There’s one place where it’s still safe to mosh to music or wander through a crowded exhibition: your favorite video game. With arts spaces closed, concerts postponed and no one to dress up for, arts spaces, musicians and fashionistas are finding creative ways to stand out in the sea of livestreams and digital collections, by recreating venues—and the experiences they host—in video games.
More than 12 million Fortnite players tuned into rapper Travis Scott’s virtual concert, Astronomic on April 23. That’s more than the total attendance of both U2 and Ed Sheerhan’s massively successful tours—at a time when Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Music have seen their on-demand streams fall by 7%. The format was so successful Joe Biden is apparently considering adopting it for his presidential campaign.
For 10 minutes, a giant Travis Scott teleported around the Fortnite map playing hits like “Sicko Mode” and “Goosebumps,” and debuting a new song with Kid Cudi that shot to number one on Rolling Stone’s weekly top 100 chart with over 32 million streams. (At number two, Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” has a little over half that number of streams, at 17.4 million.) Players had the option to download character skins—including one inspired by a viral tweet from 2017—and, of course, buy some Fortnite Travis Scott merch.