The Green Room

I organise virtual music festivals. AMA

My name is Max Schramp. I’m an architecture student from Canada, moonlighting as a musician, designer photographer, and most importantly, I am part of the virtual events company Open Pit. We’ve been organizing virtual events in the game Minecraft since mid-2018. Our larger festivals had over 80 acts and the audiences reached into the hundreds of thousands with coverage from Vice, Washington Post, and the New York Times. Find out more here: https://openpit.net

I’ll be here to answer your questions live on 2020-05-12T15:00:00Z2020-05-12T16:00:00Z

You’ll need to sign up to the forum to take part.

Once you have signed up, feel free to add this to your calendar by clicking the three dots above.

Talk soon!

Thanks for the AMA Max! Our question - how complicated is it for an amateur to set up a festival in Minecraft?

How easy is it convincing people to go to Minecraft to access the festival? And how easy is it to set yourself up to attend if you’ve never used Minecraft before?

As a DJ/artist, what is the technical aspect of getting my music to play through Minecraft? Does your team take care of all of that?

Hi Max,
That sounds so interesting!
Was there a reason for choosing Minecraft as the platform?
Thanks
Rose

Hi Max,

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a couple of questions!

What advice would you give to someone organising a virtual event for the first time?

Welcome everybody to this AMA! Max is here and ready to answer questions so please keep them coming…

It’s not actually as complicated as you would think. The minimum requirements are being able to play minecraft (build a world) and book the artists. It gets more complicated as the audience scales, because Minecraft doesn’t support more than ~200 consecutive players out of the box. For perspective, we started doing these events with no formal event planning experience beyond DIY house shows.

1 Like

Hi Max! What are you working on at the moment? Have any of the big festivals approached you following COVID-19 cancellations?

1 Like

Hi Max, what is your advice on creating an atmosphere online? How can we get the real world gig buzz virtually?

1 Like

long time listener, first time caller. What web tool do you use to stream the music on a separate site? What goes into the website buildout process?

1 Like

Minecraft is currently the best-selling game in the world with over 180M copies sold, and we include clear instructions on our event sites to be able to connect. We always have a significant amount of Minecraft players, but with Open Pit we have multiple channels to experience our events. In addition to the game, we have always had a seperate audio stream and a discord server for the community to chat. Recently we started to do a twitch livestream of the events, and those have been hugely successful with 100,000+ unique viewers.

1 Like

Ha! We fail at the “play minecraft” hurdle :blush: Definitely going to look into it though!

We have all artists pre-record their sets ahead of each event. Although this takes the “live” novelty away, there isn’t really any significant difference for the audience. We’ve found that with pre-recorded sets, artists have gone above and beyond what would be possible in a live setting, creating unique remixes and voiceovers for these events. We stream all of the audio through our website.

1 Like

We originally chose Minecraft because many people in our online music scene had spent thousands of hours playing throughout middle school/high school. It’s also a sandbox game, which gives us the opportunity to build whatever we want- which is essential when you want to build wild stages and festival worlds.

Minecraft is also the best game for these type of events, as we can host them without any assistance from the developer. For the Fortnite music events that have been taking place, those wouldn’t be possible without intervention from Epic Games.

1 Like

My advice would be, especially with the saturation of events these days, craft the acts and experience towards your expected audience. Our events wouldn’t be possible without the community we’ve established, so we spend a lot of time on things we know they will enjoy. In Minecraft, people love exploring and finding in-game merch, so we build huge worlds with lots of interactive experiences. We also book many acts from within the community itself. If your event is going to be on a livestream, think about what you can do to bring another level of interactivity to it- Porter Robinson’s Secret Sky event from last weekend is a perfect example of that.

3 Likes

We’re actually taking a break! We pushed out three events in a relatively short timeline and are taking a minute to recalibrate. We haven’t received any formal requests from large festivals, but we are still planning a larger event similar to our past ones for later this year.

1 Like

I think that Twitter is the best platform for this. A lot of our exposure came from the artists we booked sharing the event online, and then the entire timeline being taken over by them during the event. We usually plan our marketing rollouts to include a couple posters, a teaser video, some memes, etc. If you have fun with it the audience will too!

2 Likes

Is there a cost to the organiser for using Minecraft to plan a festival?

We use an internet radio service called Mixlr, and embed it on our site. Our web developer Eden usually creates a site for the poster, and updates it with set times and audio players for the event.

1 Like