The hugely popular online multiplayer game Fortnite is launching an in-game music festival event series called Fortnite Festival. Season 1, titled “Opening Night,” features Grammy-award-winning artist The Weeknd as the first Icon headliner.
Opening Night runs from now until February 22nd, 2024 and includes rewards, quests, and outfits themed around the iconic performer.
Building on past in-game concerts starring artists like Ariana Grande and Travis Scott, Fortnite Festival aims to provide players with exciting new social events and exclusive content.
“We’re thrilled to kickstart the Fortnite Festival with The Weeknd, whose music has had such a global impact,” said Fortnite’s chief creative officer Donald Mustard. “This is just the beginning of an ambitious new initiative to regularly bring both real-world and digital artists into the metaverse for groundbreaking experiences.”
Earn Rewards in the Opening Night Festival Pass
A key part of Fortnite Festival is the Festival Pass system which allows players to complete quests and earn points to unlock rewards across free and premium tracks.
The free track includes new lobby music, emotes, a “Nanner Jammer” guitar and more. The paid premium track additionally features The Weeknd outfit skin so your character can hit the stage looking just like the hit singer.
Other premium unlockables include music from Fall Out Boy, PSY and Bell Biv DeVoe as well as Weeknd-themed gear like branded microphones, basses and keytars.
And just for purchasing the premium Festival Pass, players instantly receive a cosmic-looking Rift Rock aura for their avatar.
Just head to the Festival Pass tab at the top of the lobby in Fortnite Festival modes to view quests and progress.
The Weeknd Skin Also Available Separately
In addition to the Festival Pass, the new The Weeknd skin based on his distinct style is purchasable directly in Fortnite’s Item Shop.
This “Combat Version” of The Weeknd comes in two color variants – an all-black suit or an all-white suit. And on top, players can toggle masked and jacketed versions for added flair.
As the first musician to headline Fortnite’s new Festival initiative, The Weeknd skin cements another landmark collaboration between the massively popular battle royale game and the music industry’s biggest stars.
What Does This Mean for Fortnite’s Metaverse Future?
The launch of Fortnite Festival signals Epic Games’ intention to make its multiplayer world a hub for virtual entertainment and celebrity appearances.
No longer just about the core gameplay and competitions, Fortnite now wants to be the go-to social space for virtual hangouts, brand activations and shopping as much as gaming.
And with over 350 million registered players, Fortnite certainly has a built-in audience ready for these online experiences.
Other platforms like Roblox and Meta’s Horizon Worlds have similar metaverse aspirations.
But Fortnite’s slick graphics and gameplay integrated with new virtual reality capabilities position it strongly to drive adoption among next-gen internet users.
As younger generations flock to ever more digital and simulated spaces for their entertainment, PlayStation chief Jim Ryan predicts Fortnite and other persistent online worlds will come to surpass traditional gaming.
So while still early days, the launch of the Fortnite Festival anchored by globally renowned artists like The Weeknd points toward a burgeoning new stage for celebrity and fan interaction unfolding before our eyes.