Rock for People prepared a game to help us with our endless sadness for absence of festivals. The Czech festival took the initiative to create a festival site in a computer game! Remember running from gates to the stage, making friends while waiting to the toilet or quick breaks at food track zones between concerts? Rock for People provided it all!
The game gave you a weird feeling that you were actually at the festival. Everything looked so familiar and surreal at the same time! Rock for People was divided into two worlds. The first game world, which had a capacity of 1500 participants, sold out quickly. The festival decided to open second world, in which over 700 people logged into. You only needed to choose your avatar and the adventure started in front of the festival gate.
As you can see on the attached map, the area in the game resembled the real festival park in Hradec Králové. It had all what you can expect from a live festival. There were three stages (KB Stage, YouTube Music Stage, Europa2 Stage) on which, you could listen to different artists. Attractions such as Labirynth, Ruské Kolo, Táborák and Green Energy Mill, which are hallmarks of the festival, were also transferred into gaming world.
The festivalgoers were given the opportunity to talk to each others through chats zones. On the festival site there were over 80 zones in which you can meet other participants. Some of them were located beside merch, partners zones or even the toilets, where in real life you can meet people and start a conversation. To improve the virtual festival experience, Rock For People added interactive aspects like the hidden stage in the toilets or a puzzle to give you a merch voucher.
Before the concerts took place, there were a few words from the organizer Michal Thomes. He said that this event was supposed to give a little bit of festival atmosphere. While we all miss social interaction, it is perfect way to meet festival friends, he continued. Each artist had a 15 minutes slot to fill. Performances were previously recorded, which were provided with the good quality of video and sound.
There were two options to watch the act. You could watch, as during the live festival, from audience perspective or to turn on fullscreen to focus on the concert. There were one problem with people hanged in the air in front of the stage, because of ability of flying and you couldn’t see through them, but you could turn them off.
Another great option was that you could react with your avatar. Each character could present a variety of dances, could cheer the band, wave or clap. During the Crown The Empire concert, a virtual mosh pit took place between the participants!
Rock For People were full of people, who had a nostalgia for the festival, because they visited it plenty of times. One of them said that “he has been visiting Rock for People for years and being a huge music fan, he misses the live music as well as meeting friends at a festival in these troubled times. He also used to play a lot of MMORPG games and this seemed like these two things mixed together.”
Attendees appreciated the atmosphere, which the festival game built, as one of them said that “with enough imagination, she felt like she was at a real summer festival. Lots of people (avatars) around her, concerts, beer in her real hand.” The festival certainly facilitate the meeting of other people even if they were in front of their computers at home.
There were diverse opinions about the ability to fly. For ones it was great featuring, because “You don’t have wings in real life, but you could fly in the game, and you could fly into a moshpit”. On the other hand, there were voices that flying people ruined the visibility of the performances.
What will the future bring us?
The game was simple to use, so everyone could easily enjoy their “gameplay”. It didn’t have specified requirements, you just needed to download it from the official site. At the festival, you could unblock the special move to fly, which was the best option to move around the site as you could transfer faster from stage to the other. There were some technical difficulties, but RFP Crew managed to repair them quickly. At the festival site you could also spot the crew, which could help you immediately with any kinds of problems.
During the event there was one thought – is it going to be our new reality? New festival cancellations, lacks of announcements or third wave of the pandemic, left with very little hope that festivals gates will be open this summer. The Rock For People initiative could make organizers think about other possibilities to bring our favorites festivals alive. The game was perfect example. Of course, it won’t replace authentic festivals, but it’s a small step toward it. This event gave nostalgia feelings for a moment and reminded me how much people miss real life events.
Rock for People 2021
- Location: Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.
- Date: 10 June – 12 June 2021.
- Tickets: regular tickets on sale.
- For more information, visit the official website.