'Wireless Connect': Gunna, Saweetie, Tyga and others kick off MelodyVR's 360° immersive virtual festival
Wireless, the home of grime, hip hop, and R&B in the UK, is going both virtual and international with its 2020 festival
MelodyVR continues to make the at-home experience an absolute treat with its latest offering: 'Wireless Connect', the world’s biggest virtual festival that gave fans the first installment of the hottest line up of the summer, all in 360° immersive virtual reality. The event featured exclusive and unseen sets from Gunna, Stefflon Don, Saweetie, Yungen, Tyga, DaniLeigh, Deno, Ramz and many more who performed at MelodyVR’s specially designed studios in London’s Alexandra Palace and in LA, alongside curated highlights from past Wireless festivals.
Fans tuned in globally from 5 pm BST on Friday, July 3 and the huge festival vibes ran late into the night, with an amazing mix of new performances, behind-the-scenes interviews, and previous Wireless picks, guided by the fabulous host, Capital XTRA’s Yinka.
MelodyVR launched in 2018 with a simple mandate: not to replace the live music experience, but to harness the power of virtual reality to get people closer to the music they love. By using VR technology, the founders realized that they could place fans in the crowd or on stage with their favorite musicians at live events.
From epic stadium shows to intimate studio performances, the possibilities were endless: capacity restrictions are eliminated, music lovers can attend otherwise sold-out dates, and the barriers (distance, age, cost, access) that might keep people from experiencing their heroes live are swept away. Artists can now reach more fans than ever before, with a level of intimacy that has previously not been possible.
Currently the only licensed VR music platform, MelodyVR has the world's largest library of exclusive immersive and interactive music experiences from the likes of Post Malone, Lewis Capaldi, Mabel, Wiz Khalifa, Kelly Clarkson, KISS, Niall Horan, Katherine Jenkins, Fall Out Boy, The Chainsmokers and Imagine Dragons. And it has now taken its experience to a whole new level by bringing the Wireless festival to a virtual stage.
Wireless is the home of grime, hip hop, and R&B in the UK, championing some of the biggest and best upcoming acts. The 2019 line-up saw some of the most talked-about names in homegrown and international talent take to the stage with headline performances from global superstars Cardi B, Migos, Travis Scott, J Hus and Rae Sremmurd playing to a sold-out crowd in Finsbury Park. Other acts included Future, Skepta, Stefflon Don, Ski Mask Tha Slump God, Ella Mai, Young Thug, Saweetie and more.
Though proudly London, the festival is synonymous with talent from both sides of the Atlantic, and 'Wireless Connect's massive line up is no exception. One of the top acts of Friday night was a massive 2019 set from one of the fastest-rising rap stars of the past 10 years, Georgia's Gunna, packed full of high energy hits such as 'Drip Too Hard' and 'Turks'.
Birmingham rapper Stefflon Don brought all the mad energy of her live shows to her set for the night while Don, along with her slick backing dancers, performed a mix of several of her acclaimed tracks. Speaking to the 'Wireless Connect' global at-home audience, Don said, "I got something for you that I know you're gonna love!" before launching into ‘Boasty’ and ‘16 Shots’, plus a debut of her new tune 'Miss Me'. She finished with her smash hit 'Hurtin' Me'.
The iconic Saweetie represented the US from MelodyVR’s LA studio with an incendiary performance. Saweetie told 'Wireless Connect', "I'm releasing a lot of my new music this year — and my personal favorite is 'Pretty B***h Freestyle' that I'm dropping on my birthday." The Californian rapper captivated fans tuning in around the world with tracks 'My Type' and 'ICY GRL' and a debut of new music. Additionally, R&B singer DaniLeigh brought all the laid back vibes from LA with anthems including Billboard Hot 100 charting single 'Easy'.
Wireless champions the best local talent and its virtual version is no different. On the Alexandra Palace stage, South London rapper and Wireless veteran Yungen declared, "We come here to run nothing but bangers!" before smashing into his summer bops 'Bestie' and 'Bad' for his first-ever VR set. Meanwhile, fellow South London rapper Deno kept the party going strong with 'Motorola'.
Earlier in the day, Avelino brought his unique tone and deep wordplay to his set, while Ramz made his musical return for an exclusive 'Wireless Connect' set which, of course, featured his platinum-selling 2017 hit 'Barking'. Fans were also transported back to Tyga's stunning summer set at Wireless 2019, kicking off with 'Dip' and then 'Rack City'. The crowds went mad for his hits 'Loyal' and 'Taste' as he powered across the stage — and watching in VR, all the fans at home had the best front-row seat.
The first day of Wireless Connect also included mind-blowing sets from Tyla Yaweh, Blanco, JB Scofield, 23 Unofficial, ZieZie, Clever, Sam Hemmshaw, Hamzaa, Buddy, Leven Kali, Kara Marni, Alicai Harley, Big Heath and Osh.
'Wireless Connect' continues on Saturday, July 4, and Sunday, July 5. It is available to stream each day from 5 pm BST / 9 am PT / 12 pm ET on smartphones and VR headsets via the MelodyVR app as well as the Wireless YouTube channel. 'Wireless Connect' is free to experience, with viewers encouraged to stay safe, stay alert, practice safe social distancing, and follow Government safety guidelines. Additionally, the festival encourages viewers to make a donation to Black Lives Matter via Crowdfunder. Across the three days, many of the 70+ artistes will be acknowledging Black Lives Matter in their own personal way.