Picture this: temples surrounded by food stands, an outdoor cinema featuring stand-up comedy and copyright lectures, and fellow travelers watching the sunset while seagulls fly over the skyline from a dock. The day is saved, not by the Powerpuff Girls, but by Sunset Rollercoaster and their latest metaverse event- Sunset Town Festival.
Sunset Rollercoaster teamed up with NAXS FUTURE over the 4-days-vacation weekend of February 28th to bring an innovative and retrospective metaverse music festival. NAXS FUTURE is a company that aims to push brands and artists to explore the forefront of digital culture.
In 2020, NAXS FUTURE worked with Unsound festival in Poland for the online project AFTERLIFE-ev20f1, which featured Taiwanese artists such as Meuko! Meuko! and Scattered Purgatory. They also conducted the online/offline show "Body Crysis," featuring experimental band PrairieWWWW, Melbourne-based choreographer Harrison Hall, and media artist Sam Mcgilin in 2022.
NAXS FUTURE went all out and created a town filled with joy and excitement for the 4-day Sunset Town Festival, an online music fest featuring Taiwanese artists such as 9m88, Mong Tong, LINION, The Crane, and actor Greg Han. The lineup also includes FOLK9 from Thailand, ADOY from Korea, and shoegazer The fin. from Japan, showcasing Sunset Rollercoaster's international network built up over years of touring restlessly.
To join in the fun, audience members can start by creating their own avatar figure. Once they enter the virtual town, they will be welcomed by Kuo-Hung Tseng, the frontman of Sunset Rollercoaster and mayor of the town, at the central station.
The town features four different stages, with bands playing full sets and DJs spinning upbeat remixes. In addition to basic movements like running and jumping, avatars can also perform amusing actions such as dancing and tossing hot pot ingredients. The playful nature of the metaverse music fest is enhanced by the low-resolution background, rough avatar designs, and slight dizziness that can occur from rotating too quickly. It all feels reminiscent of an early 2000s MMORPG, but with the added bonus vibe of live music. For those who take the time to converse with every NPC, there may be secret elements and hidden figures to discover.
Sunset Town Festival serves as a temporary solution to the ongoing struggle of attending gigs during the pandemic era. As physical festivals gradually return and virtual events become less frequent, this metaverse music fest provides a unique experience for music lovers to enjoy live performances and interact with other attendees while staying safe indoors.