R concerts have become the latest innovation to flood the music industry. The latest artist to join the AR revolution is The Weeknd, who recently announced that he will be debuting a new “music experience” to air exclusively on TikTok on 7th August in collaboration with X, Republic Records labels, and virtual entertainment company Wave.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, the music industry has had to come up with new and creative ways to reach and effectively engage with audiences, as traditional concerts aren’t allowed under the social distancing rules. “The Weeknd Experience” marks the first TikTok AR content experience. Although TikTok has created traditional at-home live streams from artists such as Alicia Keys, The Weeknd will be the first to incorporate AR.
CEO of Wave, Adam Arrigo stated in a recent interview:
“It reminds me that I’m trapped at home… People are turning to livestreams to escape right now. Our innovation is making these shows interactive and participatory.”
The first artist to set the standard for the next generation of concerts was Travis Scott with the “Astronomical” event on Fortnite. The experience brought in millions of viewers which helped to boost the release of his new single “The Scotts” featuring Kid Cudi to a Number One debut. Other artists, including John Legend have also performed in similar style concerts on Wave since the lockdown began.
The Weeknd and TikTok are no strangers, the social media platform has helped the artist to see several viral hits particularly “Blinding Lights,” one of the best-selling singles of 2020. That song alone has been featured in over 1.5 million TikTok videos, mainly connected to a dance trend, and topped the Rolling Stone Top 100 Songs chart. The Weeknd’s After Hours album, also became the best selling album of the first half of 2020, with a massive 1.3 million album unit sales in the United States alone.
The Weeknd plans to use the event to fundraise for the Equal Justice Initiative, TikTok will match donations. Fans can also donate directly in the TikTok app before the concert begins. The proceeds for exclusive merchandise promoting the concert will also go to charity.