The Grammys, the world’s top music award show created six decades ago as an elegant, black-tie event to celebrate legends like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, shone in a completely different light for its 64th edition last weekend when it entered the completely new, different (and virtual!) world of the Metaverse.
The aim of this Recording Academy’s initiative was to reach a younger audience by experimenting with new ways to engage fans and what better way to do that than to partner with one of the most popular gaming platforms- Roblox, as the co-president of The Recording Academy, Panos A. Panay, said promoting the leap into the virtual.
“We are always looking to innovate and reach music lovers wherever they are, and there is no better partner for us to accomplish this than Roblox,” he said.
Roblox is a global platform that gathers millions of people every day to imagine, create and share experiences with each other in self-generated immersive 3D worlds.
To enjoy this virtual experience, it was only necessary for the user to install the free Roblox application, create an avatar and attend the event live on Roblox.com or through the Roblox app.
“Grammy Week on Roblox”
Sponsored by Mastercard, the Academy’s first foray into the metaverse, which was an innovative, fully virtual experience having Las Vegas as a theme, was Roblox’s first musical activation.
The “preview” of the famous awards called “Grammy Week on Roblox“, which lasted from March 30 to April 3, enabled users to explore the Las Vegas Strip or even fly their own plane around Vegas, walk the red carpet and take photos with friends, collect and purchase exclusive Camilo and Grammy merchandise, collect items, play mini-games such as scavenger hunts, and answer Grammy quiz questions for a chance to win an item.
There were also fashion items created with Roblox’s new layered clothing technology featured on the Grammys’ red-carpet area.
The two-time American Grammy nominee and five-time Latin Grammy winner, Colombian artist Camilo, was part of the “preview” and the first Latin artist to give a virtual concert on the Roblox platform.
Camilo closed the experience, which included personal meetings with the avatars of various artists, chats, treasure hunts, and virtual merchandising items to buy or earn. In addition to Camilo’s performance, this virtual experience offered meetings with the Glass Animals, Walker Hayes, and Sofia Carson on the previous days.
“The Grammy Awards are iconic, and we were thrilled to bring the most popular musical extravaganza of the year to fans around the world,” said Jon Vlassopulous, VP and Global Head of Music for Roblox.
Paris Hilton’s Bag from the Grammys Lands in the Metaverse
However, it seems that it’s not only the music artist attending the 2022 Grammys that hit the Metaverse. The businesswoman and heiress Paris Hilton dazzled the audience with her daring look, accessorized with a showy blue and silver ‘martini glass’ bag.
Created by Norwegian designer Peter Dundas with the support of vodka brand Grey Goose – another Recording Academy’s partner – the sparkly accessory covered with no less than 3,404 Swarovski crystals is now accessible to all entering the metaverse as an NFT.
The equally sparkling NFT will be auctioned for 72 hours on the multi-brand platform DressX, where users will have the opportunity to buy it for their virtual twin in the metaverse.
“I hope it will yield amazing results as a portion of the profits go to charity,” said Dundas for Vogue.
Thanks to the metaverse and its infinite possibilities, now you can – or at least your avatar can – wear the virtual version of this glass bag and get another perk at the same time: the buyer of this creation will also be getting passes to an exclusive party organized by Dundas as part of the next New York Fashion Week this fall.
MasterCard and Recording Academy NFT Adventure
According to Forbes, the Recording Academy and MasterCard have also begun experimenting beyond the virtual worlds with another part of the Web3 zeitgeist: NFTs.
The Academy has released earlier this month its first collection of digital works by various artists to celebrate the 64th, 65th, and 66th Grammy Awards on OneOf, the green NFT marketplace built for music and backed by the record producer and 28-time GRAMMY winner Quincy Jones.
As the Academy pointed out on its website last week, a portion of the proceeds of the NFTs is going to the Recording Academy’s scholarship fund.
Back in January, MasterCard has partnered with the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to let people use their credit cards to buy NFTs, expanding its consulting services to include crypto and NFTs in February.
Motivated by the belief tech should be inclusive, MasterCard opted to make NFTs more accessible by offering the service since, until now, if a person wanted to buy an NFT, first he needed to open a crypto wallet, buy crypto, then use it to purchase an NFT in an online marketplace.
MasterCard believes that having more people included in new technologies spurs innovation, helps economies grow, and expands consumers’ choices.