Hip-hop star Travis Scott just descended into Fortnite on his very own planet, blowing fans away with a bonkers in-game "concert" that all but obliterates the thin line between what’s virtual and what’s real. The hugely hyped event brought spacey visuals and interactive treats galore, and shows just how high the ceiling is for future events that merge reality with the unlimited creative potential to think big.
Arriving from skies above a stage that’s been taking shape over the past several days on the game map, Scott showed up in a towering, psychedelic avatar that puts a whole new interdimensional spin on the new music he came packing. Teased ahead of time as the “Astronomical” event, Scott used Fortnite’s enormous virtual bullhorn as his first choice for blasting out the worldwide debut of “The Scotts,” a new song featuring Kid Cudi.
Players had control of their own characters throughout the "concert," though the event’s trippy takeover meant Fortnite’s typical battle royale squabbles gave way instead to Coachella-worthy good vibes (Scott was supposed to be headlining the fest this month before coronavirus delayed it). Epic Games crafted an environment that had players not just head-bobbing, but bouncing, flying, and even swimming around inside Scott’s expansive virtual headspace.
The event was streamed live by tons of Fortnite players today, but Epic is re-staging the show for an encore presentation this weekend, for anyone who missed out (or, in other time zones, might’ve snoozed through the whole thing). Like last year’s epic Marshmello concert, which put EDM beats inside a themed-out section of the map that players got to see taking shape ahead of time, the Scott crossover marks the kind of pop culture touchstone that can only unfold in a virtual world: everything’s bigger, the environment’s as loopy as game designers’ imaginations can make it, and everyone gets to leave the humbling real-world rules of physics at the door.
Titan-sized Travis Scotts and day-glo space trips are cool and all, but maybe the best thing about the virtual event is the pain-free aftermath: Besides the obvious social distancing benefits, in a video game, no one has to stick around to deal with all that post-concert litter…unless, of course, Fortnite decides to make that a thing, too. There are four encores hitting the game on Friday and Saturday, so check out Fortnite’s landing page for details on how to tune in — and maybe even pick up some Travis Scott-themed in-game swag along the way.