A virtual scene with lights, pyrotechnics and holograms. Marshmello - a DJ with a big marshmello on his head - plays on the stage.Copyright of the image
Marshmello / Fortnite


Marshmello hosted the first Fortnite concert live from the Pleasant Park game area

Move on Adam Levine.

While the singer of Maroon 5 was courting controversy on Sunday for his half-time show at the Super Bowl, video game fans reveled in the afterglow of a different show.

"Millions attended" a Saturday concert with masked DJ Marshmello, who played a set including 201 hits Everyday and Happier from 2018.

The twist? The concert was entirely virtual, briefly transforming Fortnite from the third-person shooter into a music venue.

When the players connected to Fortnite – which has more than 125 million players, according to Epic – the developers have only encountered one competitive game mode.

By joining the Showtime mode at 19:00 GMT, players would see a big stage concert with a Marshmello avatar and turntables.

While the music was playing, Marshmello himself was broadcast to the players, prompting them to dance their avatars to the sound of the music.

The show itself lasted about 10 minutes and contained interactive moments, with players thrown into the air during Fly and jumping beach balls at Happier.

The set, which has been viewed more than 11 million times, can be viewed on Marshmello's YouTube channel.

"First live performance"

Many applauded what they called "The very first live performance in a video game", but this claim has since been refuted by social media.

Minecraft organized the Coalchella festival in 2018 – a play on the actual Coachella festival – although it happened five years after the EDM Monstercat label staged a live charity festival in the block building game.

Meanwhile, virtual concerts have become almost synonymous with the simulation game Second Life in the 00s.

U2 gave a live show in 2008, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra was broadcast live in 2007 and BBC Radio 1 simultaneously broadcast its One Big Weekend event on a virtual stage in 2006.

And this does not even mention the merger with Duran Duran, who saw the new wave actor perform live concerts in the Duran Duran universe at stake.

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Games musicians

There has always been a kind of symbiotic relationship between musical artists and video games.

Virtual avatars of bands such as Green Day and The Beatles, as well as pre-recorded virtual concerts, were found in Tony Hawk's Underground of 2003.

The history of gambling is littered with examples of musicians performing in games, with David Bowie in The Nomad Soul of 1999 and Michael Jackson in his own game in the eponymous 1993 Moonwalker.

Will Marshmello's presence at Fortnite spark a new craze for live gaming in video games?