Music festivals, by and large, have been postponed or outright canceled in the wake of COVID-19 and the global pandemic that has shut down gatherings in the United States and abroad. But much like other industries interrupted by coronavirus, the music industry is taking things online in an interesting way.
One sector that — with few exceptions — has remained mostly uninterrupted is the video game industry, which has provided welcome relief to people practicing good social distancing by sitting in their homes and spending time online. And now we’ve seen a pair of music festivals pop up in a single game.
Sunday brought word that pixelated life simulator Minecraft will host a music festival headlined by American Football and taking place in a digital recreation of a club called Elsewhere. The event space was worked on by Elsewhere and Open Pit and will feature artists like Anamanaguchi, Baths and HANA.
Open Pit and Anamanaguchi are throwing a coronavirus relief virtual music festival on Saturday, April 11 that takes place within the video game world of Minecraft. It’s called Nether Meant and it’s set to feature performances from American Football, Anamanaguchi, Baths, HANA, and more. Nether Meant takes place in a fictional space called Elsewither, which is based on the Brooklyn venue Elsewhere (Elsewhere worked jointly with the Open Pit team to create this space). The event starts at 6 p.m. Eastern.
People can watch within the game (all the information for how to join the concert is on the official website), or if you don’t want to join in the game itself, you can watch along on Twitch starting at 6 p.m. Eastern. They’re also selling VIP passes to the concert, which offers “special VIP areas in-game” and in-game merch. Proceeds from the VIP passes will go to Good360’s COVID–19 relief efforts.
Interestingly, it’s not the only concert happening in the Microsoft-owned behemoth of a game. Block By Blockwest, a play on the already-canceled South By Southwest, will take place on April 25 and feature Pussy Riot as its headlining act. Both festivals are said to donate proceeds to COVID-19 relief organizations, which are worthy causes given the circumstances that led to these shows being pushed online. It will certainly be interesting to see how festivals translate to Minecraft, which will certainly be more about the music than the visuals. But hey, maybe that’s how music festivals really should be.