Virtual Concert – An Evening with Nightwish in a Virtual World

How to bring people together in a world where physical contact and social gatherings were not allowed due to restrictions? The worldwide pandemic shut down the live events in the music industry forcing us to come up with a solution to create an unforgettable evening with fans and their beloved band, Nightwish.

Nightwish had just released their new album, ‘Human. : II: Nature’ and the band was facing a major question: How to create an event and present all the new songs that fans are so anxiously waiting to hear?

When Nightwish’s world tour was canceled due to the pandemic, the band wanted to offer fans something unprecedented. Half a year in preparation, the team comprising Nightwish, promoter Fullsteam Agency, technical producer ZOAN, and management company ‘Till Dawn They Count, put together an exceptionally ambitious production, the like of which had not been seen before.

Strategy & Insight

As physical events were literally out of the stage, we had to create an environment where Nightwish and their fans could enjoy what connects people around the world – music. A year before, ZOAN and FULLSTEAM Agency had created the industry-changing May Day virtual concert, starred by the superstar JVG rap duo.

That event made the final proof of concept statement for virtual technologies and proved their capability to bridge the gap between artists and their fans. To bring people together, interact with each other, and immerse in the holistic experience.

This time the scope was even more ambitious, serving a global audience. As Nightwish has fans all over the world and it has a recognizable visual identity – virtual technologies enabled us to take the experience even further. We were able to create a fantasy world based on the band’s instructions and extend the reality to an imaginary place where we can enjoy the music and artists that we love.

CONCEPT

To create a truly close and intimate connection with the band and their hardcore fans, Tuomas Holopainen, Nightwish lead member together with Janne Pitkänen worked together with ZOAN’s 3D specialist to create the unique dream world.

This cross-functional working method created an intersection where creators, artists, and developers knowhow emerged. Creating a harmonious virtual world without physical boundaries. Virtual technologies enabled the concert but also made it accessible for people in different economical situations as there was no need to travel and ticket pricing ensured the experience for the majority of people.

The idea was to make the event accessible for all, hence, we arranged two different shows to serve people on different timezones. FULLSTEAM acted as the promoter of the event, lippu.fi and Eventim planned international coverage&presence.

ZOAN and Livetek organized the virtual production in Valova’s studio. ZOAN handled the customer support together with FULLSTEAM and Lippu.fi.

THE APPROACH

A full-length live experience that reached magical dimensions was set in virtual reality – The Islander Inn tavern. During these two evenings, both the band and the audience were able to dive into diverse imaginary 3D worlds filled with little details. On both evenings VIP ticket holders got also access to the pre-show where the identity of the new bass player was revealed. The technical production was led by ZOAN, whose Burst Live platform also powered Finnish rap superstars JVG’s May 1st virtual reality show that attracted more than a million viewers last spring.

During the shows, fans were able to follow the band playing live in the astonishing 3D world, designed according to the band’s visual identity while interacting with each other. Also, songs from Nightwish’s latest album were played live for the first time.

The technical producer, VR Studio Zoan, worked on the project with 30 employees from seven different countries. Half of them – many of the 3D modelers, for example – are long-term Nightwish fans who were ready to put everything in the game for their favorite band. The specialties of the virtual world included a tavern with its many details, as well as a combination of high-end technology such as photorealistic scans and the latest Unreal Engine game engine technology that enables high-quality concert execution.

RESULTS

Nightwish, Finland’s most internationally successful band, treated their fans to a spectacular virtual experience on Friday, May 28, and Saturday, May 29. Set in a 3D-world, ‘An Evening With Nightwish in a Virtual World’ gathered altogether over 150,000 viewers. The highest number of visitors logged in from Europe and North America, but fans joined from across the globe as tickets were sold to 108 countries. The price range of the tickets varied from €25 – €109, and the ticket income corresponds to a large stadium-sized concert. The event won the Finnish Cultural Achievement of the year 2021 at Cultural Awards, and Concert of the year 2021 at Industry Awards.

“An evening with Nightwish in a virtual world”
ZOAN, FULLSTEAM AGENCY, ‘TILL DAWN THEY COUNT LTD

Producers
ZOAN, FULLSTEAM AGENCY, ´TILL DAWN THEY COUNT LTD, Lippu.fi, BURST, FKP SCORPIO, Eventim

Client
Nightwish

Media partners
Bauer Media, Popmedia, EMP

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