Monster Energy's Up & Up Festival is pushing its chips into the virtual concert pot after announcing the launch of "Welcome Back," the first-ever nationwide college virtual festival.
Citing the impact of COVID-19 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the organizers of Up & Up—the nation's largest college touring music festival—have decided to go virtual, taking to the digital stage from October 9th to 11th. "Welcome Back" will feature performances by some of EDM's most popular artists, including NGHTMRE, San Holo, Ghastly, Ekali, and more.
"When the longer term reality set in of how the live restrictions would affect college campus life, it was important for us to identify a creative, compliant solution to give students a valuable and enjoyable experience — and continue the progression of the Monster Energy Up & Up Festival Series that our college ambassador network has worked so hard in helping us build," said Stephen Glazer, co-founder and producer of Up & Up Festival, in a press release.
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Homing in on their mission to connect students from different schools and all walks of life through electronic music, "Welcome Back Virtual Festival" will co-stream its socially-distanced audiences from over 20 school "stages" via Zoom sessions. Each one will showcase performances from students as well as celebrity appearances, contests, giveaways, and online meet-and-greets. The livestream event also serves as the genesis of Monster Energy's "$10K Talent Showdown," a variety talent competition open to students with a prize of $10,000. Dance-pop duo Two Friends are set to host and judge the contest, which students can register to here.
"With little to no campus life activities happening currently, the Welcome Back Virtual Festival provides an exciting opportunity for students to interact, dance, and enjoy a weekend of incredible music and entertainment right in their own home," said Tomer Vagner, a recent University of Oregon graduate. "In curating this national-scale, live-streamed concert, the Monster Energy Up & Up Festival is opening the door for student ambassadors to gain unparalleled virtual event production experience and valuable networking opportunities in this forever-evolving music industry."
"Welcome Back Virtual Festival" will stream live on Monster Energy’s YouTube channel.