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Arts & Culture

Travis Scott's Fortnite Event Draws Record Audience

Ansel, age 11, plays <em>Fortnite</em> featuring Travis Scott's in-game event, "Astronomical," on April 23, 2020 in South Pasadena, Calif.
Ansel, age 11, plays <em>Fortnite</em> featuring Travis Scott's in-game event, "Astronomical," on April 23, 2020 in South Pasadena, Calif.

On Thursday, Grammy-nominated rapper Travis Scott performed to millions of fans worldwide — not during a living room set or from an empty venue, but via the massively popular video game Fortnite.

Fortnite's developer Epic Games says the virtual concert drew in 12.3 million players, setting "an all-time record" for an in-game event.

Over the course of the performance, Scott appeared as a towering version of himself which transformed into different globe-headed avatars transported through a series of impossible landscapes. The performance also featured the debut of a collaboration with Kid Cudi, "The Scotts."

Altogether, the set lasted roughly 10 minutes. (Several encores of the virtual performance are scheduled throughout the weekend.)

It was a marriage of convenience, brought about by social distancing restrictions and Fortnite's built-in audience, which parent company Epic Games claims stands at more than 250 million players. But even previous to the current distancing recommendations, Fortnite had built a reputation around such events.

Last year, a performance by the electronic artist Marshmello brought in millions of watchers, and other live events such as a Kaiju film-inspired battle between a massive robot and sea monster.

"Honestly today was one of the most inspiring days. Love every single one of u guys, " Scott tweeted in appreciation following the event. "And I know times are weird for us. But for one moment to be able to have the ragers to rage where ever you are is amazing."

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