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How do concerts work in the Metaverse?

FI
Filippo Iachello

5 min

Concerts dans le Metaverse : comment fonctionnent-ils ?

More and more artists are choosing to perform virtually and bring their audiences into the digital world. But how do concerts in the Metaverse work? 

Concerts in the Metaverse were born during the pandemic, as a ‘creative’ response to all the bans and curfews. Does that period also seem very far away to you? It was the year 2020. All live events were forbidden and curfew was at ten o’clock. Not only bad memories, at that time thanks to technology we reinvented entertainment! 

All thanks to motion capture!

The technology that makes concerts in the Metaverse possible is motion capture. The movements of live performers are captured with suits and sensors and projected to their digital avatars. Just to name a few, this is the case of Lil Nas X and his concert in front of 33 million users in the Roblox metaverse, Ariana Grande‘s performance on Fortnite and BTS‘s performance on Minecraft. 21 Pilots also performed in 2022 on Roblox. The members of the American duo said they were able to convey their energy to the viewers, thanks to the motion capture technology provided by Xsens. Being both musicians, they not only sang but also played their virtual instruments. In short, the challenge was even tougher, but the motion capture lived up to expectations.

How much do concerts cost in the Metaverse? Where do they take place?

These gigs take place on video games and specialised platforms or on decentralised metaverses such as The Sandbox and Decentraland. The latter has hosted several world famous artists in the last period, including Ozzy Osbourne and Soulja Boy. There are also events that take place in theatres with the addition of virtual elements. In some cases it is necessary to buy a ticket as in a normal concert, in most cases attendance is free. In addition, seats are unlimited, one of the advantages of the Metaverse is that there are no space problems. 

What happens at a concert in the Metaverse? 

Every concert is unique and so as not to generalise, we prefer to tell you about some of them! 

The best concert in the Metaverse according to MTV

At the MTV Video Music Awards 2022, an ad hoc award was created for performances in the Metaverse, won by BLACKPINK, a Korean K-Pop group. The performance, which took place within the video game PUBG, featured stunning graphics and a surreal set design that eventually turned into a mini-game involving the audience. The skins (costumes) of the four singers were available for purchase on the video game store in the days leading up to the event.

ABBA

ABBA, the Swedish pop group, staged a hybrid event in 2022. Hybrid because they performed from a London location and at the same time, thanks to motion capture, the artists appeared on stage as if they were performing straight out of the 1970s. Mood, costumes, sets and all! 

Ariana Grande’s Rift Tour

Among the most famous concerts in the Metaverse, how can we not mention the one by Ariana Grande that took place on Fortnite on 7 August 2021 and is considered one of the best ever. In the first part, each user came face to face with the singer, a situation that seemed almost real thanks to the video game’s graphics. The moving rendition of Raindrops was followed by some dance and trap tracks in which the audience went wild. The performance ended in a temple in the clouds, where the artist opened a ‘time-space’ tunnel to allow Fortnite players to return to the set where the game is usually set.

Pre-tour event for Justin Bieber

To launch his 2022 world tour, Justin Bieber did a free show on the Wave platform on 18 November 2021. Viewers of this concert in the Metaverse were able to interact directly with the singer during the performance, chat with fans from all over the world and at certain times, express preferences on how the event should continue. 

Limits and potential of concerts in the Metaverse

Most of the concerts in the Metaverse are still in hybrid form and not fully digital. This is due to the fact that the servers hosting these events are still to be upgraded. For example, the ability to host an unlimited number of users without crashing could be improved. To eliminate the problem of sold-out tickets once and for all. 

Beyond the technical limitations, concerts in the Metaverse seem to bring great possibilities. Both for spectators and performers, who have the opportunity to experiment with special effects and settings that are difficult to reproduce on a real stage. 

If you have always dreamed of being able to teleport to the other side of the world to hear your favourite American artist who hasn’t come to Europe since 1492, concerts in the Metaverse could be for you. The sensations are different from those of a live concert, but no less ‘real’.

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