Not even a month after Travis Scott’s record-breaking Fortnite concert, the music business is already busy rolling out new gaming initiatives. The latest such venture, unveiled on Thursday, is Electric Blockaloo, a virtual concert with over 300 artists that will take place inside the video game Minecraft.
Diplo, A-Trak, Above & Beyond, and TOKiMONSTA are among the artists confirmed to perform at the festival, which is slated for June 25th to June 28th. Electronic music production company Rave Family, which developed the festival, says it will reveal the entire lineup next week.
Tickets for Electric Blockaloo range from $7 and $30. In an effort to support artists — many of whom have found their revenue streams decimated in recent months because they make the bulk of their money from touring — the festival is offering performers a 60/40 revenue share. Rave Family representatives point out that it’s uncommon for artists to receive a share of ticket sales, as they typically receive a flat fee for appearing at festivals and similar events.
“We thought that with an endlessly scalable festival, artist’s revenue should also be unlimited,” Rave Family founder Jackie McGuire tells Rolling Stone. “For some very, very large artists, there may be a revenue share in place. One manager told me that they had just recently specifically negotiated revenue share with a [now cancelled] festival they were booked for, but that was the first I’d heard of it. I think that may be why some artists start throwing their own festivals.”
Any of the 112 million active monthly users on Minecraft — which is the best-selling video game of all time, with 175 million copies sold, according to PC Mag — can sign up to attend Electric Blockaloo via a mobile device, PC, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, or VR device. For non-Minecraft users, artists will share unique links and codes so that fans can gain access to the “Rave Family club” website, where they’ll be able to purchase GA or VIP admission.
McGuire, who is also CEO of the first all-female team to ever win TechCrunch Hackathon, says she considers it important that virtual festivals are much more environmentally friendly than traditional festivals. That’s also why a portion of each ticket will help support Bye Bye Plastic, an organization that aims to eliminate single-use plastic from music festivals by 2025.
Rave Family, which has worked with an array of big names in the dance-music events world — including EDC and Electric Forest — has been interested in merging parts of the tech and live events spaces for some time now.
“I had pitched making a VR version of one of the EDC stages for Oculus in 2018, as well as making VR festival maps,” McGuire says. “We hadn’t considered using Minecraft as a platform until more recently. I think what has really changed because of COVID is the willingness of the industry to try new and innovative things.”
While McGuire confirms that her company is definitely interested in partnering with other games in the future, she explains that “most games require somewhat sophisticated game development. What we like about Minecraft is that anyone can build inside the game.”