What India’s first Metaverse concert tells us about the future of virtual music events
Imagine a person in Canada virtually attending a Harrdy Sandhu concert in India with thousands of fans from all over the world. No, we don’t mean being part of an online gig like the one we’ve all attended in these times of a pandemic. We’re talking about virtual concerts in the Metaverse, which will be much more immersive than listening to a live video.
“The platforms already exist, we already have the artists, we already have the material… we combine them all and make sure this event takes place,” says Litesh Gumber, founder of Cryptic Entertainments. indianexpress.com how a music concert in the Metaverse combines elements of virtual reality (VR), NFTs, and decentralized blockchain-based worlds. Gumber’s company hosted India’s first Metaverse concert on Somnium Space VR with Sparsh Dangwal performing a recorded performance attended by 25-30 people.
The owner / organizer of the platform like Somnium Space VR can imagine what the concert would be like… they will transport you to a beach, the moon or a fantasy world. All you need is a VR headset, and once you are there, you will see your little cartoon avatar who can talk to other people attending the concert, dance and enjoy just like you would in an in- concert person.
Gumber says the virtual experience mimics the way a concert takes place in the physical environment, but it is more immersive and there are no physical limits to the number of people in attendance.
Interestingly, a virtual concept is more viable from a financial point of view, as the artists and the team do not need to travel and there is no need to install expensive sets for the same.
In the Metaverse, performers can perform anywhere in the world as people attend their concerts from the comfort of their own homes. Even if you wear a VR headset and watch the concert on your own, you will still be interacting with others in the shared virtual space of the concert or through live chats during the performance.
These metaverse gigs make more sense at a time when small artists and independent musicians face the burden of canceling shows due to the global pandemic. Even though music streaming platforms like Spotify saved the music industry, small artists still struggle. With virtual concerts, these artists can earn again through ticket sales and NFTs. “For the initial period, we are not going to charge any artist anything,” he said, adding that since there are fewer middlemen, the artists benefit directly.
While it’s too early to say what the future holds for the Metaverse, Gumber says he and his team at least have proof of concept thanks to India’s first virtual gig.
In the West, the music industry is already open to the idea of virtual concerts in the metaverse. Great artists like Marshmello, Travis Scott, and Ariana Grande have all performed in virtual concerts because there is money to be made.
Most importantly, the Metaverse gives musicians a sense of community belonging, a decentralized approach where no particular entity dictates the terms. In the context of the music industry, Metaverse is audiovisual art, community-created 3D worlds, the right to own and sell digital objects and goods (or NFTs), avatars, digital products and of fashion. “In NFTs, those ahead were the ones who benefited the most,” recalls Gumber, noting that he expects a similar growth path for early entrants here as well.
Initially, focusing on getting users to test the format, Gumber said tickets would be free. “Either you listen to your favorite artists for free, or you have a ticketing system where people buy NFTs in the form of tickets and link their wallet of meta masks to the platform,” says Gumber. “A fully sponsored event is also possible.
The cost of virtual reality headsets is now a barrier to the concept taking off, along with the lingering internet connectivity issues in India. “We did this whole gig in the Metaverse, and it was a tough job to pull off,” Gumber said of his first gig. “Not only is the technology in its infancy, but users also need a high-performance PC, a high-quality VR headset, and a stable internet connection,” he added.
And the hardware and software must be perfectly synchronized. “Right now, the majority of the development is going on to make sure that the virtual reality experience is similar to the real life experience… a lot of money on these virtual concerts,” he explains. he.
To make the transition easier for artists, Gumber is setting up a metaverse studio in Mohali, Punjab with a professional setup. “Artists have to come to the studio, wear a VR headset and perform,” he says, adding that the setup used to be a regular studio.
“Right now the community is small, so those who come into the metaverse are the early adopters, the tech freaks or someone from the crypto industry.” Still, Gumber plans to host another experimental concert in the coming days. This time the concert will be performed live with an orchestra of six musicians.