Gaming and entertainment collided over the weekend when EDM producer Marshmello performed a virtual concert in the popular video game Fortnite.
Christopher Comstock, who goes by his DJ name Marshmello, held the live event on Saturday night in the game’s virtual Pleasant Park. He played a brief 10-minute set, performing a handful of songs including “Happier,” his smash-hit single with Bastille. Fortnite is a shooting game where players battle one another, but throughout the performance, players were unable to fight one another with weapons, allowing everyone to join in on the show.
Gamers were able to fly throughout the crowd and fully immerse themselves into the experience – which included virtual avatars floating behind Marshmello, fire, a light show, and lyrics projected across a screen on stage. While Fortnite developer Epic Games has not released the official number of concertgoers, it was estimated that 10 million concurrent users attended the event. However, in the game, users were only able to see 99 other people on a server at one time since Fortnite offers 100-player “battle royales.”
The attendance was so overwhelming that Marshmello hosted an encore event on Sunday, February 3.
We made history today! The first ever live virtual concert inside of @fortnite with millions of people in attendance. So insane, thank you epic games and everyone who made this possible! pic.twitter.com/xdaNGnyMr9
— marshmello (@marshmellomusic) February 2, 2019
Virtual concerts aren’t a new concept, in fact, they’ve been occurring for over a decade. Second Life hosted a concert from The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in 2007 and U2 in 2008, and Minecraft held the virtual FireFest 2019 last month and Coalchella last year. However, this specific concert was different as it connected millions of people’s avatars live on a massive scale within the game itself. Although users were not necessarily watching the concert in-person, many still say that they “attended” the show and felt connected to others around them.
Marshmello’s show could potentially spark a conversation for the future of virtual concerts. Will we see more of this in the future? Are other artists interested in performing in a virtual world, too? This concert shows that it’s possible for people around the world to come together for a singular event at the same time – without leaving their home.
“It truly felt like a glimpse into the future of interactive entertainment, where the worlds of gaming, music, and celebrity combined to create a virtual experience we’ve never quite seen before,” Nick Statt of The Verge said.
Check out Marshmello’s full Fortnite set below and visit Ticket Club to find tickets to see Marshmello at a live show this year.