On Sept. 23, metaverse project The Sandbox
and hip-hop star Snoop Dogg announced a partnership expected to transform how we socially interact, define digital ownership and even party.
Snoop Dogg is already known for his broad interest in non-fungible tokens
(although whether he is truly Cozomo de’ Medici is up for debate) and is reported to own $17 million of Ethereum
. This time around, though, he is entering the world of the metaverse concerts, and he’s doing it in a grand fashion, setting a trend that will leave a sign in the future of digitization.
Snoop Dogg is virtually recreating his own LA mansion,
and he’s allowing his fans to enter it, view his NFTs collection, join his parties, take part in his concerts and even buy a piece of land in his neighborhood on sale as of Sept. 30 and Nov. 4.
Through The Sandbox, one of the most popular blockchain-based gaming platforms, the rapper’s fans can buy a Snoop Dogg Private Party Pass
, a limited token that will allow them to access Snoop Dogg’s legendary lifestyle.
His newly acquired virtual neighbors will also compete to have the artist perform an exclusive concert on their land.
Snoop Dogg’s initiative is only the latest of a series of virtual concerts that have taken the music scene by storm lately. The pandemic and post-pandemic era will be remembered for an acceleration of technological innovations, primarily virtual and digital.
Humans have explored new ways of communicating during the Covid-19 crisis, not only workwise but also while playing games or attending parties, exhibitions and live music events.
During this time, the proliferation of virtual concerts has been raging, with businesses, artists and customers alike competing like never before to get a piece of profits and fun. Metaverse concerts are the next level in the evolution of the music industry.
Before Sandbox launched its decentralized virtual events, platforms like TikTok had already taken a step into the world of virtual live performances.
In August 2020, Canadian singer The Weeknd
performed a live version of his “Blinding Lights” (The TikTok Experience), featuring an animated version of the artist with people’s real-time comments appearing as flashing lights and fireworks in the background. Users’ live participation represented a great way to interact and engage with their idol, and many swear it was emotionally close to a real-world concert.
Ariana Grande and Trevis Scott also performed live in a metaverse concert through the popular online video game Fortnite.
On Aug. 6, Ariana Grande
headlined Fortnite’s Rift Tour, a virtual concert a few days long that apparently entertained as many as 78 million players. The in-game show provided all the interactive elements you would expect from the virtual world where music and games meet.
Like The Weeknd event, users could join the long experience and actively interact with the artist who would lift them and float them in the sky while singing some of her most popular tracks.
performance attracted over 12 million players who were delighted by his skyscraper-sized avatar presence and could interact with the artist by following him while he traveled through outer space and even underwater.
Fortnite, of the company Epic Games, is not new to in-game virtual concerts. The first live performance ever played virtually through the gaming platform was on Feb. 2, 2019, when DJ Marshmello
’s avatar played a complete set among his fans who were dancing along with the music. That first event was only a few minutes long but could nevertheless attract millions of viewers also in the aftermath of the live show.
On July 11 of this year, KnowOrigin, a metaverse-based marketplace powered by the Decentralized platform, hosted “To The Moon,” the first virtual reality music and arts festival based on the Ethereum blockchain as part of the second annual Decentralized art week.
The festival featured a series of events, including performances of electronic music artists Autograf, Ookay, and Win and Woo; exhibitions from top NFT platforms with real-world galleries making their appearance in the metaverse space; film clubs; theater shows, and even after parties.
The latest artists to join the metaverse world are ABBA, the famous Swedish pop band that will perform a hybrid event live next year from a London location.
will see their “Abba-tars” de-age them through AI technology and appear on stage as if they were performing a concert back in the 1970s, with an authentic audience filling the physical seats of the yet unknown venue.
Such an event indeed prompts the question of whether we will soon see virtual performances of late artists or now broken-up bands appearing back in their times, opening the gate to limitless possibilities for the entertainment of both fans and music companies’ management.
If it’s not clear by now what the metaverse’s significance is, we will attempt a simple explanation. The word’s root is formed from the Greek term “meta,” which means beyond, or after, and “verse” literally from the universe. In technology, the term is usually identified with a subsequent state of the internet, where the digital world and the 3D virtual space meet, allowing interaction and collaboration between the participants, also called avatars.
Many consider the metaverse the future of everything digital because it can encapsulate different realities simultaneously. However, like with every innovation, metaverse concerts anticipate clear advantages but also challenges to win before becoming fully mainstream.
Pros of Metaverse Concerts
Maybe metaverse concerts embody everything live performers ever wished for, shimmering special effects with sparkling lights and levitating players; artists sometimes de-aged to remain immortal, all circumstances impossible to replicate in real-world scenarios.
The limitless undeniable opportunities offered by the metaverse indeed represent the main benefit that captures innovators, investors, entrepreneurs and professionals from all fields. The next level of virtual reality is a new creative way for performers to express themselves and engage with their fans in an unimaginable fashion until only a few years ago.
Finally, they can perform without the pressure and the physical fatigue that comes with traveling the globe in a short amount of time, and they can do it while interacting with an infinite crowd that knows no material boundaries.
Cons of Metaverse Concerts
The technology is not entirely ready yet to feed interoperable formats at scale, and like with every other innovation, IT experts will have to face this central challenge.
In simple words, servers that host a metaverse concert should be capable of holding an unlimited number of people at once without crashing. Decentralized and open technologies like blockchain are being employed to help manage the issue: a network that sustains distributed data across multiple machines can potentially store larger datasets. However, such a solution is still relatively arduous to implement and will undoubtedly remain one of the main hurdles in the future.
Platforms rapidly need to address the accessibility issue, since the regular user might still find it challenging to enter virtual events due to the technical implications and the equipment necessary to join them.
Ultimately, the next frontier of the virtual interactive world has only recently started to impact businesses and society. However, the amount of capital and resources invested in it is already massive — and this speaks volumes.