Lil Yachty is hosting the first-ever live, interactive performance powered by the Unreal Engine. Yes, we're truly living in the future. "Lil Yachty Presents: The Night is Young" will air tonight, November 19, at 6:30PM PST.
Kind of weird, kind of cool — Following a (virtual) house party concert, Yachty will travel through a collection of real and abstract worlds as he hosts a talk show and interviews live guests, culminating in his "full transcendence into the simulation." The show will be livestreamed with yet-to-be-announced guests, and there will be opportunities for viewers to interact with Yachty and pick up some exclusive merch.
Rendering through Unreal Engine is going to happen in real-time using tracking cameras to map guests in 3D and insert them into surreal environments. We don't really know what that will look like, but from the press images, it seems like it'll be wild. The environments are being designed by some of the same people who have created visual content for the likes of Justin Bieber and Diplo.
The show isn't free but it'll cost only $15 to get in. It's being hosted by Headliner, a service that says it offers artists a new form of live, interactive content for the digital era. The company offers apps across multiple platforms and says its live productions are "super, super low latency." Artists can interact with fans through live chat, though with a popular celebrity like Lil Yachty it'll probably be hard to break through the noise.
Adapting to COVID — Headliner says that these type of 3D experiences allow for feature-length performances that could never happen on a stage. It's convenient that, of course, stage performances aren't possible right now anyway. But artists make a lot more money off live performances than the fractions of a cent they can get from streaming plays, so these types of digital shows can help somewhat even if they don't compare to the visceral experience of an in-person concert.
We've seen other platforms try and offer alternative ways to host live, online events — Bandcamp on Tuesday launched a streaming concert feature where musicians can set their own ticket price and the company takes only 10 percent for itself.
This isn't the first time Lil Yachty has experimented with the digital medium. In the run-up to the Sonic film that debuted earlier this year, he made an appearance in a Wiz Khalifa music video that takes place in the game itself.