Ava Max, a pop singer best known for her triggering haircut and not being Lady Gaga, will be performing a virtual concert in Roblox, a game best known for sketchy sex parties and not being Minecraft or Fortnite. The event promises to be a “a first-of-its-kind immersive album launch party and virtual fan meetup,” marking the release of her debut album Heaven & Hell.
The “Sweet but Psycho” chanteuse is the latest in a long line of celebrities and artists using video games and social apps to connect with their fandoms during the global pandemic — which has all but killed the live events business. Musicians in particular, who do most of their promotion and make the bulk of their profit via live performances, have thrown themselves into the trend.
Festival — Travis Scott grabbed headlines and eyeballs in a record-setting Fortnite event, The Weeknd streamed a concert via TikTok, and Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s Instagram Live show Verzuz has dominated the cultural conversation each time it’s aired. Also John Legend is doing some motion capture stuff that we don’t entirely understand.
Mall tour — The Roblox spectacular will take place in a towering disco and will feature performances, a Q&A, a merch store, and quests fans can pursue in-game. “I just can’t wait to meet my fans on Roblox this Friday,” Ava Max said in a statement about the event. “I miss being able to interact with everyone in person, and I’m really excited to try this new way of connecting with them in a life-like immersive experience to share my new music.”
Promo — While it’s probably very frustrating not to be able to have an album launch party or tour for your first release, it is sort of notable that a B-list pop star and a B-list social game are teaming up to raise their profiles and grab attention via press like this very article that you’re reading. “In the age of social distancing, are apps and celebrities the new power couples?” is something Carrie Bradshaw would likely have mused.
We hope Ms. Max has a great night. You can participate in the Ava Max’s digital bash tonight, September 25, at 7 p.m. ET.