As music fans, there is perhaps no singular event that is more important and impactful than live performance. Through live experiences, artists are able to convert fans from avid listeners to dedicated fanatics in just in no time at all. Many artists, like Kanye West, Beyonce, The Grateful Dead, Prince, and were able to build their cult-like followings off of the heels of their live shows.

The COVID-19 Pandemic had a catastrophic effect on the music industry, as artists were no longer permitted to tour or perform in public due to pandemic restrictions. With the success of video games rooted in first-person open-world experiences or metaverses, many artists saw this as an opportunity to expand to another format of life performance — opening them up to a much wider audience.

While COVID-19 made online shows more and more common, metaverse shows extend all the way back to the late 1990s. Now that we’ve had nearly three decades of metaverse concert experiences, here are some of the best shows that have taken place online.

Duran Duran– Second Life

The first major act to perform in a metaverse was Duran Duran in 2006 on Second Life. Second Life was one of the first open-source metaverse worlds in which users could customize everything from their characters to the worlds they interacted in. Thousands attended the metaverse show which resulted in many other bands immediately following suit, planning metaverse shows of their own.

Fire Festival– Minecraft

In early 2019, Fire Festival blazed the path for a new crop of online show formats. Hosted in a dedicated Minecraft server, creative production company Open Pit was able to line up a bill that featured Ekali, Hudson Mohawke, ARTY, Luca Lush, AG Cook, and Umru. The festival spanned two days and had two stages simultaneously popping off. Fire Festival was the first of its kind, a precursor to what virtual concerts look like today. Minecraft is one of the best metaverse platforms to throw virtual shows. The game features low-quality polygon-shaped characters and objects. You can build a fully customizable world (or stage) where you can harvest crops or even build skyscrapers.

Travis Scott–Fortnite

In 2020, 27.8 million people tuned in for Travis Scott’s ASTRONOMICAL concert in Fortnite. Known for his elaborate stage setups, Scott’s debut in the metaverse saw a larger-than-life Travis Scott performing in the middle of an open world while players could watch from whatever vantage point they choose during the show. Fortnite is a free metaverse that contains a first-person shooter game.

100 Gecs– Minecraft

In April 2020, 100 Gec’s Secret Garden became the crown jewel of metaverse music experiences. Hosted in its own dedicated Minecraft server, Secret Garden had an elaborate woodland creature themed world.
With a giant tree of life at the center of the world, thousands of fans were ready for a truly unique musical experience. As if 100 Gecs wasn’t enough, Secret Garden also saw sets from Charli XCX, Kero Kero Bonito, Danny L Harle, A.G. Cook, Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat, and more.

Lavapalooza- Minecraft

In September of 2020, Open Pits Presents (the group behind numerous successful metaverse shows, including Secret Garden and Fire Festival), threw the wildly successful Lavapolooza. Like the ones that came before it, Lavapolooza was thrown in its own dedicated Minecraft server. After the success of shows that came before it, Lavapolooza is one of the pinnacle achievements in metaverse music experiences. The stage was packed for this one, featuring sets from massive artists like 100 Gecs, Bauuer, Ryan Hemsworth, Peter Kuli, Hannah Diamond, AG Cook, Alice Gas, and dozens more.

Buppy– Turntable LIVE

In February 2022, the newest music metaverse, Turntable LIVE, hosted a pre-release listening party for buzzing indie artist Buppy. Buppy’s newest single, Cold Nights in Hollywood received a tremendous amount of hype due to Buppy’s use of TikTok. The Turntable event, which took place on a virtual stage in the Turntable LIVE metaverse hosted tons of new users and Buppy fans. Turntable LIVE is the easiest music metaverse to use because you don’t have to build your environment to host a show. All of the hard work is done for you, anyone can get on stage and start DJing immediately.