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How VR concerts work in the metaverse

They’re not the most popular events right now, but VR concerts are a real thing.

Metaverse games like Decentraland, The Sandbox, Cryptovoxels and even Facebook’s metaverse are beginning to host concerts. And these virtual events aren’t only for small, new musicians either.

Musicians including Snoop Dogg, Marshmello, Young Thug and Travis Scott have hosted VR concerts, or have plans to host one.

Naturally, there’s questions surrounding these events. Here’s how they tend to function, what you may need and where to look for these concerts if you’re interested.

Snoop concert

Image source: Snoop Dogg’s “House I Built”, the first music video shot and produced within The Sandbox metaverse

How metaverse concerts work

VR concerts are held in virtual environments, and most often, in a metaverse that’s built on blockchain technology. If you’ve ever watched someone play a VR game, or you’ve done so yourself, attending a concert in a metaverse is a similar concept — gear up, enter the game, go to the area where the concert is being held and enjoy.

Well, it’s not quite that simple, but that’s the basic idea.

Metaverse games are live, extended reality environments. This means that you’re interacting with other players in real time, using controllers, a keyword or VR gear to interact with other users and your surroundings.

Typical metaverse attributes include:

  • Player-owned virtual environment.
  • In-game economy is propelled by the players’ activity, and is typically built on cryptocurrency.
  • Players can create, own and build the environments and items in the game, instead of the game’s developers building the environment.
  • Many items in metaverse are nonfungible tokens (NFTs) that can be minted, bought, sold and used in the game.

Players with owned metaverse parcels can create their own events like parties, art shows, mazes and concerts and invite other players to attend.

How and where to enter a metaverse concert

You’re likely to need these things to attend a metaverse concert:

  • A browser or console
  • A crypto wallet
  • An email to create an account with the metaverse
  • (Optional) VR headset

Entering a metaverse involves signing into your account, and navigating to the area where the concert is held. For more help on how to join a metaverse, check out this detailed metaverse guide.

Metaverse properties, often called virtual real estate or virtual parcels, can be sold and owned by players. Landowners in games like Cryptovoxels, The Sandbox and Decentraland can host events on their owned land or rent out their land for such events, inviting other users to attend the parcel to be a part of the event.

Many metaverse games also have an event page, where users can view upcoming events.

In the metaverse game Cryptovoxels, there’s a page of upcoming player-hosted events. Players select an event to view its details, which typically includes a map of the event’s location, the host’s name, event description and time.

Events
Image source: Cryptovoxels.com

Decentraland has an event page where players can RSVP and add events to their calendar, view other planned events or create their own events. The page also includes an event’s timing and location.

Concerts

Image source: Decentraland events

How much does it cost to attend a metaverse concert?

The majority of VR metaverse concerts are free to attend.

Facebook held a string of free VR concerts to celebrate the holidays and New Years, featuring Young Thug, David Guetta and The Chainsmokers.

World news
Image source: World Today News, Facebook’s metaverse concerts

However, the Facebook events went on without much notice — only around 100,000 virtually “showed” for a free Young Thug event and The Chainsmokers concert was canceled, according to World News Today.

Where are metaverse concerts announced?

If you’re an active player in a metaverse game, you’re likely to directly hear news of an upcoming event. Updates and news surrounding these events are typically announced on a metaverse’s Discord, social media channels, the platform’s event page or via email.

The musicians set to perform at the concert are likely to share news of the event on their own social outlets as well.

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VR gear for the metaverse

After you’ve entered the metaverse where the concert or music event is being held, you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own home — either with a VR headset or by watching it on screen. You may be able to dance along with your avatar, and chat with other attendees through the metaverse’s forums or built-in chat tools.

Not all VR gear is the same, since some are standalone consoles, some require a PC, and others need only your smartphone. Some of the most popular VR setups include:

  • Oculus Quest 2
  • Valve Index
  • HTC Vive Pro 2
  • Samsung Gear VR
  • Meta Quest

However, VR gear is usually an optional enhancement. And not every metaverse has VR support, such as Decentraland and Upland. Metaverse games with VR capabilities include:

  • Spatial
  • Cryptovoxels
  • The Sandbox
  • Roblox

Before you buy any specific VR gear, make sure that it’s compatible with the metaverse you plan to frequent. And if you’re using a VR setup that requires a computer, check that your computer can comfortably run the setup.

Shop metaverse VR gear

Oculus products and accessories
Oculus products and accessories

Walmart

Musicians who hosted VR concerts

A few musicians who have performed in a metaverse game include:

  • Marshmello. Held the first-ever metaverse concert in Fortnite in February 2019.
  • Travis Scott. Held a concert in Fortnite in April 2020.
  • Justin Bieber. Held a metaverse concert on the platform Wave in November 2021.
  • Young Thug. Featured in Facebook’s Horizon Venues metaverse in December 2021.
  • Snoop Dogg. Has plans for a 2022 concert in The Sandbox. His single “House I Built” was the first music video completely filmed in the metaverse game The Sandbox.

Marshmello
Image source: IGN YouTube, Marshmello Fortnite concert

Bottom line

Metaverse concerts aren’t widespread yet. Few musicians have shown interest in these events, and since many of them are free to attend, there currently isn’t much monetary value for the artist. Additionally, Facebook’s string of concerts was a flop, possibly leading other artists to believe these events aren’t worth their time.

However, despite the negative publicity, Snoop Dogg appears to have a lot of time and energy invested in The Sandbox — he has plans to host a metaverse concert there in 2022. He owns property in The Sandbox as well, so this metaverse may set the precedent for how to conduct these events.

Even the music label company Warner Music Group (WMG) is planning to open a concert venue within The Sandbox, Decrypt noted. If that label name isn’t familiar, they’ve signed major artists like Ed Sheeran, Madonna, Coldplay, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, just to name a few. If this launches, we may see a new wave of virtual concerts take off.

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