Decentraland, an immersive online platform similar to Second Life and Minecraft, has gained thousands of users over the past few months thanks to the pandemic as well as the increased popularity of NFTs. Decentraland is unique from other digital worlds in that parcels of land and other objects within the platform can be purchased and sold as NFTs using MANA, an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency.
On Sunday, July 11th, Decentraland hosted its first fully live, multi-artist festival, To The Moon, as part of Decentraland Art Week. The festival was organized by BEAR NFT in partnership with digital artist collective Illumino and NFT marketplace KnownOrigin. The festival featured performances by Ookay, SNBRN, Dr. Fresch, Autograf, and Win and Woo.
BEAR NFT was founded a few months ago by Andrew Seth Cohen and Ryan Kieffer, co-founders of animation studio and creative agency Confidential Creative, in tandem with additional co-founders Blake Berlinger, Jacqui Bransky, and Joey Schwartz. “We saw a great opportunity in March, with the explosion of interest in the music scene around NFTs, to collaborate with artists – both musical and visual,” says Cohen. “With metaverse collaborations such as NFT art pieces and wearables, our goals include helping musicians create new virtual collections and merchandise that will allow them to generate new revenue streams, which is especially valuable during the pandemic which greatly affected the music industry,”
The company helps artists determine what types of NFTs they should be making and also assists with production, distribution, and marketing. Part of the marketing component is helping artists enter the metaverse through platforms like Decentraland.
Kieffer shares that he worked closely with the Decentraland nonprofit team as the idea for the event took shape and also recruited help from Illumino, who had previously organized successful auctions of NFT collaborations by Two Feet and FEWOCiOUS in February. “We wanted to be the first ones to create this type of event,” he explains. “There have been other smaller events in Decentraland that are either one-act or pre-recorded, but this was the first fully live, multi-artist concert that also had wearables available, which is really exciting.”
Wearables, which are clothing items or accessories that uses can purchase for their virtual avatars, were made available exclusively during the event and will help continue to promote it now that’s it’s over as people wear the items around the digital world.
To the Moon also provided Proof of Attendance Protocol, or POAP, which Kieffer explains is “a digital badge that users will receive that goes to their Ethereum wallet, so they can prove that they were there.”
The music performances were streamed live from LA, where a select group of people were also able to attend in-person. “There was a real party going on at the same time as there was a party going on in the Metaverse,” says Kieffer.
The physical studio was set up with computers so that artists could join the fun in the virtual world and connect with fans after their performances. “We could actually have the musicians go into Decentraland after they performed and communicate with everybody, run around in the world, and just have fun,” notes Kieffer. “We wanted to make it as unique an experience as possible for everyone who attended.”
In Decentraland, the concert was streamed to a screen outside KnownOrigin’s virtual headquarters, which was modified slightly to accommodate the performance. Inside the building, explains Cohen, “there were various art pieces and NFTs sale, including our five exclusive NFTs that were launched – one created in tandem with each performing artist, as well as a sixth that was the festival flier.” NFT purchases were also managed through KnownOrigin’s platform.
To the Moon had over 700 attendees, and while it was the first of its kind, it likely won’t be the last.
"It was great to see such a big turnout for this monumental event in Decentraland,” says Kieffer. “We appreciate all the support and look forward to doing more of these in the future as we continue to build upon this event's success and bring more people into the Metaverse. We see exponential growth in the Metaverse from IP creation, virtual real estate, fashion, shopping and more. A music and arts festival is just the beginning of our road map.”
Cohen adds: "Both the audience in Los Angeles and in Decentraland from across the world were having such a fun and memorable experience jamming. We were excited by many attendees purchasing the wearables, as well as checking out our first NFT collection, dubbed "To The Moon" in honor of the festival, which is still active for a few more days on KnownOrigin"
Check out the collection at knownorigin.io/bearnft.