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Minecraft music festival changes name to distance itself from hate group – CNET

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If you think EDM light shows in the real world are wild, wait until you see what they can build in Minecraft.

Michael Tullberg

A virtual online music festival taking place within Minecraft has changed its name to avoid association with a suddenly high-profile hate group tied to a recent homicide.

The Rave Family Block Fest will feature Deadmau5Steve Aoki and Felix da Housecat among hundreds of real-life acts on phantasmagorical sets limited only by your 8-bit imagination. Originally called Electric Blockaloo, the virtual festival has been renamed to distance the fun from the far-right extremist boogaloo movement that wants to spark a race-focused civil war in the US. The movement’s name comes from the 1984 cult film Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo and wasn’t generally known until the shooting death of a federal security guard on May 29 in Oakland, California.

Minecraft’s festival has also been pushed to July 9 to 13. Originally set to take place June 25 to 28, the Rave Family Block Fest was delayed to avoid clashing with the Minecraft Nether update this weekend. 

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Minecraft

Rave Family Block Fest is Minecraft’s first virtual music festival, featuring a whopping 850 performers on 65 stages. Just like a real festival, you can design your own campsite — and then there are a bunch of features that are very much not like a real festival, taking advantage of the crazy virtual world of Minecraft.  Wave your picks in the air like you just don’t care!

So instead of hiking two miles through scorching sun or squelching mud, you hop between stages in a model of the Tardis from time-traveling TV show Doctor Who. And the stages, many of which have been conceived by artists, include Red Blocks — a virtual version of the legendary Colorado outdoor arena Red Rocks — and Thunder Mifflin, based on the Dunder Mifflin office from, well, from The Office.

This is just one of the events taking live music into the virtual world after crowds have been kept away from big events by the coronavirus pandemicFestivals like SXSW and Coachella have been cancelled, but more than 28 million people watched Travis Scott perform a spectacular set in the video game Fortnite in April.  

Deadmau5 and alter-ego Test Pilot lead the acts that also include BBC Radio1 host Sherelle, Detroit legends Carl Craig, Kevin Saunderson and Seth Troxler and house heavyweights Felix da Housecat, Todd Terry, DJ Sneak, Maya Jane Coles, Luciano and Skream. There are EDM sets from Galantis, Two Friends, Louis the Child and Paris Hilton, along with previously announced acts Jauz, Jamie Jones, Maceo Plex, KSHMR, TOKiMONSTA, A-Trak, Nicole Moudaber, ZHU, Nora en Pure, Claude VonStroke, Claptone, Soul Clap, Lane 8 and hundreds more.

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Minecraft’s original music festival name

Minecraft

The festival runs on both the Java and Bedrock versions of Minecraft, so attendees — known as “Loozers,” for some reason —  can play on desktop or mobile. If you’re new to the game, there’s a Rave Family Training Camp available before the virtual doors open where you learn how to get around, use special items and even swim.

You can buy a ticket from your favorite artist through a dedicated link, and the money is split between festival and artist in a 60/40 revenue share. Not only do you get the warm glow of supporting your fave acts, you can also help people and participate in democracy. When you buy your ticket, you can donate to charities tackling pressing issues such as inequality, racism and the climate crisis such as The Bail Project, Black Lives Matter and ByeByePlastic. While you’re at it, you can also register to vote in the same checkout process thanks to the nonpartisan initiative HeadCount

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Ticket prices start at $10 for a weekend pass plus three extra encore weekends to see anything you missed the first time. VIP add-ons start at $15 and include access to extra worlds, stages, artist sets, early arrival and group camping.

Here are some of the major acts appearing:

  • Anabel Englund
  • Blondish
  • Bob Moses
  • Carl Craig
  • Deadmau5
  • DJ Soda
  • Ekali
  • Felix da Housecat
  • Ivy Lab
  • Kevin Saunderson
  • Khruangbin
  • The Knocks
  • Krafty Kuts
  • Luciano
  • Maya Jane Coles
  • MK
  • Paris Hilton
  • Rudimental
  • DJ Sneak
  • Seth Troxler
  • Sherelle
  • Skream
  • STS9
  • Steve Aoki
  • Todd Terry

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