With socially distanced concerts looking unsustainable and drive-in shows turning into standout disasters, artists are still looking for new ways to interact with fans. Events on Fortnite and Minecraft have been largely successful, leading many to consider how to upgrade the standard “sit in front of a computer and play” virtual performance. The Weeknd is the latest musician to make the innovative digital leap, teaming with TikTok for what’s being called the platform’s “first-ever in-app cross reality experience.”
Dubbed simply “The Weeknd Experience,” the August 7th event will center around the Canadian R&B star’s latest full-length, After Hours, one of our favorite albums of the year so far. Exactly what the “experience” may be is vaguely hidden by flashy PR language, though notably the words “performance” or “concert” are never used. Instead, it’s described as “a technologically innovative presentation” that will see The Weeknd “playing smash hits” from his latest LP.
“You’ll be captivated and suspended in space while The Weeknd invites you into the awesome madness of his world, as seen through his eyes,” promises a press release. Fans will also be able to interact with the artist “as he takes viewers on an epic After Hours journey.”
#TheWeekndEXP will benefit The Equal Justice Initiative, with TikTok promising to match donations “up to a generous amount.” There will also be exclusive merch tied to the event, with proceeds again going to EJI. The capsule of merch will be available from August 6th-10th at The Weeknd’s online shop.
It all goes down live on the @tiktok handle at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT on August 7th. Worldwide rebroadcasts will take place through the 10th, with The Weeknd hosting one on his own TikTok channel on August 9th at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. The full schedule can be seen below, and you can RSVP now.
Editor’s Note: Speaking of exclusive merch capsules, the Consequence of Sound store is loaded with custom designed, pop culture-referencing face masks and T-shirts. Check out our latest shirt collection, featuring limited edition prints inspired by some of the greatest blockbuster movies of all time.