VIR­TUAL FES­TI­VALS

En­joy the show with­out leav­ing home.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

EN­TER­ING the fes­ti­val, you can col­lect your wrist­band and then ei­ther head down to the main val­ley stage, stop by Chill­out Is­land, or skip the crowds via the Tele­port­ing Deer.

It’s not your av­er­age event, but online fes­ti­vals are a grow­ing at­trac­tion for those who’d pre­fer to at­tend vir­tu­ally.

The beauty of vir­tual fes­ti­vals is that at­tend­ing doesn’t in­volve phys­i­cally go­ing any­where, pay­ing any money or do­ing any­thing be­sides soak­ing it up from the com­fort of your com­puter chair.

Se­cond­fest is a mu­sic fes­ti­val in the Sec­ond Life vir­tual world. Mu­si­cal per­for­mances online usu­ally pro­vide au­dio through in­di­vid­ual web pages to lis­ten­ers at home. Se­cond­fest is dif­fer­ent in that it of­fers an online com­mu­nity the abil­ity to ex­pe­ri­ence en­ter­tain­ment to­gether, at the same in­ter­ac­tive time, in a large vir­tual space.

This year’s Se­cond­fest fea­tured Pet Shop Boys, Florence and the Ma­chine, Groove Ar­mada, New Young Pony Club, Simian Mo­bile Disco, Hot Chip and oth­ers. But fes­ti­vals aren’t only about the mu­sic.

Dot­ted around the grounds at Se­cond­fest are dif­fer­ent at­trac­tions and tele­por­ta­tion de­vices, trans­port­ing you to vir­tual open-air cine­mas, se­cret beach par­ties and hid­den en­tries to VIP ar­eas so you can rub your avatar shoul­ders with the stars.

Keep­ing the fes­ti­val ap­peal, there’s even vir­tual mud to slip over in and throw around – echo­ing the Glas­ton­bury and Tassie fes­ti­val ex­pe­ri­ence.

Se­cond­fest was con­ceived and pro­duced by Sara Lin­foot ( The Guardian news­pa­per’s head of dig­i­tal part­ner­ships) and Sarah El­li­son ( The Guardian ’ s head of events) and cu­rated by Sav Remzi of Tirk Records. It took out the As­so­ci­a­tion of Online Pub­lish­ers prize in the In­no­va­tion cat­e­gory and The Guardian Achieve­ment Award for In­no­va­tion in Ad­ver­tis­ing. Be­sides mu­sic and en­ter­tain­ment, there is se­ri­ous busi­ness in vir­tual events too.

A vir­tual tradeshow or expo is sim­i­lar to the phys­i­cal expo that we are fa­mil­iar with; there are booths and pre­sen­ta­tions de­signed to in­ter­est at­ten­dees. At­ten­dees can chat live with ex­hibitors, down­load col­lat­eral, view pre­sen­ta­tions and more, all through an online vir­tual environment that you visit through your web browser.

The value of vir­tual fes­ti­vals in this era when Glas­ton­bury at­tracts 175,000 peo­ple a day is the ecofriendly as­pect.

Billed as a to­tally eco-friendly event, Geek Pop is a free, an­nual online mu­sic fes­ti­val coin­cid­ing with the UKs National Sci­ence and En­gi­neer­ing Week, fea­tur­ing artists in­spired by sci­ence.

Half of the head­lin­ing acts are in­ter­na­tional tour­ers, but no car­bon was used to host them. As an online fes­ti­val, it does not fill a field with dis­carded plas­tic, cans and fly­ers. No tick­ets are printed and the en­tire mar­ket­ing cam­paign is con­ducted online, to save pa­per. Per­haps where con­fer­ence calls will out­live web­based vir­tual events is in mo­bile tech­nol­ogy. It’s not so easy to beam in to Sec­ond Life on your mo­bile phone with­out a glitch.

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