The online video game phenomenon Fortnite gave us a brief look into the future of music marketing when Marshmello headlined the game’s first-ever virtual concert back in February. The event proved to be a massive success, drawing in 10.7 million live “attendees” (the biggest event ever for the game at the time) in addition to over 40 million views on YouTube alone to date. Marshmello‘s set also had real world implications on his hit song, “Happier,” which climbed the Billboard Hot 100 from #8 to #2 following the historic concert.
The future-forward event was by all accounts a massive success, making it all the more confusing why Fortnite has yet to schedule another virtual concert like Marshmello‘s. With Fortnite making headlines once again thanks to its surprise black hole announcement along with Lady Gaga‘s recent viral shoutout, Pop Crave looks at the five artists who are overdue for a billing on the virtual stage.
Grimes has made it her brand as an artist to be on the cutting edge of all-things technology. Between the singer’s infamous relationship with tech-titan Elon Musk, her claim that she got experimental surgery to eliminate blue light from her vision as well as her obsession with artificial intelligence, Grimes feels like she was born for the Fortnite stage. Sure, she wouldn’t exactly be the most popular artist to grace the stage, but the thought of an experimental indie artist like Grimes having free creative reign in the virtual world is too exciting to pass up.
A Travis Scott live event has become one of the hottest tickets in music thanks to his wild, if sometimes dangerous, crowds. Two years ago, the rapper was accused of inciting violence after a 23-year-old concertgoer was shoved off a balcony that led to him being paralyzed. Most recently, Scott‘s high-octane stage energy at Rolling Loud resulted in him injuring and possibly breaking his knee. With Scott possibly out of commission, a Fortnite virtual concert could be a clever marketing tool for his new music that would certainly inspire countless memes.
Travis Scott at Rolling Loud: “I ain’t gonna lie, I think I just broke my knee right now. But this show cannot stop just yet.” pic.twitter.com/iFDvElJeZh
— Pigeons & Planes (@PigsAndPlans) October 13, 2019
K-pop girl group sensation BLACKPINK has made headlines for their boundary-breaking work over the past year. The quartet broke the record for the biggest music video debut on YouTube in April with “Kill This Love” before becoming the first K-pop girl group to ever play at the prestigious Coachella music festival. BLACKPINK also holds the record for the most-viewed music video by any K-pop group on YouTube (surpassing BTS) with the fan-favorite hit, “DDU-DU DDU-DU.”
With the monster streaming numbers behind them, it seems almost guaranteed that BLACKPINK would eviscerate the attendance numbers posted by Marshmello. It makes sense as a commercial move for Fortnite that would draw in a new audience unfamiliar with the gaming phenomenon.
Having superstar producer Calvin Harris follow in Marshmello’s footsteps on the Fortnite stage feels like the next logical step for the video game. In addition to sharing similar music styles, Harris makes for an exciting guest given his star-studded discography. Just imagine a virtual Frank Ocean making a rare “public” performance with his guest verse on “Slide,” or Rihanna appearing as an avatar for “This Is What You Came For” while she simultaneously tends to her Fenty beauty line. The set could also fit into Harris‘ album rollout, too, as fans were led to believe a new album was arriving this summer.
Tyler, The Creator and Calvin Harris are expected to drop projects before June 30th according to Sony Music’s 2019 financial report. pic.twitter.com/j8IInmo8fk
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) April 30, 2019
Credit: Getty images
Lady Gaga grabbed the collective attention of music fans and gamers alike with just two words this week: “What’s fortnight.” The viral tweet led to countless interactions from the Fortnite community, including the game’s worldwide creative director Donald Mustard:
Call me. https://t.co/ze520Qxyf2
— Donald Mustard (@DonaldMustard) October 15, 2019
A virtual set by Gaga is definitely possible considering her history with video games. The singer made headlines late last year when she live-tweeted her Bayonetta gaming sessions, calling herself a “Gamer Girl” and admitting to playing the game so long that her hands hurt. A Fortnite set is also the perfect canvas for Gaga‘s unbridled creativity where costumes, stage production and more have almost no budget. A virtual Gaga with no boundaries would certainly be a sight to see.
Which artists would you like to see headline a virtual Fortnite concert? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter at @PopCrave!