Second Life, the massively multiplayer online game by Linden Labs, launched 16 years ago and established a virtual world that encourage user-created content that spans from artistic expression to legitimate embassies for different countries. Now, 16 years later, Linden Labs is attempting to get established in the growing virtual reality industry. It is doing so using its social VR game Sansar and one aspect of that is creating a home for live music events.

IQ Mag reported that Linden Labs teamed up with Monstercat, the Canadian electronic music label, to create Monstercat: Call of the Wild Experience. The live event took place last Friday and I spoke with Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg and Au5, one of the performers,  about the experience and the reaction to it.

“Friday’s event really shows what virtual events will do and what they can enable: immersion, connection, and access on a massive scale,” Altberg told me via email. 

Monstercat: Call of the Wild Experience is a VR space where the music label will host artist meet and greets, giveaways, and more. Altberg didn’t give me exact numbers but over a thousand people watched the show in VR via Sansar.

“Tens of thousands of people watched the concert across Twitch, Mixer, and Huya, and over a thousand people around the world attended the event in Sansar – across 6 continents, 65 countries, and 675 cities.  Fans feel more connected and immersed in the music they love, while artists, in turn, effectively reach more people and places in a single day than they’d reach on a real-life tour. “

Monstercat artist Austin “Au5” Collins performed during the VR experience and found it to exhibit qualities of a real life club performance. 

“It’s incredibly immersive; I can show stage presence very much like I do while playing an in-person live set,” Collins said. “I can also see genuine crowd responses from other VR users as well as live feedback in a live chat from desktop users, which combined gives me a sense of attention and direction. Afterwards, I got to jump in the crowd, talk and interact with people and feel their excitement, which are some of my favorite things to do after my shows!”

Monstercat is no stranger to video games. The label released a platinum record by EDM DJ Marshmello, who previously collaborated with Epic Games to do a live music set within popular battle royale game Fortnite. IQ Mag reported that the Fortnite event was the most-attended concert in history and Sansar gives Linden Labs an opportunity to capitalize on that excitement with regularly produced content.

“With this show, we married live music with gaming in a meaningful way,” Altberg siad. “Thanks to Sansar, fans can unlock exclusive merchandise and access based on the tickets they purchase. They can also participate in streamer-led challenges and complete quests to win special prizes. We stepped through an exciting door with Monstercat, and with more shows on the horizon, we will continue to change the future of live events.”

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