Alfie Templeman and Amazon Music are hosting a virtual festival within Minecraft on May 19.
The virtual event in the gaming world is to mark the release of Alfie Templeman’s debut album, Mellow Moon (out May 27).
Working with the world-building creative agency, Varuna Builds, Amazon Music, Chess Club, AWAL and Alfie Templeman have created the world of Mellow Moon inside Minecraft.
This world will host a festival incorporating up-and-coming artists, as well as a few of Templeman's friends. Each artist will be performing one or two tracks using a custom in-game avatar, and promoting their appearance across their socials.
Fans can join the experience from 6pm BST on Wednesday, May 18 in the multiplayer server minecraft.alfietempleman.com. The festival performances will begin at 6pm BST on Thursday, May 19.
There are currently over 126 million active Minecraft players. The game’s largest demographic is those aged 15-21, who make up 43% of the player base.
Alfie Templeman said: “Thanks so much to Mitch [Page, label relations manager] and the whole team at Amazon Music for creating a Mellow Moon universe in Minecraft. I’ve been playing Minecraft for years, so it’s amazing to see my album alive and kicking in that world and incredible that some of my favourite artists are going to join me in playing this festival - I can’t wait for everyone else to see this now!”
Daphne Poon & Tom Prideaux at AWAL said: “It’s been brilliant collaborating with the teams at Amazon Music and Varuna to deliver such an ambitious concept and telling the story of the Mellow Moon in an interactive and fun way. Building in Minecraft enables fans to visit the Mellow Moon whilst acting as a gateway into the young, prospective audiences that we are trying to reach in this phase of Alfie’s development. We are excited to see both new and existing fans engage with Alfie’s world like never before!"
Here, Ross Watson, head of label relations at Amazon Music UK, opens up further about the Minecraft event and the streaming platform’s long-term support for Alfie Templeman…
What was the thinking behind this Minecraft initiative - why did it fit so well with Alfie?
“It’s the perfect fit for Alfie and the idea came from him personally and he’s worked alongside Mitch Page on our label relations team to make this a reality. We’re really happy to be helping to bring Alfie’s creative vision to life.
“Alfie is one of the most exciting young artists in the UK, and through the Breakthrough programme we aim to support him in taking his career to the next level. In this case we’re helping to give Alfie and his new album the opportunity to reach a global audience on Minecraft, where he can connect with his fans while also reaching a huge new audience. Breakthrough has always been an artist-led program. Helping artists to connect with fans through music, stories, culture and community is core to our mission, so this is a perfect fit for Amazon Music.”
Have you looked at other Minecraft music initiatives - what makes this one unique?
“We’ve seen a lot of really cool shows and festivals in Minecraft to date, and we’ve done a few things in the wider metaverse ourselves too including working with Easy Life on a gig in Fortnite. The metaverse music landscape is so vast and fast-paced that it’s hard to know what is truly unique, but what makes this one feel particularly special to us is the level of integration; joining the dots between Minecraft and Amazon Music in the real word, across music, merch and livestreaming.
“Fans will be able to buy Alfie’s album directly through the world, with a virtual store linking to Alfie’s artist page on Amazon to purchase physical copies of the album, as well as link out to our Breakthrough playlist. We’ll also be livestreaming the launch of the world with Alfie and friends via the Amazon Music UK Twitch channel this Thursday. It’s a fantastic, fully integrated experience for music fans.”
Is Minecraft a key platform for artists with a young fanbase? How can Amazon Music connect with this audience?
“We’re seeing an evolution in listening behaviours among young people, and we need to respond to that by bringing the music to where they are. In this partnership with Alfie, the Breakthrough UK playlist is integrated into the Minecraft experience, and available via our free tier, so young people can dive right into music from some of our favourite new artists whether they have a subscription or not.”
How will the virtual festival connect with other platforms such as Twitch? How will you amplify the content beyond the live performance?
“The festival will be livestreamed on the Amazon Music UK Twitch this Thursday [May 19], hosting Alfie and some drop-in guests to not only discuss the upcoming album but watch their avatar’s performance live from Minecraft. This is where our partnership with Twitch really delivers for artists and creators, as we’re able to give Alfie increased exposure to his target audience, while also delighting fans who can join in the discussion in real time via Twitch chat.
“The world includes scavenger hunts and exclusive unlockable items, keeping the world alive for a minimum of 30 days to ensure fans have time to discover all that Mellow Moon has to offer.”
The line-up is diverse - how did you and the label get them on board as avatars?
“Once the conversation was opened and the possibility of seeing themselves appear as in-game characters within Minecraft, there was nothing but interest from the artists and management to be involved. Alfie’s a real artist’s artist, making many admirers along the way in his career – his vision for who could perform at his festival was an eclectic bunch of artists who he also respected himself.”
How has Amazon Music supported Alfie so far as a new artist?
“Our support for Alfie has been evident even before we even announced him as our latest Breakthrough artist, our programmers have long been supporting his music across our playlist and stations ecosystem. Before Breakthrough, Alfie was an artist we identified as one of our Artists to Watch 2021.
“We’ve put Alfie up in lights across multiple OOH campaigns, including being on the cover of one of our flagship playlists and supporting last year’s mini-album, Forever Isn’t Long Enough. Also, our first ever UK livestream with an in-person audience - Sessions IRL - had Alfie Templeman as one of the performing artists.”