London’s The O2 has been incorporated into the computer game Fortnite and will stage a virtual gig by Easy Life.
The venue can be explored by users on the platform, who can visit hidden rooms, backstage areas and the O2 Blueroom.
On June 24 at 8:30pm (BST) Easy Life will stage a digital performance at the virtual venue, which will be available to view on the platform until June 27. It will then be posted to the Leicester band's YouTube channel the following day.
“Being the first UK act to ever perform in Fortnite Creative, and for that performance to take place inside a venue as iconic as The O2, is truly humbling," said Easy Life's Murray Matravers of the digital show.
"Life’s A Beach is a deeply personal album that marks the culmination of our life’s work and we can’t wait to finally perform it for our fans. We’re so excited for people to experience our music in the game – it promises to be a lot of fun and is just a taste of things to come ahead of our UK tour of O2 Academy venues later this year."
The O2's digital doppelganger was constructed by Fortnite creators KKslider, DolphinDom and Team Cre8.
“We were thrilled when we were approached with the idea to bring The O2, one of the most iconic entertainment venues on the planet, to Fortnite Creative," said Nate Nanzer, head of global partnerships at Epic Games.
"We’re always looking for exciting and authentic experiences to bring to our players, and we can’t wait for them to get hands-on with this interactive musical journey. We’re excited to have the UK’s breakout band Easy Life perform in the game and we think our players are really going to love exploring all that The O2 has to offer in Fortnite Creative over the next week.”
As with the real building, the Fortnite venue also offers O2 customers the chance to win rewards via the network's Priority app. These include tickets to future Easy Life shows at O2 venues, while within Fortnite Creative a range of unique and interactive musical experiences are on offer.
"We couldn’t be prouder to work alongside both Island Records and Epic Games to bring such an incredible experience to O2 customers and music fans all over the world via Fortnite Creative," explained Simon Valcarcel, head of brand and consumer marcomms at O2.
"O2 has a rich heritage in music and we’re committed to providing music fans with unique experiences so it’s only fitting that we’re bringing the world’s most popular entertainment venue into the world’s biggest game. We know how much everyone – us included – has missed going to gigs so we’re excited to bring the UK’s hottest up-and-coming band to music fans globally through Fortnite Creative.”
The collaboration with Easy Life has been overseen for Universal Music by their brand partnerships, sync & production, Globe.
“Managing the project has been brilliant in so many ways. O2 continue to celebrate and innovate with The O2, not only creating a historic moment for the venue but creating the first opportunity for a UK band to play inside Fortnite Creative," said Globe's Jennifer Hills, SVP Strategic marketing & partnerships.
"It further demonstrates our ability to deliver all the aspects of brand activation on a global scale – bringing together the artists and the brands combined with the expertise of Mercury Studios, which is truly a unique offering. We have really enjoyed working with the biggest players in the industry to offer something special. We look forward to seeing people’s reactions.”
Welcoming the project, Island Records UK president Louis Bloom said the Fortnite gig truly complimented the release of the band's new album.
“This amazing partnership could not have come at a better time for Easy Life and everyone at Island following the great launch of Life’s A Beach," he explained.
"It has been a fantastic opportunity to collaborate alongside O2 – a massive player within the UK music scene now – Epic Games and of course our wonderful Universal Music Group colleagues at Globe who have pulled this whole initiative together. The band and their close-knit creative team have delivered something truly special and groundbreaking that is sure to capture the hearts and imagination of the millions of Fortnite players who may not have heard or seen Easy Life before. For Island to be working so closely with Globe to make Easy Life the first-ever UK act to play a concert within Fortnite Creative is hugely exciting.”
In May the real-life O2 announced its plans to start staging capacity shows again following the Covid-19 pandemic.