Nightwish, Finland’s most internationally successful band, treated their fans to a spectacular virtual experience on Friday, May 28 and Saturday, May 29. Set in a 3D-world, ‘An Evening With Nightwish in a Virtual World’ gathered altogether over 150,000 viewers. The highest number of visitors logged in from Europe and North America, but fans joined from across the globe as tickets were sold to 108 countries. The price range of the tickets was €25 - €109 and the ticket income corresponds to a large stadium-sized concert.
When Nightwish’s world tour was canceled due to the pandemic, the band wanted to offer fans something unprecedented. Half a year in preparation, the team comprising Nightwish, promoter Fullsteam Agency, technical producer Zoan and management company Till Dawn They Count, put together an exceptionally ambitious production, the like of which had not been seen before. Fans were able to follow the band playing live in the astonishing 3D world, designed according to the band’s vision, while interacting with each other. Also, songs from Nightwish’s latest album ‘Human. : II: Nature.’ were played live for the first time.
“This is definitely one of the coolest things Nightwish has ever done. Entwining visual elements, technology and music in such an extraordinary way offers an unique experience to us all,” the band states.
“We all knew that there would be a lot of demand for this show, but honestly I was blown away by how great it turned out and how many tickets we sold. I think there is a huge potential for virtual shows that can be very unique experiences for fans. And I think the key is to understand that we are not trying to replicate a live show here - it is a completely different thing and has to be designed to be enjoyed at home and on your portable devices. And I personally don’t think anything will ever replace the live experience anyway.,” comments promoter Rauha Kyyrö from Fullsteam Agency.
The technical producer, VR Studio Zoan, worked on the project with 30 employees from seven different countries. Half of them - many of the 3D modelers, for example - are long-term Nightwish fans who were ready to put everything in the game for their favorite band. The specialties of the virtual world included a tavern with its many details, as well as a combination of high-end technology such as photorealistic scans and the latest Unreal Engine game engine technology that enables high-quality concert execution.
“It feels amazing to have cracked the code on how to provide virtual live entertainment directly to the fans. This is the beginning of an entire new segment in the music industry,” says CEO Miikka Rosendahl from Zoan.