Minecraft's Virtual Block Party Features SD Acts

Two acts with local ties, Los Shadows and Fashion Jackson, are on the Block By Blockwest bill

Los Shadows 2018 Press Photo Cropped

Since it's launch in 2011, Minecraft has, for a huge swath of the population dominated gaming and pop culture. In fact, the game is one of the highest selling of all time, second only to Tetris. For the uninitiated, “players explore a blocky, procedurally generated 3D world, and may discover and extract raw materials, craft tools, build structures or earthworks,” and can choose to play in one of three modes: creative, game or survival.

Within the framework of the game, you can create virtual worlds, and brands and bands are taking advantage of the platform, it's popularity and our current stay-at-home orders to create new experiences, including live music festivals. On April 25, Block By Blockwest, presented by the Philly band Courier Club is one such event.

“Block By Blockwest aims to forge a hub of human connectivity in this time of social distancing through livestream acts, competitive mini games, a vast art gallery featuring rising fine artists, as well and a handful of other features for the festival goer to explore,” explains the BxBW tutorial on YouTube. Acts that are involved will interact with fans from various stages, and users can explore festival grounds, which even include a merch tent that will link directly to artists' online stores for real-life purchasing. “Admission” is free, but donations will go to the CDC coronavirus fund.

There are about 20 acts slated to "play" the festival, including San Diego's garage-pop act Fashion Jackson and the surf dream-pop act Los Shadows.

The online festival is accessible through Minecraft Java Edition, or stages can be streamed via Twitch, YouTube or Facebook when the “festival gates” open on April 25.

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