories can be acquired using custom virtual Kandi — popular bracelets traded at festivals — to equip and express individual style, and just joining the World Party enters attendees to win real and virtual merchandise. The space will feature mini-games that allow fans to race through the vast world, collect cuddly animals, dance battle against friends, and build their home in Camp EDC — the festival campsite.
I asked Jon Vlassopulos, vice president and global head of music at Roblox, about the importance of music to the company’s efforts to create a metaverse. He said in an email:
Music is such a natural part of the way we express ourselves, entertain ourselves, and find connections with other people. At its core Roblox is about co-experience, so concerts and music as a whole are a natural area of focus for us in the metaverse.
The billions of hours people around the world spend on Roblox every month provides a perfect opportunity for the new generation of music fans to discover, share, and get closer to music and artists they love. Labels want to reach fans to break artists and promote singles and albums in a cost effective, unique and creative way. Roblox provides that platform and allows them to reach millions of fans at once in a hyper-immersive environment for hours versus seconds on traditional video apps.
Artists can perform in an infinite venue that they dream up, connect directly and literally hang out with millions of fans in a single night — instead of having to fly around the world for 18 months on a physical tour. Virtual concerts and music festivals democratize access to artists’ live performances, as now millions of people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend a show can do so in the metaverse. Additionally these virtual events are driving meaningful results for the labels who are seeing 5% to 1000% increases in streaming numbers and social followers during the activation windows.
Virtual shows can also act as a great way to kick off a real world artist tour. If you can aggregate tens of millions of fans over a weekend online and get them excited about their favorite band or artist this can serve as an effective marketing vehicle to drive ticket sales or create a value add for fans who already have bought tickets.
And as the metaverse expands, we’ll see new forms of entertainment emerge, it’s possible new metaverse artists will be able to launch careers virtually without ever having to play a real world show, and music marketers have the opportunity to expand their repertoire to capture this emerging market.
It is important to note that we are right at the beginning of a massive new industry. 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 Roblox. Virtual performances are now an integral part of the music landscape even with the return of IRL concerts and other types of events and will become more immersive and feature rich in the months and years ahead.
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