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Your Guide to Virtual Music Festivals

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

Source: Photo by Pien Muller on

The global pandemic of 2020 has forced people to think outside the box and find new ways to stay connected. Many people have moved to connect virtually as a result of travel restrictions. Over the past few months, we've had birthday celebrations, virtual graduations, attended classes, held doctor visits and attended DJ "battles" over Zoom, showing that it is possible to deliver and attend events virtually.

We don't know when large, mass events or travel will be back to normal, so at least for the time being, it appears virtual and online musical events might be the way to go for music lovers. Thankfully, there have been more and more events popping up. For example, the Virtual Juneteenth Music Festival as well as the Nashville Jazz and Blues Fest, both occurred on June 20. Thus far, the Verzuz battles on Instagram have been incredibly popular, with most recent being the John Legend verzuz Alicia Keys in honor of Juneteenth. Our favorite is The Magnificent House Party with DJ Jazzy Jeff every Saturday where he mixes music and interacts with listeners over chat on various platforms MixCloud or YouTube or FaceBook. Another big move is the 13th Annual Roots Picnic is going virtual this year! There are lots of options for the music lover to experience live music, even in these times and in many cases, they are free of charge!

Virtual music festivals are no easy feat to plan and execute. However, it has become clear that we can recreate some elements of the experience. While they may not be the same as the real thing, especially given our current circumstances, they can be pretty good! These virtual music experiences are only becoming more popular and more exciting. At least in the short run, it might be time to get on board!

Virtual World A smaller but growing trend in 2020 is to immerse yourself in a Virtual World to attend a music event, concert, solo performance or DJ set. But what even qualifies as a virtual world? Well, according to most common definitions, a virtual world is a "computer-simulated environment". Users are represented on screen as an “avatar” which allows you to engage with other people in avatar form in a 3D virtual world in a similar way you might do in real life. A perfect example of this is Second Life, which is the oldest virtual world community that allows users to have a variety of experiences, including shopping, socializing and entertainment! Virtual Reality Unlike a virtual world, Virtual Reality(VR) places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact within a 3D environment. As an example, imagine the holodeck from the Star Trek series. VR is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment but it is so much more! Coming up: Lost Horizon July 3 - 4, 2020 The world's largest independent music and arts festival in virtual reality. As we see many music events occurring in the virtual space, it begs the question as to whether we can expect this virtual trend to grow or will it dissipate once we've passed this immediate pandemic situation? We have seen an increase in virtual (though not computer-simulated) musical events during this time, like YouTube/Instagram concerts, online music clashes like Verzuz and many other exciting music experiences on the Internet. Will concerts in virtual worlds continue & grow? Or is this phenomenon temporary?


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