Exploring New Music through Virtual Live Experiences

Media & Platforms


— New Music Experiences Born Amidst the Pandemic

Live performances are significant opportunities for fans to feel deeply connected to the artists, sharing the same space. It’s a moment where artists can directly sense the support and reactions of their fans. Therefore, the prolonged inability to hold live events due to pandemic creates a sense of distance between artists and fans, akin to a long-distance relationship.

Despite this environment, many artists have been experimenting with online streaming and other methods to deliver music to people. Amidst these trials, a japanese popular rock band group RADWIMPS has created a new music experience, bridging the gap with fans, through a virtual live app called “SHIN SEKAI ‘nowhere.'”

In this article, we will delve into the theme of “SHIN SEKAI ‘nowhere,'” exploring the experiences generated by virtual live performances and what they have fostered between artists and fans.

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— About “SHIN SEKAI ‘nowhere'”

“SHIN SEKAI ‘nowhere'” was a limited virtual live event held in 2021. Unlike traditional live performances, its unique feature lies in the fact that it can be experienced by installing an app and immersing oneself within it using a smartphone.

Specifically, within the app, players create their own avatars and freely navigate a virtual space where pre-recorded RADWIMPS songs play for approximately 40 minutes. This virtual space is designed with different atmospheres for each song, allowing players to move to the next world as the music changes. The control method involves holding the smartphone horizontally, using the left hand to move the avatar similar to an RPG app, while the right hand can perform actions like jumping or gestures.

This app was initially released as “SHIN SEKAI” in December 2020, where a two-day free virtual live event was held as a trial. The focus of the experience offered through the app during that time was on “players exploring the virtual space.” After six months, in July, it was updated to the paid version, “SHIN SEKAI ‘nowhere’,” with a focus on “dancing around with RADWIMPS members.” It’s worth mentioning that the RADWIMPS members appearing in this app are not mere projections but “real RADWIMPS” 3D models, capturing their precise movements through motion capture technology. Players can share time with them in their preferred location, angle, and movement.

From here, we’ll delve deeper into the experiences generated by virtual live events and explore their allure.

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Four Appeals of “SHIN SEKAI ‘nowhere'”

— Charm 1: Meeting the Members at an Unrealistically Close Distance

As mentioned earlier, in this live event, the real-life presence of RADWIMPS, captured through motion capture, is featured. Thus, despite being in a virtual environment, the performances of the members are expressed just as they have been seen in live concerts.

At times towering in size and at others appearing life-size, participants can interact with RADWIMPS at their preferred distance, enjoying the concert together at an impossibly close proximity, which is the main appeal of this experience.

In the previous live event, the focus was on expressing the world of each song within the virtual space, and the appearance of the 3D model RADWIMPS members was limited to only the final two songs. It evoked a feeling akin to the joy and sorrow of briefly meeting during a long-distance relationship. However, in this live event, the 3D model members appeared from the first song, creating a space where RADWIMPS and fans could constantly interact. Despite the distance, it felt like spending time together for a while rather than just a fleeting moment, akin to finally meeting RADWIMPS again after a long absence.

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— Charm 2: Freedom to Explore the World’s Atmosphere

This app offers experiences unique to the virtual realm. As the virtual environment shifts with each song, participants can explore a variety of landscapes and scenarios, reminiscent of cyber worlds, bustling stages, fantastical realms, or urban nightscapes, all synchronized with RADWIMPS’ music.

Liberated from the constraints of real-world gravity, users can engage in movements and traverse landscapes impossible in reality, immersing themselves in surreal settings while enjoying RADWIMPS’ music. This freedom to explore unseen vistas while moving in unconventional ways is a hallmark of the virtual live experience, offering an unparalleled journey through both music and imagination.

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— Charm 3: Moderate Social Interaction

The space within “SHIN SEKAI ‘nowhere'” is not a secluded realm for individuals but rather an open space online, where users participating simultaneously can move around together. Users can invite friends to journey alongside them or engage in virtual communication with fellow RADWIMPS fans, known as “wimpers,” whom they may have never met before.

While active conversation isn’t necessary, non-verbal communication using gesture motions allows players to clap along or nod their heads to the music together with other players. Just like the experience of many people enjoying a shared space at a live concert, one of the charms of the app is that players can share the same virtual space while enjoying themselves in their own ways.

Furthermore, players have the ability to capture screenshots of these landscapes on their smartphones, leading to the viral spread of User Generated Content (UGC) on social media platforms. Many UGC posts were seen.

This act of supporting RADWIMPS among wimpers, which was lost during the pandemic, has been revitalized through the use of virtual live events.

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— Charm 4: Accessibility from Anywhere

This app allows participation from anywhere with just a smartphone. Despite its easy accessibility, the high-quality graphics quickly draw users into an immersive experience, adding to its appeal.

Live events, which were previously impossible without physical venues, have expanded their scope by extending into virtual spaces. Moreover, it’s a significant advantage that fans who couldn’t attend live events due to distant venues can now participate.

It’s possible that in the near future, many artists will adopt virtual live events, making it commonplace for anyone to experience them from anywhere, regardless of location.

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What Virtual Live Events Have Brought Between Artists and Fans

“Through the new music experience via ‘SHIN SEKAI “nowhere”,’ they have successfully transitioned from a one-way delivery of music from artist to fan to creating a special space where fans can share the same moment with the members and other fans. By deliberately limiting the event period, the sense of ‘being able to meet directly’ was enhanced, making it a special time that bridged the distance between artists and fans.”


In this article, we’ve explored the value of virtual live events through ‘SHIN SEKAI “nowhere”’ and the outcomes they’ve generated.

In the past, there are another instances like Kenshi Yonezu’s virtual live performance in Fortnite in 2020, where players could enjoy the event socially within the game environment. Live music experiences, once limited to physical venues, are expanding into the realm of virtual live events through platforms like app games and online gaming environments. Starting with examples like RADWIMPS and Kenshi Yonezu, we may witness similar expansions by various artists in the future. However, whether in real life or virtually, the fundamental essence lies in the ‘connection between artists and fans,’ and we believe that will remain unchanged.

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Irep Inc. is an award-winning global digital marketing agency based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our headquarters are in Tokyo and our network spans more than 20 countries. In Japan, we are ranked No. 1 for performance-based marketing. We also offer highly specialized market entry, as well as integrated marketing and localization services. Since 1997, our data-driven solutions have effectively led our diverse international clientele to continuous success in Japan, Asia, and beyond.

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